Saturday, 8 January 2011

German IPA in the USA

Remember that German IPA I mentioned some time back? The one brewed in Bremen. Where there was initially some doubt as to whether it was really brewed in Germany. Then someone found a label of a Bremen-brewed IPA. Well I've spotted another reference to IPA from Bremen. And it being passed off as Bass.

This text is taken from a parliamentary committee, set in preparation for the first Trade Marks Bill in 1862. Bass hasd a particular interest in the legislation being passed, having suffered greatly from imitations and fraud.

"Mr. Thomas Cooper Coxon, called in ; and Examined.

2490. Mr. Moffatt.] You are, I believe, manager in London for the firm of Bass & Company, brewers, of Burton ?—Yes.

2481. Who are very extensively engaged in the manufacture of what is called Bass's pale ale ? —Yes.

2482. Do you use a trade mark in vending that ale ?—Yes (handing in the same).

2483. How long have you used that trade mark ?—We have used it for eight years.

2484. Have you found that other people have adopted a similar trade mark ?—We have found that it has been frequently imitated.

2485. And with the object, as you suppose, that their beer shall pass off as the genuine manufacture of Bass & Company, of Burton ?—No doubt.

2486. Is it your impression that that imitation has been prejudicial to your interests as a manufacturer ?—Very prejudicial.

2487. Can you produce to the Committee the imitations of the label, that they may judge whether the imitation is likely to mislead the public?—Yes (handing in some specimens).

2488. Chairman.] Are all these imitations ?— Yes, all but one; one is genuine.

2489. How do you know that that (pointing to the same) is a forgery ?—That label was sent to us from New Orleans, and this is a letter that we have received from New Orleans:
"We learned a few days since that a spurious Bass & Co.'s ale, purporting to be of your bottling, was in the market, and we hasten to advise you of the result of our investigations in relation thereto, viz., some three weeks since a German house of respectability in this city received a consignment of this ale from Bremen, which they have now on hand, with the exception of a few casks which they have sold to their German friends for private use; they have sold it, not for Bass's ale, but for what it really is, Bremen beer; they say they had never seen the genuine Bass label, and were not aware of the nature of the fraud which had been perpetrated until advised of it by us ; they will not sell any more of the ale, and they have given us the name of the party who is responsible for the fraud and forgery, viz., H. Deetzen, a brewer and bottler of Bremen, Germany. We enclose one of the counterfeit labels, which you will observe is a very clever imitation, and well calculated to deceive even those who are familiar with the genuine. The omission of the word 'by' after export will enable those who are advised of it to detect it readily. You will also observe, on scrutinising closely, the letters 'B' and 'S' on the margin of the inner circle, opposite the lower corners of the triangle, which are not in the true label. We hope you will be able to protect your rights, and those of Messrs. Bass & Co. in this matter, and punish the perpetrator of the forgery as he deserves." 
The others were forged at Cadiz.

2490. Mr. Moffatt.] Is this fraudulent use of Bass & Company's label generally practised wherever Bass's beer is known ?—It is very general.

2491. Have you met with any cases of a similar kind in other parts of the world ?—Yes. I have one label here that was forged in Paris; another that was forged in Dublin; another at Glasgow; and another at Liverpool."
"Reports from Committees, vol 7." Report from the Select Committee on the Trade Marks Bill, 1862, page 114

The problems of having a well-known name, eh? It seems quite an elaborate fraud, shipping counterfeit Bass all the way to New Orleans. I can understand brewers doing it for their local market but for export? I wonder what sort of barrels they used. Because surely German barrels would have been a different size to British ones.

Something funny has just occurred to me. The trademark of another Bremen brewery. One rather better-known. It has certain similarities with the one on the IPA label above. I wonder if there's any connection? Beck did take over the Hemelinger Actien Brauerei in the 1920's. Was that a renamed Erste Norddeutsche Actien Ale-und-Porter-Brauerei? (Just dug a bit more. Yes it was.)

I've also discovered that there was something called Englische Bierbrauerei Deetjen et Claussen operating in Bremen in the early 19th century. I wonder if Deetzen was really Deetjen? If you've any further information about these Bremen breweries, please let me know.


Arctic Alchemy said...

Interesting that this was published in 1862 and testimony stated that they(Bass) had been using the Trade Mark for some 8 years previous( 1854) and 22 years before it was considered the "first" trade mark #1, which helps my assertion that trade marks were establish long before 1876 , maybe by 40 years or so. Also noteworthy is the amount of fraud that existed in the mid 19th century as labels counterfeited in other cities in Europe, imitation is the highest form of flattery, a compliment to just how good Bass ale , and other Burton brewers were perceived thought the world.

Pivní Filosof said...

Erste Norddeutsche Actien Ale-und-Porter-Brauerei?
Englische Bierbrauerei?

Is it just me or doesn't this show that even in Germany at the time there was a difference between Ale and Beer?

Martyn Cornell said...

The key-on-a-red-background is from the Bremen arms, so that's probably the reason why two brewers from Bremen each used it on their labels. Chris, you're right that many trademarks in the UK were in use long before the Trade Mark Registration Act 1875 - the red triangle was, of course, merely the first one to be registered under that act.

Barm said...

I was just about to post what Martyn did. Note that the key on the Erste Norddeutsche label is the same as the official Bremen arms. Beck's later reversed the direction and changed the shape of the key to avoid upsetting the city council.

Barm said...

Deetjen was still operating in 1880, according to Klaus Ehm's site.

I've just found out that Beck's also brewed Stout. "Finest German Double Brown Stout" to be exact. The label on looks late 19th/early 20th century, to hazard a guess. Possibly older and just in very good nick.