Local Brewing History – Christian Feigenspan Pride of Newark Brewery

11 May 2010

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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32 comments (click to read or post):

sam k,  11 May, 2010 22:35  

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

JessKidden 12 May, 2010 06:58  

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.

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...

mybeerbuzz 12 May, 2010 07:57  

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.

Anonymous,  03 June, 2010 22:42  

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?

mybeerbuzz 04 June, 2010 07:17  

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.

Anonymous,  14 August, 2010 14:50  

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.

Gene 15 August, 2010 18:54  

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

Dave 05 September, 2010 13:40  

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

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.

mybeerbuzz 05 September, 2010 14:38  

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

Anonymous,  06 September, 2010 08:30  

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

mybeerbuzz 06 September, 2010 09:52  

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

EZ,  08 September, 2010 00:06  

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.

mybeerbuzz 08 September, 2010 08:30  

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

Anonymous,  05 December, 2011 14:54  

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

Anonymous,  23 June, 2012 13:24  

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

mybeerbuzz 23 June, 2012 18:50  

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

Anonymous,  21 February, 2013 14:38  

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.

mybeerbuzz 21 February, 2013 14:45  

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

Anonymous,  08 April, 2013 15:06  

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

mybeerbuzz 08 April, 2013 15:22  

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

Anonymous,  31 August, 2013 17:46  

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

herstory 25 October, 2013 16:26  

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?

mybeerbuzz 25 October, 2013 17:06  

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

scott dobler,  01 December, 2013 11:57  

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.

Anonymous,  10 August, 2016 04:32  

... 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.

Bil Cord 10 August, 2016 07:29  

Cool...thanks for the info.

Anonymous,  14 November, 2016 21:00  

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

Anonymous,  16 January, 2017 09:38  

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.

Anonymous,  23 May, 2017 10:56  

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.

Bil Cord 23 May, 2017 11:06  

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

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