Dear Mr. Hilton,

I am also sending this e-mail to the two other addresses thinking that they may also find this interesting.

My name is Frederick Borg and I 've been noodling around on the internet, doing a little genealogical research. My great-grandfather was Leonhard Bauernfeind, born in 1858 near Bamberg in what was then the Kingdom of Bavaria (now Germany). He came to the United States in 1880, arriving in the port of Baltimore.

The family legend says that when he got off the boat with his wife and two of his brothers, he was asked if he had a job waiting for him. No, he did not. The immigration official advised him to get on a train to Chicago, saying there was plenty of work to be had there rebuilding the city after the Great Chicago Fire. The fire was nine years earlier, so this part of the story may be doubtful.

Regardless, he ended up in Chicago and returned to his old profession of beer brewmaster, which he had done in Bavaria. In 1892 he apparently completed training as a brewmaster and was awarded a diploma from "Der Vereinigten Staaten Braumeister Bund". In English, "The United States Brewmasters Guild". Apparently it was a German-speaking organization at that time.

This must have been the precursor to your present Master Brewers Association of the Americas. Your MBAA website lists Louis Frisch as the President in 1892, and Mr. Frisch signed my great-grandfather's diploma as President that year. It is also signed by Alfred Hieronimus as Secretary.

Attached is a photograph of my great-grandfather's diploma from your organization. It measures 20 by 25 inches and is a beautiful old antique that has been in my family well over 100 years. Leonard Bauernfeind worked his entire life as a brewmaster. For many years he was a brewmaster for the Hupfel Brewery in New York City. Hupfel was in operation from about 1856 to 1937, and went into the mushroom growing business during Prohibition!

This diploma proudly hangs on my living room wall, between a photograph of my great-grandfather and his 1891 certificate as a citizen of the US.

I thought you might be interested to see a picture of this old document. Also, if you can tell me any history of the German-language origins of the MBAA, I would love to know more about it, since it was such an important part of my family's history. Is there a book on the subject?

Thank you for your time.

Frederick Borg
Panama City, Florida