Independent Brewing Company

March 11, 2014

The company was incorporated on January 7, 1905 (date of its charter) but Independent took possession of the breweries on February 10, 1905. Unlike the Pittsburgh Brewing Company, whose breweries were located primarily within the Pittsburgh, the Independent Brewing Company of Pittsburgh's breweries were outside of Pittsburgh and in other counties. The Independent Brewing Company dissolved in 1933

Some publications give February 1905 as the formation of the company. This has occurred with the formation date of Pittsburgh Brewing Company of 1899 as well. The February date in this case is possibly the date it was published in a newspaper.

The Foundation of the Company

American Brewers Review, Volume 19, 1905 reported that IBC took possession of the following 16 breweries on February 10, 1905:
American Brewing of Bennett (Millvale)
Anterton Brewing of Beaver Falls
Anton Brewing of Monongahela City
Butler Brewing of Butler
Charleroi Brewing of Charleroi
D. Lutz & Son of Allegheny
Duquesne Brewery of Pittsburgh
First National Brewing of McKees Rocks (Stowe Township)
Gambrinus Brewing of New Kensington
Highland Brewing of East Liberty (under construction)
Hill Top Brewing of Mt. Oliver
Hoehl Brewing of Millvale
Home Brewing of Braddock
Homestead Brewing of Homestead
Monessen Brewing of Monessen (Rostraver Township)
New Kensington Brewing of New Kensington

Marcus Aaron and John D. Nicholson were members of the executive board of Pittsburgh Brewing and promoted the formation of Independent Brewing. The
Review had February 10, 1905 as when the plants were taken over by IBC, but the Review also listed July 1, 1904 as the take-over date. The Review cited Pittsburgh Brewing as the “old company” and Independent Brewing as the “new company”, making the inference that PBC had a financial stake in IBC. The Review also noted that ICB would be ”independent” of PCB, leading one to venture how Independent came to have that name. The securities of each company were exactly the same as the formation of Independent was to merge with Pittsburgh in the near future.

See Aaron & Co. Malt House, Louis Israel in the North Side page. The Aaron family had connections to the American Malting Company of New York.

Thomas Jefferson Connection
George B. Nicholson was a son of John D. He married Flora Randolph Mason of Fredericksburg, Va. on April 12, 1917 in Washington, DC. They moved to their home at 153 Riverview Avenue, Pittsburgh on the North Side. What is noteworthy of this marriage and residence is that Mrs. Nicholson was the great granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson.

Company Officers

American Brewers Review, Volume 17, 1903 reported on the creation of a new brewery consolidation but did not identify it as the Independent. The Review indicated that 21 breweries would form the new concern but did not identify them.
John Benz (of Duquesne Brewing), President
Charles E. Succop, Secretary & Treasurer
James P. Mulvhill, General Manager

Brewer’s Journal & Barley, Malt and Hop Trades’ Reporter, Volume 41, published September 1, 1917 reported the new officers for the Independent Brewing Company to be:

WP Hansell, President
James P. Mulvilhil, Vice President and Sales Manager
C. H. Friend Vice President
J. H. Friday, Treasurer
H. C. Baxmeier, Secretary

For reference, the officers of Duquesne were:
Henry Miller (February 6, 1857 – August 19, 1901), President
He was a furniture salesman at 1312 E Carson St
Fredrick N. Stucky
John Benz (d. June 8, 1939 at 87)
Death notice for:
Peter Hermes & Justus Mulert Sr.

I have no information if these two groups of men had a common business interest prior to the forming of Independent, but I find it interesting that one would form a brewing company whereas the other formed a conglomerate. This would be similar to having a company buyout all of Pittsburgh Brewpubs.

The Independent Brewing Company Portfolio

The breweries indicated * were the original 14
The following 17 breweries were active with Independent for the years listed:

1904 – 1920 *Anderton Brewery, Beaver Falls, Beaver Co. (3)---

1904 – 1912 & 1918 – 1920 *Butler Brewing, Butler, Butler Co. (2)---

1905 – 1920 *American, (Bennett), Allegheny Co. (2)
1904 – 1920 Chartiers Valley, Carnegie, Allegheny Co. (1952) (1)
1905 – 1933 *Duquesne, Pittsburgh Allegheny Co. (1972) (1) (2)---
1904 – 1920 *First National, McKees Rocks, Allegheny Co. (1951) (1)---
1904 – 1920 *Hill Top, Mount Oliver, Allegheny Co. (3)---
1904 – 0000 *Hoehl, Millvale, Allegheny Co.
1904 – 1920 *Home Brewery, Braddock, Alleghany Co. (1937) (1) (4)---
1904 – 1920 *Homestead, Homestead, Allegheny Co. (1953) (1) (2)---
1904 – 1909 *Lutz & Son, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Allegheny Co. (5)---
1904 – 1920 Gambrinus, New Kensington, Allegheny Co. (2)---
1904 – 1920 *New Kensington, New Kensington, Allegheny Co. (2)---

1904 – 1920 *Charleroi, Charleroi, Washington Co. (2)---
1904 – 1920 *Globe (Anton), Monongahela, Washington Co. (2)
1905 – 1920 *Monessen, Monessen, Washington Co. (3)---

1904 – 1920 Loyalhanna, Latrobe, Westmoreland Co. (3)
Moody’s Analyses of Investments, Volume 2, 1918, gives April 1907 when Independent acquired Loyalhanna.

The Congressional edition, Volume 6514 of the United States listed 16, which could have been a typo. I can understand the 1904 dates preceding the 1905 merger date but I can find little supporting it.

NOTES for The Independent Brewing Company Portfolio
(1) The date at the end of each of the breweries listed above is the closure date o f the brewery after prohibition.

(2) Denotes breweries that continued operating during prohibition producing cereal beverages, as reported in the
Brewers Journal, Volumes 52-53 of 1919.Lutz was not listed in the Journal.

(3) Denotes breweries closed at the onset of prohibition.

(4) Home Brewery under Independent closed in 1902 and re-opened as General Braddock in 1933 as an independent brewery.

(5) Lutz, as the Lion Brewery, North Side, was closed in 1909.

Additional Notes on the above Breweries

American Brewers’ Review, Volume 19, 1905 listed two breweries in New Kensington, which yields 17 breweries. Third-party authors may have taken New Kensington as a single brewery giving 16 breweries to the list.

Anderton Brewery Note
James Anderton came to Beaver Fall in 1867 and built the Spring Water Brewery. His first product was an ale. James and Jonathan Anderton founded the brewery. The name was changed to Anderton Brewing Company in 1891 when John and W.T. Anderton became owners. The brewery became a part of Independent Brewing Company on February 9, 1905.

Anton Brewing Note
The American Brewers Reviews of 1905 (Volume 19) indicated that the Independent Brewing Company bought the Fred M. & Anton Brewing Company of Monongahela in 1899.

Highland Brewing Company
Thomas & Richland Avenues (North-East corner)
Their charter was filed with the Pennsylvania Secretary of State has the corporation enrolled on September 10, 1902.
American Brewers’ Review, Volume 19, 1905 had Highland being partially completed in 1905 and as a branch of the Independent Brewing Co.

Hoehl Brewing
American Brewers’ Review, Volume 19, 1905, listed Hoehl being acquired by Independent.

Loyalhanna Brewery Note
August Schneider was a brewer in Germany and Switzerland. He came to America on May 1, 1880, arriving in Philadelphia. Eventually he came to Millvale and was brewmaster for the Enz Brewing Company. He then founded the American Brewing Company, above. After four years he went to Latrobe along with his partner Philipp Herman, founded Loyalhanna Brewery

US Patent Registrations

The following Trade Marks were filed with the US Patent Office on May 22, 1915, as shown in the
Official Gazette of August 3, 1915:

The company emblem using the letters IBC (Serial No. 86,823) was filed and claimed to have been in use since January 1912.

The image of a man plowing with horses (Serial No. 86,824) was filed and claimed to have been in use since January 1912.

The image of a toy top (Serial No. 86,825) was filed and claimed to have been use since July 1904.

The words and image for SILVER TOP (Serial No. 86,826) was filed and claimed to have been in use since July 1904.

The Common Mistake

It is common to mistake the Independent Brewing Company for the Duquesne Brewery. The Duquesne Brewery, like the others was a part of the family of breweries under the parent company of Independent Brewing. Third parties often interchange the two when citing dates, which is misleading. The main office for Independent was the Duquesne Brewery site on Pittsburgh’s South Side.