The Free Beer Tap

Scott M. Thede posted this photo on February 3, 2015 in the Facebook Group “You know you are from Sebewaing, MI when …”.  He said:

“How many times have we heard about the stories of the free tap at the Sebewaing Brewing Company? Here is a challenge. Referencing the link at the end of this post, what room is the tap in and what piece of equipment is the closest to it? Good luck!…/Plans-Page-5-September…

Here are the comments from the post:

Joyce Harder Ok Scott the free tap was in the brew house and the closest equipment is the brew kettle. I remember lots of times taking my dad down his lunch and that was where I found him next to the tap with a shell of beer. Thanks for the memories.

Scott M. Thede Nice job Joyce!!!!

Fred Sharpsteen I found it also.

Scott M. Thede Nice job Fred!!!!

Free Beer Tap 1

Mark W Rummel I’m doing this from memory (and I was maybe 8.) Here’s where I think the free beer tap was…

Scott M. Thede Very close Mark and good guess from memory. You actually remember the tap? That is awesome! If your red circle were moved a bit to the right, the word “Tap” shows the location. But maybe they moved it to the the spot you indicated? Your father wrote one dandy of an article about it titled “Strange Brew: Why Old Style Couldn’t Last”. I know you are aware of it. Some of the members here might want to red more about it. Follow this link.…/Huron-Daily…

Scott M. Thede Thank you all for playing.

Bob Fournier Not fare I just got the post.

Scott M. Thede Sorry Bob. I was up a little later last night posting and took advantage of the night owls!

Bob Fournier I do remember I got there after some farmers had been drinking a while. Had one shell and they put a bag over the tap and said, come back a little later.

Scott M. Thede Bob, do you remember the tap on the left or the right side of the door going into the Filter Room? It might have been near the big orange brew kettle near the metal stairs?

Bob Fournier Left or west side

That Free Tap At The BreweryMark W Rummel Want more details? Here’s a repeat of the “Free Beer Tap” story from “Sebewaing 150″ published in 2003 for Sebewaing’s 150th Anniversary. I didn’t remember there were actually TWO faucets there, one for fresh beer and one for hot water to clean the shell glasses.

Bob Fournier That sound right to change the barrel they went to a room behind the tap. I don’t see the chill room?

Scott M. Thede I do not see a chill room on any of the plans. the only thing close to chill is a Wort Cooling Room on a different plan page or any of the cellar spaces. Maybe the writer meant the Filter Room?

Bob Fournier I blew the print up, there it is the sink and tap adjacent the filter room. Was the filter room cool?

Free Beer Tap 2Mark W Rummel Here’s the combined photo blueprint and artwork showing the location of that famous free beer tap. Thought it would be nice to let future generations know where it was.

Lori Fisher Boy, I sure missed a lot about our town, having been a goody two shoes back in the day, but it’s never too late to learn!

Scott M. Thede Brilliant Mark. The annotation and story was a great idea!

Karen Nolan “Shell of beer” – my dad uses that term/phrase…clearly a regional thing. Have never heard of it anywhere else that I have lived..

Christine Kotenko when i lived in washington state in 1992 i order a shell of bud and the waitress had no idea what i was talking about

Judy Terrill Lori you just wasn’t a town girl. You know Nancy and I were best buddies. We had opposite lives. She loved being in town with us town girls

Mark W Rummel Christine K. asked about a shell of beer. They were always called that when I was growing up. It’s a good question.

I’ve always heard that a shell of Shell of Beerbeer was a small-ish (maybe 12 or 16 oz) serving of draft beer. Here’s what says:

Christine Kotenko Very interesting. had no idea its a michigan thing. Had the same thing happen when i lived there and ask for a POP.

Bob Fournier Shell, Mug, or Shooper. You do get some looks when ordering.

Judy Terrill My dad sold Draft beer by the shell. Large and small. I am thinking a 6 and 10 oz. I don’t remember the pricing. But I am thinking back in the 60’s THEY WERE cheap
Like a 10 and 15 cent shell. Of course it was Sebewaing beer. Lol

Thank you to those who took the time to comment in Facebook.

License Plate Booklet & Old Style Matchbook Cover

License Plate Booklet and Old Style Matchbook CoverMark W. Rummel posted this photo on January 30, 2015 in the Facebook Group “You know you are from Sebewaing, MI when …”.  He said:

“For sale today on eBay — this is very cool, once again from the Sebewaing Brewing Company.

You can own this 1940s Stock Ale match book cover, plus a nifty 1950s Michigan License PlateLicense Plate Booklet Open Guide. The little booklet was printed by The Sebewaing Blade printing department (I recognize that Linotype type styles) in 1955, when the first two letters of your license plate identified the county where you resided.

As kids then, we always watched where license plates were from on other cars, to guess where those people were from.

I think the match book cover is older than 1955, maybe even from 1945 or so, but you can own them both.”

Thank you to Mark W. Rummel for this post.

Bock Beer Bottle With Incorrect Bottle Cap

Bock Beer Bottle Likely FakeMark W. Rummel posted this photo on May 13, 2014 in the Facebook Group “You know you are from Sebewaing, MI when …”.  He said:

“Here’s a Tuesday bonus, folks — for sale today on eBay is this Sebewaing Brewing Company Bock Beer bottle. I don’t ever remember seeing this style before, but I do remember a more colorful version (which is on file here in our old pictures.)

Bock Beers began as German lager style beverages often brewed as the first beer of spring. There’s even a big Bockfest in Cincinatti each year. Does anyone know more about this bottle style?”

Here are the comments from the post:

Scott M. Thede I am noticing the blue pheasant cap on the top of this bottle. I wonder if this is what they did before they used the Sebewaing blue label with “Bock Beer” printed in red as in the Sebewaing Beer Bock Labelphoto I just added? Does anyone know? Did someone add the blue cap on top to make it look more complete? I believe there were three colors of bock caps so the blue pheasant cap does not seem likely.

William Harder That bottle is a fake it would have a duck cap or bock it’s the first bock beer label notice they didn’t show the bottom

Bock CapBock Cap2Bottle Caps 2William Harder Also that labels are before the 1950s

William Harder I seen a green ram to

Bob Fournier Would say it’s wrong cap

Sebewaing Beer CapScott M. Thede Thank you William and Bob for the responses.

Thank you to Mark W. Rummel for this post and all of those who took the time to comment in Facebook.

Bottle Caps, Postcard, and 2003 Article

Bottle Caps 4Mark W. Rummel posted this photo on January 27, 2015 in the Facebook Group “You know you are from SebewaingPostcard 1940's, MI when …”.  He said:

“Three different yet related items today for CBWing folks — first, here are four long-neck bottle caps for sale today (and every day) if you’d like one or more memories of Sebewaing Beer.

Second is a nice post card picture of the Brewery 2003 Retro Beer Articlefor sale today on eBay. It was taken about 1940 by Art Mast (who would become the company president) since he had the local photo studio and I recognize his writing at the bottom, and third, here’s a nice Walt Rummel story in the Huron Daily Tribune from 2003, telling the story about how Bob Lutz and others brought back Sebewaing Beer one last time that year, for the Sugar Festival. To read the story, click on the story and download it to your own computer. Then it can be blown up to reading size.

Stay warm, and enjoy…”

Thank you to Mark W. Rummel for this post.

Brown Coin Purse

Coind Purse BrownMark W. Rummel posted this photo on January 26, 2015 in the Facebook Group “You know you are from Sebewaing, MI when …”.  He said:

“For sale from Sebewaing on eBay today — a 1950s era coin purse given to customers by the Sebewaing Brewing Company. I love the phrase on top — “It’s not what you earn, it’s what you save” — that sounds like the Art Mast I remember. He was company president about then. You can own this, if you’d like it (but the seller wants at least $20 — fairly pricy, I’d say.)”

Here are the comments from the post:

William Harder Mark the stock ale beer cap sold last night for 350.00 now that’s pricey for one cap

Mark W Rummel Wow – yes, William, that’s an amazing price. I wish you and I had a few hundred of these we could sell, huh??

Cindy Parker I have one full bottle Sebewaing beer still sealed and full what’s it worth. Any Takers. ??? Also a few other items. Got these items from Amanda Bergman back when we mowed her lawn. Sweet Lady. any one interested ??? Also have some old Fournior beer steins. Also Budweiser steins some in the box got from Kurt’s Party Store. remember that ?? Get ahold of me. Jack

William Harder Any posters

Cindy Parker Hey Bill stop over any night after 5:30 to see them give us a call Jack

Thank you to Mark W. Rummel for this post and all of those who took the time to comment in Facebook.

Trailer for Lions

Sebewaing Beer Car and Trailer for LionsLaura Zuzga posted this photo on April 18, 2014 in the Facebook Group “You know you are from Sebewaing, MI when …”.  She said “I found this in a box. I know nothing about it, but if anyone wants it for a collection, let me know.”

Here are the comments from the post:

Mark W Rummel I’ve seen that, but would love to see someone do a really good scan of it so we all have it for our town history. Great find, Laura !

Jim N Connie Bunke I saw that photo /postcard on ebay. I think it went for a nice sum

Bob Fournier It’s a collectible!


Karen Klink Now we need to know the story.

Carole Lassiter The lion was the old symbol for Sebewaing Beer, before the pheasant, and Manford Watt used to drive this vehicle and lion cage in parades and festivals in different towns for advertising. I remember my sister telling us this, as she was a good friend of Manford’s grand daughter.

Scott M. Thede Here are three article about this photo.

Barbara Hannington I never knew any of this story! When did they change to the pheasant logo?

William Harder Mint it goes for 75.00 dollars

William Harder Did you take this from Lynn lol

Scott M. Thede I have this photo.

Scott M. Thede The pheasant logo change happened in the late 40’s as best as I can tell.

Barbara Hannington Thanks, Scott

Scott M. Thede You are welcome Barbara.

Mark W Rummel Scott, didn’t those baby lions come from that circus that came to Sebewaing, and didn’t want them? (I seem to remember that from past discussions…)

Scott M. Thede The first three did, then another one was added, and the last three lion cubs that were mentioned in the 8/23/40 Blade article.

Scott M. Thede I do not know the source of the one plus the last three that made seven total.

Thank you to Laura Zuzga for this post and all of those who took the time to comment in Facebook.

Blue Zip & Sip Can

Blue Can Zip TopMark W. Rummel posted this photo on January 10, 2015 in the Facebook Group “You know you are from Sebewaing, MI when …”.  He said:

“Wow — here’s a unique item for sale today on eBay — an unopened blue Sebewaing Beer can. The seller (from near Grand Rapids) wants almost $120 for it… wouldn’t our old brewery workers like to sell their cans back then for that much?

This is one of the last cans from the Sebewaing Brewing Company, since the “Zip-&-Sip” cans were the final ones sold before the brewery closed. I don’t know how this can was emptied — photos from the seller show the bottom is complete, too. I wonder how it remained that way.

Also, there’s another blue flat-top Sebewaing Beer can for sale on eBay today, too, for $89. I expect that one was opened on the bottom, since there’s no bottom photo. You could own more memories from our hometown brewery…”

Here are the comments from the post:

Sarah Nelson Mom Shelly Lenz you should show larry this

Brian K. Schwartz It’s in remarkable shape.

Steve Lenz Sweet

James Macgillivray I only remember the cans that punched holes in the top of the can. One large one small. What year did they start using that kind of can.

Clayton Emery it may have been air filled or maybe the replaced the lid or bottom with a new one. if the took the old off you will usually see teeth marks below the edge of the lid where it was taken off with a can opener. it will also be a shade shorter than one that has not beed replaced.

Connie Joles that was the beer my Father drank

Thank you to Mark W. Rummel for this post and all of those who took the time to comment in Facebook.

Metal Stock Ale Sign

Stock Ale SignMark W. Rummel posted this photo on January 4, 2015 in the Facebook Group “You know you are from Sebewaing, MI when …”.  He said:

“There’s a dandy metal sign, bigger than a license plate, from the 1930s featuring “Sebewaing Stock Ale” for sale today on eBay. We’re glad it’s “Brewed Full Strength” — we sure wouldn’t want a half-brewed beer, would we?

I hadn’t seen this one before, and the seller (from Ann Arbor) has started bidding at a hefty $175.00 — we’ll see if anyone from CBWing wants to buy it.”

Here are the comments from the post:

Joyce Harder Mark Rummel I don’t know if you ever was in Shooters Grill in Pigeon, but I was in there the other day for lunch and from the ceiling was hanging a truck door from and old Sebewaing Brewery delivery truck had the Sebewaing Brewery logo on the side. Thought it was pretty neat.

Mark W Rummel Thanks, Joyce — yep, we’ve eaten at the former Shooters in Pigeon. Actually, that was the newspaper office before it was made into that cool bar — I worked in that building almost 20 years, 1978-98. One of the doors (behind the bar) says “Progress” for the old Pigeon Progress, too — lots of history.

Mark W Rummel For another Sebewaing connection, I’m sure Sebewaing sign-painter Sam Lupp painted that Sebewaing Beer truck door on display in Pigeon. Another local connection.

Joyce Harder Thanks Mark this was the first time I was in Shooters and just glance up and saw the door. Lol lots of good memories just hanging around.

Lori Fisher Maybe “Brewed full strength” was a good marketing slogan after Prohibition?

Thank you to Mark W. Rummel for this post and all of those who took the time to comment in Facebook.

Large and Small Patches

PatchesShawn W. Janke posted this photo on January 1, 2015 in the Facebook Group “You know you are from Sebewaing, MI when …”.  He said:

“Well look what I found going through some of my mothers things. Patches; the large one is about 8″ long, the others, about 4″. My stepfather, Ralph Leonard Ludwig used to work there back in the early years before he went to GM. Any thoughts on what they’re worth?”

Here are the comments from the post:

Steve Lenz See stuff like that on ebay alot

Shawn W Janke I’m going to hang onto the large and one small one.

Shawn W Janke My Dad had the old wooden cases of bottled Sebewaing brewery beer stored in the cellar when we were kids.

Shawn W Janke No posters, but there is an old cardboard brewery pheasant about 18″ wide left in the garage in Mio. It was pretty beat up though.

Joyce Harder My dad also worked at the Sebewaing Brewery for over 30 years until it closed up. I remember the big patch was sewn on the back of my dad’s coat and the little patches was sewn over the shirt pocket.

Benita Taschner-Graf My Grandpa worked there

Shawn W Janke Didn’t know that Benita.

Brian K. Schwartz My grandfather, Frank used to drive truck. Those patches look very familiar.

Jerry Deeg Those patches are pretty sought after on ebay. The $50 patch Willy is talking about is hanging in my living room.

Jerry Deeg If they go on ebay let me know!

Thank you to Shawn W. Janke for this post and all of those who took the time to comment in Facebook.

Huron County Brewing Label

Mark W. Rhuroncountyummel posted this photo on December 29, 2014 in the Facebook Group “You know you are from Sebewaing, MI when …”.  He said:

“Let’s start the final Monday of 2014 with a mystery — what was “Export Beer” made by the Huron County Brewing Company of Sebewaing?

Our local resident Sebewaing Beer expert Scott Thede will probably know for sure, but this “Export Beer” brand is unusual, to say the least. I’ve seen this label before, and believe it’s from the late 1930s (after Prohibition ended.) It looks like they were trying to make a premium beer (so they could sell it for more, I expect.)

First, an eBay seller will send you a T-shirt with this label, if you’d like one. That’s how we found it today.

Second, why didn’t they call it the Sebewaing Brewing Company? What do the HKBCC (initials) stand for? Does the “K” mean the beer was Kosher?

I love the line “Pure Without Drugs or Poison.” (that’s a classic.) I always try to drink beer without drugs or poison, hehe…

And what’s the idea with the Squirrel mascot??? Geese and Pheasants, yes. But Squirrels?? We never saw it before, or after…

It’s a Sebewaing mystery for sure… as we near the end of 2014.”


huroncounty01Buck-Eye LabelScott M. Thede posted this response on December 29, 2014 in the Facebook Group “You know you are from Sebewaing, MI when …”.  He said:

This is a new post related to Mark’s Huron County Brewing Co beer label mystery questions. I wanted to post multiple photos and can’t seem to do it on a post reply thread.

I have very little information between November 11, 1905 to April 30, 1918. These dates are significant for this label. For the little I do have, first, there was a banquet announced for retail liquor dealers in the Saginaw News on 11/11/05 and that banquet took place on 12/5/05. The banquet was hosted and paid for by the Huron County Brewing Company (HCBC). That sort of gives us a start date to the HCBC timeline. The second date of 4/30/18 is significant since that is when Michigan went dry. Many of us have seen the bottles with painted labeling of the HCBC like the photo I have included. According to “US Beer Labels” Vol 3 by Bob Kay, the paper label is coded “pp” and that stands for pre-prohibition. The paper label was perhaps a more inexpensive bottle packaging method. Since the goose in flight did not come out until 1934 for Old Style and the lion 1939-1940, and the pheasant in the late 1940’s, the squirrel must have been used for a trademark symbol for the HCBC. Similar labels for the Dehring Brewing Company out of Alpena and the Fitger Brewing Company out of Duluth have items like a Whitetail Buck and a ship respectivelyFitger Label. Probably these breweries used the same label printing company. There are similar labels for Bock and Christmas Special used across many breweries as early labels of Sebewaing as well. I believe the uniqueness in the label design started for our brewery with Old Style on and the only exception being Brewers’ Best. The letters HCBC on our label must stand for Huron County Brewing Company. Not sure what the K represents.

Great questions Mark! Thanks for the post.”

Here are the comments from the post:

Steve Lenz Very interesting thanks

Scott M. Thede You are welcome Steve!

Mark W Rummel Wow, Scott, yes — fascinating. It sure looks like the same label printer to me, too. And it looks like several regional brewers all decided to make a premium beer they all named “Export Beer” perhaps from a similar recipe. I think Sebewaing was trying to appear bigger than just a little town brewery. Interesting this was more than 100 years ago, and pre-prohibition.

William Harder Scott M. Thede there are three different huron county bottles was wondering about which one was for pop

Thank you to Mark W. Rummel for this post and all of those who took the time to comment in Facebook.