Guest writer’s articles: “West End Brewing Company / Utica Club Beer Steins ” – by John Manning and Dennis Hunsicker

 

   

 Schultz and Dooley on television.

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PLEASE NOTE: I have for over a year now placed these three short “notifications” at the bottom of each page! It is now obvious to me the general public never gets that far before wanting to ask me a question on beer stein dollar values. So I have had to move them forward as I am getting tired of copying them and sending them back to people as an answer to their “stein value?” questions. This was meant to be an informational web site only.     

I DO NOT DO VALUE ($$$’s) APPRAISALS! There are way too many variables: condition, location, time of year, present trends in stein collecting, local (and now national) economics, never seen before (therefore no comparables); but most of all = prior expectations by the owner, are among the reasons.       

NOR WILL I KNOWINGLY DO ASSESSMENTS for the future selling of steins on auction sites such as eBay, etc. Go to the web site for “Stein Collector’s International” and click on “Stein Talk,” someone there might help you. I just do not have the time.      

My web site was really started as an informational site for beginning beer stein collectors that would be looking for the info and not the general public.       

My site has its own search engine [top right on each page!] So if one put in “Wood Steins” or “Hand painted steins,” it will give one a list of all the pages that has that subject matter within it.      

STILL WISH TO CONTACT ME ABOUT ANY INFORMATION ON THIS SITE? EMAIL:  STEVE (STEPHEN) = thevirginian@cox.net

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Editor’s note:  All photo credits on this page go to Dennis Hunsicker and John Manning, from their collection. A really great job, and these were easy for me to work with!

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Utica Club is a pale ale lager first introduced by the West End Brewing Company in 1888.  Still sold locally in upstate New York, Utica Club is widely known for its 1960s television advertisements featuring the beer-happy steins Schultz and Dooley. 

The F.X. Matt Brewery

According to Legend (the older but more easy-going sister of the Truth), the yeast still used to brew Utica Club was first smuggled out of the Black Forest of Germany by the brothers Louis and Charles Bierbauer in the 1850s.  Both had come to America to get rich in the United States.  Noticing that hard-working factory men craved cold beer, both entrepreneurial brothers quickly established breweries near the Erie Canal in upstate New York, which was becoming a world-class industrial center.  Louis Bierbauer established the Canajoharie Brewery in Canajoharie, NY in 1856 (Figure 1) and Charles founded the West Utica Company upstream in Utica, NY in 1858.

         Figure 1.  Engraving of Louis Bierbauer’s Canajoharie Brewery in the 1850s.

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 In 1879, Louis hired Francis Xavier (F.X.) Matt from his brother Charles’s company.  In his 20s at the time, Matt had been brewing beer since his teens in Baden, Germany. Matt became Canajoharie’s brew master in 1880. 

 Charles Bierbauer died in 1885 and his family sold his West Utica Company to a group of investors who renamed it the Columbia Brewing Company.  The renamed firm failed commercially and was sold at public auction in 1888.  Another group of investors, this time led by F.X. Matt, purchased the company renamed it the West End Brewing Company (WEBCO).  WEBCO’s logo featuring the American flag-clad Columbia plays homage to its roots as the Columbia Brewing Company (Figure 2).

    Figure 2.  WEBCO pre-prohibition beer tray with Columbia logo.

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True to its heritage, WEBCO brewed beers to satiate the working class of upstate New York. With the passage of the Volstead Act that enforced the prohibition of intoxicating liquors including beer, WEBCO survived by manufacturing soft drinks, including a flavored ginger ale called “Utica Club.”  WEBCO later applied the name “Utica Club” to its line of affordable pilsener and cream ales.  Legend has it that Utica Club was the first beer legally sold in the United States after the 21st Amendment was ratified in December 1933.

 WEBCO was renamed the F.X. Matt Brewing Company in the 1980s but maintained its WEBCO trademark.  Today, Utica Club beer is enjoying significant popularity as a centerpiece of the Hipster ‘retro’ beer trend.

 Shultz and Dooley

 Utica Club’s most famous commercial icons were a pair of lovable-but-aways-arguing beer steins named Schultz and Dooley who appeared in a series of television advertisements across the northeastern U.S. from 1959 to 1964.  The steins were animated by puppeteer Bill Baird and voiced by legendary comedian Jonathan Winters.  Watching them today, it’s easy to see that the ads perpetuated cultural stereotypes. The German Schultz had a moustache and a bright chrome Pickelhaube while the Irish Dooley had bright red hair and a shamrock.  Both had quick wits, even quicker temperaments, and enjoyed being refreshed by Utica Club beer. 

 Immediately appealing, the commercials expanded to include many other characters, christened “Members of the Utica Club.”

   Figure 3.  Schultz and Dooley on television

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 As an offshoot to the commercials, WEBCO commissioned 5,000 pairs of Schultz and Dooley steins from Wuerfel and Mueller (later King Werks).  Imported by the Schmetzer firm, WEBCO gave the Shultz and Dooley steins to taverns, bars, and grocery stores across the northeast as promotional items.  Figure 4 is a picture of a pair of original Schultz and Dooley steins

   Figure 4. An original pair of Schultz and Dooley steins.

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 The original Schultz and Dooley steins have special markings below the handles and on the bottoms. Schultz is marked “59-CSM” in blue lettering and Dooley “59-CDM” in green.  The same markings are on the bottom along with pressings of “©WEBCO” and “MADE IN GERMANY”  (Figure 5).

   Schultz (Below Handle)

     Dooley (Below Handle)

   Schultz (Bottom)

   Dooley (Bottom)

ABOVE.. FIGURES 5.  ALL OF THE ORIGINAL SCHULTZ AND DOOLEY BEER STEIN MARKINGS.

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 Schmetzer Imports also sold 10,000 more Schultz and Dooley pairs in stores across upstate New York between 1960 and 1964.  These steins are the same as the 5,000 original WEBCO pairs save that they do not have the 59-CSM, 59-CDM, or WEBCO markings under the handle or on the bottom.

The Members of the Utica Club

The F.X. Matt Brewery has released over 50 different Utica Club character steins as of January 2012.  Steins have been released sporadically, with an average of 2 different steins per year since the mid 1990s.  Although many steins depict characters featured in the 1960s television advertisements, more recent steins depict characters that appeal to a wide-range of occupations, interests, and holidays.

    1. Schultz (1959).

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    2. Dooley (1959).

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3. Officer Sudds (1973).  Ceramarte.  Quick to arrest anyone of impersonating Utica Club beer.  Early Officer Sudds steins have a hat with a relief star badge.

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     4. Countess (1978).  Ceramarte. The Countess was Dooley’s good-time girl throughout the ads. A fancy lady that liked to dance to swing music, the Countess said “Darling” a lot.

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   5. Farmer MuGee (1982).   Gerz.  Helped provide the wheat, barley, and hops used in the making of genuine Utica Club.

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   6. U Cee (1986).  Gerz.  Chinese immigrant that highlighted the pinch of rice in every Utica Club that made it light compared to other lagers.

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   7. Bubbles LaBrew (1990).  Gerz.  Commented on Utica Club’s “natural” bubbles that were not due to “artificial” carbonation.

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    8. Old Man Stein (1990).  Gerz.  Stressed the months and months the beer aged to make it just right.  50 years behind the times is just the way he liked it.

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    9. Cousin Emma (1991).  Gerz.

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   10. Fireman Fritz (1992).  Gerz.  The first stein issued that was not a character featured in the television advertisements.

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   11. Sir Oliver Wendall Foams (1993).  Gerz.

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  12. Uncle Rudolph (1994).  Gerz.

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    13.  The Moon Man (1995).  Gerz.

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    14.  Mulligan McBrew (1996).  Gerz.  The first of the “lifestyle” steins.

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    15.  The Bartender (1996). Gerz

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   16.  Nurse Polly (1997).  Gerz.

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   17.  The Giant (1997).  Gerz.

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    18.  The Graduate (1998).  Gerz.

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   19.  Santa Claus (1998).  Gerz.

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   20.  Utica Club Runner (1999).  Gerz.

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    21.  Max Millenium (1999).  Gerz.  First stein with two different sides.  One side depicts old man 1999 and the opposite baby 2000.

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   22.  Rod Lager (2000). King.

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    23.  Wanda Goblet (2000).  King.

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      24.  Slugger Hopps (2001).  King.

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    25.  Mailman Mike (2001).  King.

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    26.  Biker Buzz (2002).  King.

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   27.  Football Fred (2002).

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    28.  Scuba Diver Schultz (2003).  King.  Handle is an oxygen tank in the shape of an “old style” UC beer can.

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    29.  Scuba Diver Dooley (2003).  King.  Handle is an oxygen tank in the shape of an “old style” UC beer can.

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   30.  Lt. Brewer (2004).  King.  The first of the “militaria” steins from Utica Club.

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   31.  The Parrot (2005).  The last stein depicting a character shown in the television ads.

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    32. Soldier (2005).

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     33.  Sailor (2006).

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   34.  Pucky the Hockey Player (2006)

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   35.  Air Force Officer (2007).  The last of the “militaria” steins.

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   36.  U.C. Man (2007).

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   37.  Blue Snowmobiler (2007).

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   38.  Red Snowmobiler (2007).  The first color of the snowmobiles to “sell out” of first editions.

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    39.  Yellow Snowmobiler (2007).

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  40.  Green Snowmobiler (2007).

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  41.  Chef (2008).

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  42.  Hunter (2008).

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   43.  Construction Worker (2009).

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  44.  Frosty Mug (2009).

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   45.  Leprechaun (2010).

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  46.  Pumpkin (2010).  Only 500 of these steins were made and marked “first edition.”

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   47.  Physician (2010).

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  48.  Teacher (2011)

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   49.  Uncle Sam (2011).

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50.  Brewski (2011).

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  51.  Reindeer (2011).

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[END – SOK – RD – 60 – DD]

WISH  TO CONTACT ME?  STEVE (STEPHEN)  = thevirginian@cox.net

“Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with!”