Tennessee Brewing Company - 1885
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Beautifully engraved Certificate from the famous Tennessee Brewing Company issued in 1885. This historic document was printed by the Buxton and Skinner Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of a King Holding a Beer. This item is hand signed by John W. Schorr as President, and Casper Koehler as Secretary and is over 115 years old. The certificate shows signs of wear and is made out to Casper Koeler and is signed by him on the verso. High on the bluff at Memphis, Tennessee, overlooking the Mississippi River, stands a monument to a once great southern brewery. This large Victorian complex once housed the Tennessee Brewing Company, a leader in early brewery production. The brewery was organized, originally, in 1877 by G.H. Herboro and named "The Memphis Brewing Company". After being bought in 1885 by J. W. Schorr, Casper Koehler, and associates, it soon became one of the largest breweries of the era. The first beer marketed was simply "Pilsener". Later, there were two brands called "Colombian" and "Erlanger"; this was before 1917's prohibition. At one time, more than 1,500 workers owed their livelihood to the Tennessee Brewing Company which indicates its size. By 1903, production was up to 250,000 barrels per year, making this the largest brewery in the south. The building that remains today was erected in 1890 and is basically unchanged, except it now is being renovated to become apartments or a mall. The last president of the brewery, Mr. E. C. Krausnick, great grandson of Casper Koehler, stated that even Goldcrest 51 was primarily bottled beer and that they did not can any of their products until about 1947. The first can was a cone top, used until about 1950-51, at which time they added a flat top, produced until the brewery closed in 1954. Mr. Krausnick indicated that the percentage of their Goldcrest 51 in cans was very small. As a somewhat local beer, the brewery used the return bottles until it ceased operations. Early brewing certificates are very scarce. This is the only certificate from this company we have seen.
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