Local Brewing History – Christian Feigenspan Pride of Newark Brewery

First let me apologize for how my home scanner attempted to handle this wonderful 10” x 13” 36 page brochure from Christian Feigenspan PON (Pride of Newark) Brewery.  This brochure is courtesy of Tom Clark at Berwick Brewing Co.  PON features a Dark Beer, Brown Stout, Porter Imperial Pale Ale, Amber Ale (all in various bottles and cans) as well as a secondary line called Dobler Brewing.  Feigenspan advertized “Oceans of Ambers” to highlight their 30 2-story fermenters with a capacity of 9,800 barrels and their cloistered Monks Cellar with multiple 100-barrel oak casks just for their IPA.  This was clearly a huge and amazing brewery, that even more amazingly, just disappeared as many regional breweries merged.  Rather than try to scan every page, I’ve included some of the more amazing pages and photos…enjoy and thanks again to Tom Clark for sharing another piece of local brewing history.

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About Bil Cord

Founder, owner, author, graphic designer, CEO, CFO, webmaster, president, mechanic and janitor for mybeerbuzz.com. Producer and Co-host of the WILK Friday BeerBuzz live weekly craft beer radio show. Small craft-brewer of the craft beer news sites and one-man-band with way too many instruments to play.

34 comments (click to read or post):

  1. WOW! Awesome mix of older and newer technology. Thanks, Tom!

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  2. Feigenspan didn't just "disappear" - it was bought, during WWII, by it's literal next door neighbor, P. Ballantine and Sons, and the buildings themselves were "merged" into that brewery. Compare the exterior views of the Feigenspan brewery with post-1940's views of Ballantine will show the merged facility. (My Ballantine site has a page of them http://sites.google.com/site/pballantineandsons/aerial-views-freeman-street and I also have some of the same Feigenspan views at http://sites.google.com/site/pballantineandsons/christianfeigenspanbrewingco.2

    Or, this pre-Pro map is an even better illustration of the two companies.
    http://sites.google.com/site/pballantineandsons/1912map

    As noted at the above site, Ballantine brewed some of the Feigenspan brands for awhile after the purchase, and used the brand name for it's economy brand, Munich, in the 1960's.

    Dobler was an Albany, NY brewery that Feiegenspan bought before Prohibition and kept brewing through that period for near beer (Newark didn't brew during Prohibition). The family continued to own and run Dobler even after the Newark plant was sold to Ballantine.

    That's a beautiful booklet that I've only seen in the Newark Public library (where, unfortunately, they didn't have a color Xerox). Great to have them available.

    I notice you've expanded the definition of "local", first to Allentown PA and now to Newark, NJ... that sure opens up the lots of potential...

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  3. Thanks Jess...great info as usual and I can;t wait to check out all of your links. I do keep my definition of local to be fairly narrow...but given the amazing nature of this brochure and Tom Clark's willingness to chare, I thought t was something beer lovers and lovers of brewing history should see.

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  4. have a Christian Feigenspan Brewing Co., Newark, NJ, P.O.N. tray painting of a woman with a signature of A. Asti in pretty good condition. Some wear on the rim. We are wondering what it's value might be. Can anyone help us?

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  5. You might be able to find some value on-line...I always check to see if there are any similar selling on eBay and what they sell for. I'll mention it to Tom next time I see him also.

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  6. I also have a tray with the women's picture on it. Did you ever find out if it is worth anything. If not, I will keep it because my father had a German tavern in Irvington NJ in 1941 and sold the "Pride Of Newark" beer.

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  7. I have four of his old bottles, is there anyone out there who would like to buy them, particial label on two, the other two deteriorated.
    Make an offer, found the in an antic of building I bought in Metuchen NJ in 1971.
    Grogers190@aol.com or respond through my website. www.generogers.com

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  8. I just dug up in my woods in Millington an old Feigenspan PON bottle. The bottle is clear glass. I simply says:

    Feigenspan
    P.O.N.
    Newark, NJ

    I have lived in New Jersey all of my 55 years and have never heard of this brewery. You learn something new every day.

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  9. Cool...thanks Dave. I'll bet it's an interesting bottle.

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  10. I just came back from a walk in the woods this morning near my house in Madison. While waling behind the Public Works section, I found some old, but broken, Feigenspan bottles. Green/clear glass with the imprint Feigenspan P.O.N. Newark NJ. Can you help me date the bottles? Never heard of the brewery before, but after reading the above postings, would love to see it come back one day, along with other old Newark breweries. I read there is a resurgence of interest in local breweries in Newark--true? -Dan

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  11. Thanks Dan. I don't know too much about the Newark are but there definitely IS a resurgence of interest in our local breweries.

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  12. My Dad worked at Feigenspan. I am finding some interesting momentos from the Brewery. He used to chauffeur Mr. Feigenspan also. I have some photos of him with Mr. Feigenspan.

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  13. Very cool EZ...amazing how many people are connected to this brewery.

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  14. I HAVE THREE PERFECT VOL-2 No-4 prints of the feigenspan flash dated april 1940 looking for buyer call tony at 732-787-5473

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  15. my grandfather worked at Ballentine and helped with the "merger" with Feigenspan.
    I have a wooden beer case in excellant condition and a thin cooper plaque that is is covered in gold leaf. It is oblong 7in long and 3 in at the middle. It is pressed/hammered with scroll work with " P.O.N." in lg letter's in the center.
    Looking for a good home for them

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  16. Nice....I'm sure it's a family treasure!

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  17. My father, born 1926, tells me that his father, John Harrold Sr., had the exclusive painting contract for the Feigenspan Brewery. It was probably the early thirties my father was a little tike visiting the brewery with his father. My grandfather, possibly along with other family members, owned the Diamond H Paint company with store fronts and at least one factory. (We still have a photograph of the Diamond H Paint storefront.) His illness and untimely death in the late 1930's saw the demise of the contracts, paint company and factories.

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  18. wow...thank you...very interesting. If you ever come across any photos from the brewery I'd love to see them. mybeerbuzz@gmail.com

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  19. I am a decendant of Christian Feigenspan, thank you for sharing!!!!! Sharon Miller

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  20. Thanks for checking in Sharon. If you have any old photos from the brewery I'd love to see them.

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  21. For years I've had a dark brown bottle embossed:
    "FEIGENSPAN PON BRANCH SOMERVILLE, NJ"
    I'm assuming that means they also had a brewery in Somerville. If that's right, does anyone know when it operated?

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  22. Just found a Feigenspan Light Beer KEG, stainless steel. Even has part of the label, the address on it confuses me though. It says 74 Varick street in Newark and my research skills have shown that brewing and bottling took place on belmont street then freeman street. Do you have any information on when my keg on varick street originated?

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  23. Interesting. I don't know but this is a very active thread so some of my readers may know more. Anyone??

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  24. Does anyone have an old beer recipe from the PON Feigenspan era? I am interested in creating specific brews from this era that follow the Dobler PON tradition.
    scott.dobler@wku.edu

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  25. ... and here is a german connection. Christian Benjamin Feigenspan, the Founder of the brewery was born in Thuringia/Germany and learned to brew at the brewery of my ggg-father Benjamin Kersten before he went to America. Kersten was also the grandfather of Feigenspan. So it seems just funny to follow the way of thuringia-brewing art all the way over the ocean.

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  26. Cool...thanks for the info.

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  27. I have an Munich light lager bottle in nice condition, being empty thou. Any takers.

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  28. I have a painting of the woman that A.Asti painted. On the front of her dress. There is a brooch with the letters P.O.N. The picture also appeared on beer trays, and coasters. The woman in the picture is my Great Grandmother.

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  29. My grandfather was Anthony L. Schueler, brewmaster of Feigenspan Brewery. Before retiring in 1942-3, he lived in the brewer's house on Freeman St.

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  30. Wow how interesting. I'm sure you have some cool pictures of the brewery.

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  31. According to my mother's autobiography, her uncle Henry Rothfuss worked at Feigenspan, and apparently was the person who came up with the slogan "Pride of Newark."

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  32. Hey everyone. I'm happy to have found this site and have enjoyed learning more about my families history in brewing. My name is Wilson Ballantyne(unrelated to Ballantine but always found that coincidental) and I'm also a brewer. I currently work in the cellar at Magic Hat Brewing Co in S. Burlington, VT.
    If any of you ever find any recipes I would be thrilled to take a look and replicate them. I'm also a pretty avid collector of Feigenspan and Dobler items. Would love to see some of the treasures people come across that they are interested in selling. Shoot me an email at wballan1@gmail.com
    I'm also looking for more information on the Feigenspan-Dobler connection and more details. I was born and raised right outside Albany, NY and haven't found much info about their history there.
    Thanks!

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