Bottoms Up

Area Has History Of Brewing And Bottling Beer

Two of the Iroquois beer bottles which prompted the research about breweries and bottlers in Jamestown. A few of the ads found for the Jamestown Brewing Company, the Jamestown Bottling Company, and the Milwaukee Bottling Company. Chautauqua Brew was a product of the Jamestown Brewing Company that was “low in alcohol, rich in extract,” “quenches thirst, acts as a mild tonic, induces sleep,” and “it's good for you and good for your family.”

While sorting through boxes that have been in storage, I rediscovered two cartons of beer bottles, not remembering that these were moved from my grandmother’s home and stored at my place. The bottles were Iroquois beer made in Buffalo. I was intrigued and began thinking about the area breweries and the bottling companies. I am finding that this is a subject that could consume many hours of research.

An early brewery was located, as the newspaper articles explained, in the “suburbs of Jamestown”, just north of the village. According to the 1867 Chautauqua County atlas, a brewery was on North Main Street about where 13th Street is today. This brewery had been owned by Charles Marlowe since about 1869. We know about this mainly from the newspaper stories of the murder which took place at the brewery in 1871. In the 1875 city directory Hardinghhouse and Schmidt had a brewery with an address of 160 Main Street but that was the only year it was listed and the only brewery for a number of years.

In 1877 C. B. Winsor and George H. Ahrens established the Jamestown Bottling Company. They most likely bottled soft drinks, mineral water, and they bottled beer most likely brought in by the hogshead or keg from Buffalo or maybe Dunkirk. One would have to research when breweries where operating in those places. No breweries were listed in the Jamestown city directories until later. The bottling companies that began operating in Jamestown about the same time advertised that they bottled beers from out-of-town breweries.

In 1897, Frank Brandel, a resident of the Buffalo area, Philip Keppeler, as the brew master, and Martin Engel established the Jamestown Brewing Company. It was located on West Eighth Street. They made their own lager beer and were agents for Moffat’s Buffalo Ale and Porter. They bottled their own beer and made and bottled their own soft drinks.

The company continued through prohibition by manufacturing and bottling soft drinks and were dealers in “All Kinds of Beverages, Malt Syrups.”

Other bottling companies came and went over the years with the Jamestown Bottling Company and the Milwaukee Bottling Company lasting the longest time. Over the years they advertised as the bottlers for a variety of beers from other cities.

Although the Jamestown Brewing Company had their brewery on West Eighth Street, there was at least one ad that had Jamestown Brewing Company, Milwaukee Bottling Company, and Jamestown Bottling Company located at the same address of 104 East Second Street, which was the long established address for the Milwaukee Bottling Company.

Depending on who owned the companies at that time, this address may have been just the offices along with the Milwaukee Bottling plant. The owners/proprietors of the various companies changed through the years.

Philip Frederick Simon was for many years the President of the Jamestown Bottling Company, which at the time of his death, in 1939, was located at 601 West Eighth Street across the street from the plant that had been the Jamestown Brewing Company.

How long the Jamestown Brewing Company was in business has not been determined at this point. Much more research can be done to complete the history of these companies in Jamestown. Just after the repeal of prohibition in 1933, Kuhn’s Beer, Inc. is listed in the city directory as then the only brewer in Jamestown.

This company was occupying at least part of the building on West Eighth Street, formerly occupied by the Jamestown Brewing Company. They made “Repeal Beer” with a slogan “The Beer with the Cheer”.