I got a terrific email from a reader over the weekend, and want to pass it along to you. The background is the black-owned brewing company I mentioned in the op-ed piece I wrote last week for the Washington Post.
In 1970, a group of investors, some of whom were African-American, acquired the old Peoples Brewing plant in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Peoples was initially founded in 1911, but like many small breweries it had long since closed its doors, and only came back to life thanks to its new owners.
The new venture, by the way, didn't last long (the early 1970s was a truly bad time to open a new brewing company). Anyway, a woman who read that essay emailed me this weekend with her own bit of Peoples’ history. Her email follows:
One of the partners [in Peoples] was the husband of my best friend. I first saw the beer, Peoples Beer, when my friend and her husband brought a case to a party in 1971 hosted by me and my husband in Evanston, IL, a suburb north of Chicago.
We knew the beer was historic and didn't serve it to the guests on that evening. The beer later traveled to Silver Spring, MD in 1973 when our family moved there.
Over the years, I gave away cans of Peoples, including to a son of the junior high school principal I worked for. Beer can collecting was the rage in the 1970s, and Peoples was featured in some beer can collecting catalogs as a rare beer.
I managed to hold onto one can of Peoples, but sadly, one evening an older relative found the can of Peoples, which I thought I had put away safely in an out-of-the-way cabinet, opened it, and drank it!
So all I have now is an empty Peoples can! I guess an empty Peoples can will not put my grandson through college!
So --- anyone else out there have a can of Peoples?