Philly beers brought back from the dead

Ür Brewery, opening later in 2019 in Lansdale, has registered trademarks for these brands:

Baltz Beer. That’s Baltz, not Blatz. It was brewed at 31st and Thompson streets by one of Brewerytown’s large breweries, J & P Baltz managed to survive Prohibition and produced what it proclaimed was “Queen of All.”

Charles Maass Weiss Beer. A rare wheat beer-only brewery, it operated for only 18 years until 1892 on 3rd Street just above Girard Avenue.

Hornung’s White Bock. The flagship of the Jacob Hornung Brewing Company (22nd and Clearfield, closed 1953), apparently named after the color of the goat, not the color of the beer.

John Wagner’s Lager Beer. Possibly the single most important beer in the history of Philadelphia, it’s widely considered the first lager beer made in America.

Robert Hare’s Colonial Porter. Hare was the son of a British brewer who opened a porter brewery near 2nd and Callowhill streets in 1774. George Washington was a regular customer.

Robert Smith’s India Pale Ale. Thought to be the first IPA brewed in Philadelphia, in the late 1880s.

Robert Smith’s Ale. Smith was trained at the Bass Brewery in England, and opened his own brewery in 1832 on Noble Street below Spring Garden in Northern Liberties. The brand was later made by Schmidt’s.

Tiger Head Ale. A Robert Smith brand that was brewed till the early 1980s, by Schmidt’s. I remember drinking it from cans.

Tiger Head Cream Ale. Another of Robert Smith’s brands. The brewery also made XXX, Brown Stout and something called Old Musty, which sounds great!

Valley Forge Beer. The flagship of Norristown’s old Adam Scheidt Brewing Co., later brewed by Schmidt’s, it cost $7 for a case of one-pint returnable bottles (including the deposit). Old-timers will remember the brewery’s Ram’s Head Ale and its superior Prior Double Dark.

Sources: “Philadelphia Beer” by Rich Wagner; Pa. Brewery Historians; Tavern Trove; “American Breweries II and III” by Dale Van Weiren; OldBreweries.com.  

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  • Vince
    January 3, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    I remember Ram’s Head but not Tiger Head.

  • Lou Farrell
    January 6, 2019 at 9:45 am

    Tiger head was the first cream ale. A delicate style, difficult to make. Corn in the mash, ale fermentation, dropped and kraeusened. There are a lot of variables to balance if you want that clean, dry flavor.

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