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PETER BARMANN BREWERY HISTORY

PETER BARMANN BREWERY HISTORY

The Peter Barmann Brewery was located in the City of Kingston New York. The brewery was on the corner of what is now Barmann Avenue and South Clinton Avenue. Small portions of the foundation can still be seen in the area. The brewery has an interesting history that includes mob involvement, secret pipelines through sewers and police raids (The police raids are what caught my interest and brought me into collecting of Kingston and Rondout NY breweriana).

Peter Barmann was born in Bavaria in 1844. Peter was seven years old when his mother died in 1851. Peter and his father, Jacob came to America in 1857 and settled in Rondout New York. After Peter finished school, Peter got a job with his uncle, Balthazer Schwalbach, who conducted the Grand Central Hotel and Jacob's Valley Lager Bier Brewery (established in 1852, Jacob's Valley was a valley that ran down between what is now South Wall St and Wilbur Ave in Kingston) on Union Avenue (now Broadway) near the corner of Pine Grove Avenue. At the Jacob's Valley Lager Bier Brewery, Peter learned the brewing business from his Uncle Balthazer. An 1871 Kingston Directory showed a brewer named B Schwalbach at Union Ave near Greenkill Ave. Balthazer died in 1881 and Peter succeeded in the management of the brewery. Peter being and saavy businessman used "est. 1852" on his logos. Peter streched the truth alittle. It was Schwalbach's brewery that was established in 1852, Barmann was established in 1881.

Peter, seeing the advantages of bottled beer, begun bottling beer by 1884. By 1885 the lager beer brewery had relocated to the foot of Clinton Avenue south of Greenkill Avenue. By 1890, the brewery was producing 5,000 to 6,000 barrels(*). The business prospered and in 1896 "Jacob's Valley Lager Beer" as well as ale and porters, were in increasing production. The brewery also produced "Thuringer Hofbrau" real German beer. In 1898 they were in the area of 8,000 to 10,000 barrels produced(*). And three years later their production was approaching 17,000 barrels(*).

Peter Barmann died on July 20, 1908, and his son, Peter, Jr., who had been the brewmaster assumed the ownership, and the deceased Peter's wife, Susan, became the President, Vice-President and Treasurer of the corporation while Balthasser Barmann assumed the Secretary's position.

The area around the Barmann Brewery became known as the Barmann Grove. At the Barmann Grove, new buildings were added, including the "Elysium", meaning a place of festivity, where parties, meetings and entertainments were held and enjoyed by many community groups. That area is now refered to "Barmann Park" by the old timers in Kingston. In the brewery, new and modern equipment was installed, including gleaming copper tanks used for beer making.

January 20th 1920 (prohibition) set in motion the demise of the Barmann brewery. Prohibition had caused the brewery financial troubles. The brewery had to find ways to ease it's financial burdens. This is when Jack "Legs" Diamond became involved with the Barmann Brewery. John T Diamond (aka - Jack "Legs" Diamond) was a bootlegger and gangster during prohibition that made his home in the Hudson Valley. "Legs" Diamond ran the illicit operations that involved the Barmann Brewery during prohibition. According to a June 2nd 1931 Kingston newspaper, Barmann brewery was raided by the "Flying Squadron" (an "elite" group of revenue agents). Persons with ties to Diamond were arrested during the raid. That seizure had been one of the largest of it's time, a "Million Dollar Seizure". The brewery had been brewing beer and shipping it out to other locations via a pipeline that ran through the sewers of Kingston. There was a 2 1/2 inch rubber hose was laid out through the city sewers during the late night hours when all respectable persons were inside their homes. The pipline had been laid out by plumbers who were hired by "employees" of the brewery. Being plumbers, their work in the sewers would not draw too much attention from passer-byers. The pipeline ran from the brewery to a warehouse several blocks away on Bruyn Avenue. At the warehouse, the beer was either bottled or kegged and then loaded onto waiting trucks to be shipped out to speakeasys in New York City and Albany/Troy. These speakeasys were run by Jack "Legs" Diamond. (The rubber hose pipeline was only discovered during the late seventies, but it was said that everybody knew about it - they just didn't dare mention it, fearing Jack Legs Diamond's wrath.) There is even specualtion that New York State Supreme Court Judge Joseph Force Crater, who disappeared without a trace (presumably on Jack "Legs" Diamonds orders) and was buried in the sub-basement of the brewery during that same era.

There brewery sat on a hill that is riddled with man-made caves. This past March (2004) I was lucky enough to enter one of the caves that had probably been used for ice storage, keg/case storage or for other illict reasons. The new property owners had found an entrance while clearing the land. The entrance dropped approximately 35 feet straight down into the cave. With the assistance of a Kingston Fire Department ladder, I was able to go down and explore. The Cave   was exciting, but I was disappointed that I didn't locate some lost breweriana treasure! By the way, I didn't find the Judge down there!

Even after the repeal of prohibition in 1933 the brewery never recovered. By 1938 the brewery had been bought by the Jacob Ruppert Brewing Company. All operations ceased shortly thereafter.

The CH Evans name was taken over by Barmann after the Evans Brewery closed in Hudson NY(*). See this C H   Evans Ale label, it states "Brewed by Peter Barmann Brewery, Kingston New York".

The remaining large brick building was taken over by Pepsi-Cola Ulster Distributors in 1944. In 1945 the Supreme Beverage Co. appeared from a Kingston City directory listing to be the occupant of this brick building. In 1963 this building was vacant and was later demolished.

Barmann's U Permit number was U-236.

Sources: Edwin Ford (City of Kingston Historian); City of Kingston Directories; Jack "Legs" Diamond Anatomy of a Gangster by Gary Levine (Purple Mountian Press); (*)Beers, Breweries and Breweriana by Will and Sonja Anderson; Kingston Daily Freeman

I am always looking to add to my collection of Barmann Breweriana. If you have anything from Barmann for sale and are willing to part with it, please let me know, I can give it a good home.

   

Barmann Factory depicted in a postcard and old photo of Barmann Brewery building.

Thank you for visiting my page at Angelfire. If you have any other information in regards to this brewery or any others from Kingston or Rondout NY. I would greatly appreciate the help and give the appropriate credit. Please stop by and visit again!

Here is a a Barmann tap knob that is extremely used condition that I found. Do you have a different one? Is it for sale? Back of knob   Front of knob

These are items that I have seen and want!!! Do you have one for sale?? Do you have something from Barmann that I can place on on site?? Let me know!!

I'm searching for one of these. A Schlitz/Barmann Opener marked J J Cuneo (salesman??) on the back Front of opener (26k)  Back of opener (19k)

Here's a multi-purpose ciagr box/beer opener Front of opener   back of opener (26k)

Here's the green Barmann tray. Great graphics on the tray. It dates back from 1901-1908. And here's the Barmann Catskill Mountain tray . This mountain tray is post-pro. I've finally found a Barmann Black tray . It's in poor condition but I'll hold onto it until I find a better one. (If you have one for sale let me know!) I also heard of an oval one, never seen one, don't know anybody who owns one.

I have a copy of a photo of Peter Barmann standing next to a beer wagon that's ready to be loaded onto a train. Notice the dapple gray horses. I'm told that Barmann's wagons were only pulled by dapple gray horses. If you saw the dapple gray horses, you knew that it was a Barmann wagon making its rounds to the local saloons. This copy of the original photo was given to me by the Jack Matthews, who collects local history photographs.   Peter Barmann at Wagon (41k)

This photo is just of a wagon with a driver. The building in the back ground may be part of the old brewery. Barmann Wagon (15k)

Some of the Barmann labels I have.   Quart size Light Beer Label (20k)   Party Size (1/2 Gallon) Fine Beer Label (122k)   Half Beer Ale Label   Dark Beer Label   Large Bock Beer Label   Fine Beer Label   Crate or Barrel labels (130k)  

Here is two bottles with Barmann labels. I believe that both to be real.   Bock bottle (post pro)   Pilsner Bottle (pre pro)   Crate or Barrel labels (130k)

These diecuts sat on top of bars advertising Barmann Fine Beer. There were three different sizes.   Small Barmann diecut (23k)   Medium Barmann diecut   Large Barmann diecut (138k)

Look at this diecut!! Just found her and I need help in ascertaining the date of this diecut. Can you help? Barmanngirl (I know, not a great photo! I'll try to take another one soon.)

I'm looking for any of these calendars!   1912 Barmann Calendar   1913 Barmann Calendar   1914 Barmann Calendar (45k)   1915 Barmann Calendar (52k)

I have one like this. But mine has small tear on the label. :( Crown top bottle with label.   Barmann Pilsner Beer bottle with label (20k)

Here are two of the coasters that I have. I'm looking for the set(4) of square ones. Let me know if you have a set for sale!   Catskill Mountain Coaster   Oval Barmann Coaster

Here are a couple of Barmann Signs.   Reverse Glass  This one is in excellent condition!!

Half Stock Ale   cardboard type material. I'm looking for the Thuringer Hofbrau  one!!

Red Bock Goat   This one is pretty cool looking. It's a goat carrying a wooden beer barrel.

This is one of my newest signs. It's metal and rusted   but I've never seen one before and had to have it.

Here is a really nice flyfisherman poster   that hangs/hung in the Jack Daniels distillery. A former Kingstonian saw it and sent me a photograph after visting my site. Is it still there?

Here is one of my favorite pieces. It's a foam scraper holder showning CH Evans and Barmann's together.   Foam scraper holder   It's hard to see, but the left barrel has "Evans Ale 1786" written across it and the right barrel has "Barmann Fine Beer" written across it. The base has "Barmann Brewery" written across it. I'm looking for an Evans and a Barmann scraper   for it. Do you have one for sale?

This piece is in horrible condition. It was one of my first Barmann pieces. It's a frame from some type of light, possibly neon. Anybody out there have one in working condition??   Light frame

This is a cigarette holder. I'm looking for the blue one!!   Barmann cigarette holder

Here are three wooden crates. The top one is is a half case (12 bottle crate).   Barmann Crates

Here are some items that belong to a serious collector that lives near Kingston. He was nice enough to allow me to come over to his house one evening and photograph some of his collection. THANKS GARY!!!

I guess this was an old Barmann cooler.

This Barmann wall hanging bar light is AWESOME!!

This Barmann plate must have been a gift to patrons. It states "Compliments of the Barmann Brewery" on the back. (May 2002, just added one to my collection. A relative of George Hauck was extremely generous and gave me one. Thank you Don and Scotty!!!)

Great wooden wall thermometer!!

Wooden Barmann crate.

A Barmann keg.

The top of the Barmann keg.

Thanks again Gary!!!

Here is another serious Barmann collector that let me into his home and take pictures of his collection for my site. Thank you Bill!!

By the way... The foamscraper and the 1913 calendar pictured above belong to Bill!

Cool poster! Does anyone know the story behind the turkey? I was told that the turkey   on the poster allegedly represents a former Kingston Mayor? If you know anything about this, PLEASE email me!!

Four different tap knobs.  

Here are some glasses that were offered by Barmann. Two are pilsners and a smaller etched one. I'm still looking for these three glasses   Here is a close up of the smaller etched glass.  

Here is the poster version of the 1912 calendar.  

Thanks again Bill for your time, generosity and help!

I'm continually adding new info and photos to this page, so please check back frequently!!!

Updated March 26th 2005


GO TO
GEORGE HAUCK BREWERY
JACOB HOFFMANN BREWERY
OTHER PAST KINGSTON AND RONDOUT BREWERIES
KINGSTON POLICE PATCHES AND HISTORY
BREIZH, BRETAGNE, BRITTANY

since 9/26/02