​Inquiry Requests

In these pages, I have shared that one of the unexpected privileges of serving as the MBAA Heritage Chair includes assisting organizations and individuals with their research inquiries. In my three years on the job, I have had university students, Ph.D. candidates, scholars, writers, and family genealogists contact MBAA or me personally with a wide range of research requests. Although we are primarily a technical organization, the fact of our enduring 127-year history and our organizational structure, which includes 24 local districts stretching across the United States, Canada, Europe, South America, and the Caribbean, make MBAA a “go-to” resource for such inquiries.

To help me to properly manage these inquiries, I created an organized “first response,” an initial action plan involving a sequence of steps that hopefully sets a path toward obtaining the information being requested. The action plan includes four sequential steps:

  1. Contact all members of the MBAA Heritage Committee to share the request with them for any possible input that they might be able to offer.
  2. Contact the appropriate MBAA District, if applicable, for possible information from their archived records.
  3. Contact headquarters to see if they might be able to shed some light on the inquiry from their records.
  4. Finally, if necessary, post the request in the Communicator, which is, of course, sent to all of our members.

With this Communicator piece, I would like to post three inquiry requests that we have had little success in solving. Hopefully, our readership might be able to offer some pertinent information.

  • Inquiry from a family member:
    As part of family genealogical research, I am looking for information on my husband’s great, great grandfather John Jahn who was brewmaster for the Willows Brewery, San Francisco, and, after the great earthquake and fire of ‘06, the Brooklyn Brewery in Oakland, CA (1907 to 1913).
    I saw from a google search that he is listed in Registration for the 1915 San Francisco Master Brewer’s Convention so I believe he was a member of your organization.
    Two days ago I discovered that the years I could not account for his whereabouts—between his ship’s arrival from Bavaria to NY in 1885 to Wieland’s brewery in San Francisco in 1902—he was a brewer and a foreman in Philadelphia (according to city directories) and he lived in Brewerytown. This is our hometown! I would love to find out where he was employed as a brewer while he lived in Philadelphia from 1888 to 1901. Perhaps he played a role in the Philadelphia convention of 1890?
  • Inquiry from a researcher:
    I am researching a company called Baumbach-Reichel Co. of Milwaukee, Wis. They operated as a brewery equipment and brewing supply dealer between 1898 and 1922 when the company's name was changed to Reichel-Korfmann. The company now exists as RK Rubber (they no longer serve the brewing industry) and I recently met with the current manager of the firm to discuss their history. About all he had was a set of ledger books from 1927 to 1967, which didn't contain the information I was interested in. I was hoping to find a list of clients so I could get an idea of their market penetration. Charles Baumbach died in 1901 so there may not be much available on him but the other prominent names are Ernst Reichel, Ludwig Korfmann, and his son Calvin.
    Do you have any information you can share with me and if not do you have any suggestions as to where I may turn next?
  • Inquiry from a concerned collector:
    I am contacting this organization because I would like to donate or return to a family member a rare Budweiser beer can printed with William Von Minden's image celebrating his brewmaster career at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Houston, Texas....as well as another commemorative can celebrating Charlie Heil's career at the same brewery.

If anyone can provide some insight into any of the above requests, please contact me and I will forward your information to the individual requester. Thanks so much.

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