New recipes

6,000 Cans of Beer on the Wall

6,000 Cans of Beer on the Wall

It’s a collection thirty-six years in the making — David Goett recently debuted his 6,000-can beer can collection to the public. Goett has dusted off his cans to display them as a permanent exhibition, filling the walls of two rooms at the First Street Alehouse in Livermore, Calif.

A natural collector, Goett began accumulating baseball cards as a kid, but his passion for beer cans began in 1976 when he was a junior at the University of Connecticut. Over the years, both his travels and trades with fellow beer enthusiasts have attributed to a collection with cans from 96 different countries. "It is a unique collection," said Goett to the Sacramento Bee. "I wanted to find a venue to show them and for everyone to appreciate them."

Goett is one of 3,500 members of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America, which gathers for an annual “can”-vention to celebrate all things beer-related, cans in particular. Some members own vintage cans valued at tens of thousands of dollars, but Goett estimates his most valuable can to be worth only a couple hundred of dollars.

With a diverse collection of steel and aluminum cans, cone tops and flat tops, pull tabs, it’s hard to choose the most unique can from the bunch. One notable can is a rare Duquesne Brewing Co. cone-top, olive drab, camouflage can from World War II.

To amass a collection so large, one would have to drink one beer every day for sixteen and a half years. While Goett himself didn’t drink the contents of all his 6,000 cans, he claims to have consumed quite a bit of it himself. "Drinking the beer is part of the fun in collecting the cans," Goett said.

While his collection is the largest North American collection on display, Philadelphia beer can aficionado Jeff Lebo currently holds the record for the largest beer collection in the country with over 80,000 cans.


50,000 cans of beer on the wall — and other memorabilia — at Water Street Brewery

The first thing patrons see at Water Street Brewery &mdash any of the four locations &mdash is beer being brewed. Think of it as dinner and a show.

"This is theater for our restaurants," said R.C. Schmidt, whose many restaurant holdings started with RC's Bar in 1974.

On Nov. 11, 1987, Schmidt opened the original Water Street Brewery at 1101 N. Water St. He's since followed up with three more &mdash Delafield, Grafton and, most recently, Oak Creek.

At each, Schmidt has added a sideshow of impressive vintage breweriana. The four locations display hundreds of brewery-related memorabilia items, from simple bottle openers to an ornate, hand-carved wooden sign for A. Schumacher's Potosi Lager Beer dating back to 1886.

Sprinkled among the brewpubs are:

■ 50,000 vintage beer cans of those, 6,000 are arranged alphabetically in 25 wood-framed displays

■ 1,300 beer tap knobs and handles

■ 825 bottle and can openers, some displayed in wood frames

■ 25 original brewing history lithographs

■ 450 large and miniature beer bottles

"We go to these auctions," Schmidt said. "You don't know this stuff exists."

He didn't know this stuff existed before he needed décor for his first brewpub. He does now. Schmidt has been collecting for so long, people often come to him. While renovating an old building, a man found a partial wall highlighting the Schlitz Brewery in mosaic tiles and asked Schmidt if he wanted to buy it. Schmidt jumped at the offer. A doctor from Vermont sold Schmidt 50 Wisconsin beer trays he had collected.

Early on, Schmidt made the decision to collect only Wisconsin breweriana and to focus on pre-Prohibition items, Schmidt said.

His newest brewpub, at 140 W. Town Square Way in Oak Creek, welcomes diners with a one-of-a-kind overhead Pabst sign and a backroom decorated with vintage corner signs &mdash the type that bars would place at the front door so patrons could see the brewery name from either side of the corner.

The Grafton location, 2615 Washington St., concentrates on vintage pieces from northern Wisconsin breweries, such as signs from the former Hochgreve Brewery in Green Bay and Storck Beer from Slinger.

The Delafield brewpub, 3191 Golf Road, is the keeper of the wooden Potosi sign along with a Potosi neon sign, part of the large can collection, large-scale neon signs and a tap knob display.

Miller Brewing artifacts are the most difficult to find, Schmidt said, and he's saved at least one of them for the flagship location downtown. That's where diners will find industrial lithographs from Blatz, Schlitz, Pabst and Miller.

"It is the beer capital of the world," he said.

The lithographs were created in the early industrial era and were a way for brewery owners to boost sales and boast a little bit, said Matt Schmidt, director of operations.

"You want to show off your prowess," Matt Schmidt said of the lithograph's intention.

He often joins R.C. in the hunt at auctions. A few of R.C.'s biggest finds come from the Herb and Helen Haydock collection, part of which was housed at the former Oldenberg Brewery in Kentucky. More of the Wisconsin Rapids couple's belongings are at Minhas Brewery in Monroe.

Diners are offered the chance to learn about the collection one bite at a time. Each year, the Water Street Brewery menu highlights a piece of the memorabilia on the menu cover &mdash menus, coincidentally, made to mimic the Green Sheet.

Soon diners will be able to view the pieces as they might in a museum. Water Street Brewery plans to start a self-directed Beer Memorabilia Tour for its four locations in 2016. Visitors will get a brochure identifying pieces and the collectibles' history.

ABOUT THIS FEATURE

This Is Us is a recurring feature in the Journal Sentinel Green Sheet, with stories on the people, places and things reflecting the spirit and heart of our community.

About Kathy Flanigan

Tap Milwaukee reporter Kathy Flanigan covers entertainment news, events and our beer culture. She is the author of Weekend Guide, a newsletter with best bets for weekend activities.


50,000 cans of beer on the wall — and other memorabilia — at Water Street Brewery

The first thing patrons see at Water Street Brewery &mdash any of the four locations &mdash is beer being brewed. Think of it as dinner and a show.

"This is theater for our restaurants," said R.C. Schmidt, whose many restaurant holdings started with RC's Bar in 1974.

On Nov. 11, 1987, Schmidt opened the original Water Street Brewery at 1101 N. Water St. He's since followed up with three more &mdash Delafield, Grafton and, most recently, Oak Creek.

At each, Schmidt has added a sideshow of impressive vintage breweriana. The four locations display hundreds of brewery-related memorabilia items, from simple bottle openers to an ornate, hand-carved wooden sign for A. Schumacher's Potosi Lager Beer dating back to 1886.

Sprinkled among the brewpubs are:

■ 50,000 vintage beer cans of those, 6,000 are arranged alphabetically in 25 wood-framed displays

■ 1,300 beer tap knobs and handles

■ 825 bottle and can openers, some displayed in wood frames

■ 25 original brewing history lithographs

■ 450 large and miniature beer bottles

"We go to these auctions," Schmidt said. "You don't know this stuff exists."

He didn't know this stuff existed before he needed décor for his first brewpub. He does now. Schmidt has been collecting for so long, people often come to him. While renovating an old building, a man found a partial wall highlighting the Schlitz Brewery in mosaic tiles and asked Schmidt if he wanted to buy it. Schmidt jumped at the offer. A doctor from Vermont sold Schmidt 50 Wisconsin beer trays he had collected.

Early on, Schmidt made the decision to collect only Wisconsin breweriana and to focus on pre-Prohibition items, Schmidt said.

His newest brewpub, at 140 W. Town Square Way in Oak Creek, welcomes diners with a one-of-a-kind overhead Pabst sign and a backroom decorated with vintage corner signs &mdash the type that bars would place at the front door so patrons could see the brewery name from either side of the corner.

The Grafton location, 2615 Washington St., concentrates on vintage pieces from northern Wisconsin breweries, such as signs from the former Hochgreve Brewery in Green Bay and Storck Beer from Slinger.

The Delafield brewpub, 3191 Golf Road, is the keeper of the wooden Potosi sign along with a Potosi neon sign, part of the large can collection, large-scale neon signs and a tap knob display.

Miller Brewing artifacts are the most difficult to find, Schmidt said, and he's saved at least one of them for the flagship location downtown. That's where diners will find industrial lithographs from Blatz, Schlitz, Pabst and Miller.

"It is the beer capital of the world," he said.

The lithographs were created in the early industrial era and were a way for brewery owners to boost sales and boast a little bit, said Matt Schmidt, director of operations.

"You want to show off your prowess," Matt Schmidt said of the lithograph's intention.

He often joins R.C. in the hunt at auctions. A few of R.C.'s biggest finds come from the Herb and Helen Haydock collection, part of which was housed at the former Oldenberg Brewery in Kentucky. More of the Wisconsin Rapids couple's belongings are at Minhas Brewery in Monroe.

Diners are offered the chance to learn about the collection one bite at a time. Each year, the Water Street Brewery menu highlights a piece of the memorabilia on the menu cover &mdash menus, coincidentally, made to mimic the Green Sheet.

Soon diners will be able to view the pieces as they might in a museum. Water Street Brewery plans to start a self-directed Beer Memorabilia Tour for its four locations in 2016. Visitors will get a brochure identifying pieces and the collectibles' history.

ABOUT THIS FEATURE

This Is Us is a recurring feature in the Journal Sentinel Green Sheet, with stories on the people, places and things reflecting the spirit and heart of our community.

About Kathy Flanigan

Tap Milwaukee reporter Kathy Flanigan covers entertainment news, events and our beer culture. She is the author of Weekend Guide, a newsletter with best bets for weekend activities.


50,000 cans of beer on the wall — and other memorabilia — at Water Street Brewery

The first thing patrons see at Water Street Brewery &mdash any of the four locations &mdash is beer being brewed. Think of it as dinner and a show.

"This is theater for our restaurants," said R.C. Schmidt, whose many restaurant holdings started with RC's Bar in 1974.

On Nov. 11, 1987, Schmidt opened the original Water Street Brewery at 1101 N. Water St. He's since followed up with three more &mdash Delafield, Grafton and, most recently, Oak Creek.

At each, Schmidt has added a sideshow of impressive vintage breweriana. The four locations display hundreds of brewery-related memorabilia items, from simple bottle openers to an ornate, hand-carved wooden sign for A. Schumacher's Potosi Lager Beer dating back to 1886.

Sprinkled among the brewpubs are:

■ 50,000 vintage beer cans of those, 6,000 are arranged alphabetically in 25 wood-framed displays

■ 1,300 beer tap knobs and handles

■ 825 bottle and can openers, some displayed in wood frames

■ 25 original brewing history lithographs

■ 450 large and miniature beer bottles

"We go to these auctions," Schmidt said. "You don't know this stuff exists."

He didn't know this stuff existed before he needed décor for his first brewpub. He does now. Schmidt has been collecting for so long, people often come to him. While renovating an old building, a man found a partial wall highlighting the Schlitz Brewery in mosaic tiles and asked Schmidt if he wanted to buy it. Schmidt jumped at the offer. A doctor from Vermont sold Schmidt 50 Wisconsin beer trays he had collected.

Early on, Schmidt made the decision to collect only Wisconsin breweriana and to focus on pre-Prohibition items, Schmidt said.

His newest brewpub, at 140 W. Town Square Way in Oak Creek, welcomes diners with a one-of-a-kind overhead Pabst sign and a backroom decorated with vintage corner signs &mdash the type that bars would place at the front door so patrons could see the brewery name from either side of the corner.

The Grafton location, 2615 Washington St., concentrates on vintage pieces from northern Wisconsin breweries, such as signs from the former Hochgreve Brewery in Green Bay and Storck Beer from Slinger.

The Delafield brewpub, 3191 Golf Road, is the keeper of the wooden Potosi sign along with a Potosi neon sign, part of the large can collection, large-scale neon signs and a tap knob display.

Miller Brewing artifacts are the most difficult to find, Schmidt said, and he's saved at least one of them for the flagship location downtown. That's where diners will find industrial lithographs from Blatz, Schlitz, Pabst and Miller.

"It is the beer capital of the world," he said.

The lithographs were created in the early industrial era and were a way for brewery owners to boost sales and boast a little bit, said Matt Schmidt, director of operations.

"You want to show off your prowess," Matt Schmidt said of the lithograph's intention.

He often joins R.C. in the hunt at auctions. A few of R.C.'s biggest finds come from the Herb and Helen Haydock collection, part of which was housed at the former Oldenberg Brewery in Kentucky. More of the Wisconsin Rapids couple's belongings are at Minhas Brewery in Monroe.

Diners are offered the chance to learn about the collection one bite at a time. Each year, the Water Street Brewery menu highlights a piece of the memorabilia on the menu cover &mdash menus, coincidentally, made to mimic the Green Sheet.

Soon diners will be able to view the pieces as they might in a museum. Water Street Brewery plans to start a self-directed Beer Memorabilia Tour for its four locations in 2016. Visitors will get a brochure identifying pieces and the collectibles' history.

ABOUT THIS FEATURE

This Is Us is a recurring feature in the Journal Sentinel Green Sheet, with stories on the people, places and things reflecting the spirit and heart of our community.

About Kathy Flanigan

Tap Milwaukee reporter Kathy Flanigan covers entertainment news, events and our beer culture. She is the author of Weekend Guide, a newsletter with best bets for weekend activities.


50,000 cans of beer on the wall — and other memorabilia — at Water Street Brewery

The first thing patrons see at Water Street Brewery &mdash any of the four locations &mdash is beer being brewed. Think of it as dinner and a show.

"This is theater for our restaurants," said R.C. Schmidt, whose many restaurant holdings started with RC's Bar in 1974.

On Nov. 11, 1987, Schmidt opened the original Water Street Brewery at 1101 N. Water St. He's since followed up with three more &mdash Delafield, Grafton and, most recently, Oak Creek.

At each, Schmidt has added a sideshow of impressive vintage breweriana. The four locations display hundreds of brewery-related memorabilia items, from simple bottle openers to an ornate, hand-carved wooden sign for A. Schumacher's Potosi Lager Beer dating back to 1886.

Sprinkled among the brewpubs are:

■ 50,000 vintage beer cans of those, 6,000 are arranged alphabetically in 25 wood-framed displays

■ 1,300 beer tap knobs and handles

■ 825 bottle and can openers, some displayed in wood frames

■ 25 original brewing history lithographs

■ 450 large and miniature beer bottles

"We go to these auctions," Schmidt said. "You don't know this stuff exists."

He didn't know this stuff existed before he needed décor for his first brewpub. He does now. Schmidt has been collecting for so long, people often come to him. While renovating an old building, a man found a partial wall highlighting the Schlitz Brewery in mosaic tiles and asked Schmidt if he wanted to buy it. Schmidt jumped at the offer. A doctor from Vermont sold Schmidt 50 Wisconsin beer trays he had collected.

Early on, Schmidt made the decision to collect only Wisconsin breweriana and to focus on pre-Prohibition items, Schmidt said.

His newest brewpub, at 140 W. Town Square Way in Oak Creek, welcomes diners with a one-of-a-kind overhead Pabst sign and a backroom decorated with vintage corner signs &mdash the type that bars would place at the front door so patrons could see the brewery name from either side of the corner.

The Grafton location, 2615 Washington St., concentrates on vintage pieces from northern Wisconsin breweries, such as signs from the former Hochgreve Brewery in Green Bay and Storck Beer from Slinger.

The Delafield brewpub, 3191 Golf Road, is the keeper of the wooden Potosi sign along with a Potosi neon sign, part of the large can collection, large-scale neon signs and a tap knob display.

Miller Brewing artifacts are the most difficult to find, Schmidt said, and he's saved at least one of them for the flagship location downtown. That's where diners will find industrial lithographs from Blatz, Schlitz, Pabst and Miller.

"It is the beer capital of the world," he said.

The lithographs were created in the early industrial era and were a way for brewery owners to boost sales and boast a little bit, said Matt Schmidt, director of operations.

"You want to show off your prowess," Matt Schmidt said of the lithograph's intention.

He often joins R.C. in the hunt at auctions. A few of R.C.'s biggest finds come from the Herb and Helen Haydock collection, part of which was housed at the former Oldenberg Brewery in Kentucky. More of the Wisconsin Rapids couple's belongings are at Minhas Brewery in Monroe.

Diners are offered the chance to learn about the collection one bite at a time. Each year, the Water Street Brewery menu highlights a piece of the memorabilia on the menu cover &mdash menus, coincidentally, made to mimic the Green Sheet.

Soon diners will be able to view the pieces as they might in a museum. Water Street Brewery plans to start a self-directed Beer Memorabilia Tour for its four locations in 2016. Visitors will get a brochure identifying pieces and the collectibles' history.

ABOUT THIS FEATURE

This Is Us is a recurring feature in the Journal Sentinel Green Sheet, with stories on the people, places and things reflecting the spirit and heart of our community.

About Kathy Flanigan

Tap Milwaukee reporter Kathy Flanigan covers entertainment news, events and our beer culture. She is the author of Weekend Guide, a newsletter with best bets for weekend activities.


50,000 cans of beer on the wall — and other memorabilia — at Water Street Brewery

The first thing patrons see at Water Street Brewery &mdash any of the four locations &mdash is beer being brewed. Think of it as dinner and a show.

"This is theater for our restaurants," said R.C. Schmidt, whose many restaurant holdings started with RC's Bar in 1974.

On Nov. 11, 1987, Schmidt opened the original Water Street Brewery at 1101 N. Water St. He's since followed up with three more &mdash Delafield, Grafton and, most recently, Oak Creek.

At each, Schmidt has added a sideshow of impressive vintage breweriana. The four locations display hundreds of brewery-related memorabilia items, from simple bottle openers to an ornate, hand-carved wooden sign for A. Schumacher's Potosi Lager Beer dating back to 1886.

Sprinkled among the brewpubs are:

■ 50,000 vintage beer cans of those, 6,000 are arranged alphabetically in 25 wood-framed displays

■ 1,300 beer tap knobs and handles

■ 825 bottle and can openers, some displayed in wood frames

■ 25 original brewing history lithographs

■ 450 large and miniature beer bottles

"We go to these auctions," Schmidt said. "You don't know this stuff exists."

He didn't know this stuff existed before he needed décor for his first brewpub. He does now. Schmidt has been collecting for so long, people often come to him. While renovating an old building, a man found a partial wall highlighting the Schlitz Brewery in mosaic tiles and asked Schmidt if he wanted to buy it. Schmidt jumped at the offer. A doctor from Vermont sold Schmidt 50 Wisconsin beer trays he had collected.

Early on, Schmidt made the decision to collect only Wisconsin breweriana and to focus on pre-Prohibition items, Schmidt said.

His newest brewpub, at 140 W. Town Square Way in Oak Creek, welcomes diners with a one-of-a-kind overhead Pabst sign and a backroom decorated with vintage corner signs &mdash the type that bars would place at the front door so patrons could see the brewery name from either side of the corner.

The Grafton location, 2615 Washington St., concentrates on vintage pieces from northern Wisconsin breweries, such as signs from the former Hochgreve Brewery in Green Bay and Storck Beer from Slinger.

The Delafield brewpub, 3191 Golf Road, is the keeper of the wooden Potosi sign along with a Potosi neon sign, part of the large can collection, large-scale neon signs and a tap knob display.

Miller Brewing artifacts are the most difficult to find, Schmidt said, and he's saved at least one of them for the flagship location downtown. That's where diners will find industrial lithographs from Blatz, Schlitz, Pabst and Miller.

"It is the beer capital of the world," he said.

The lithographs were created in the early industrial era and were a way for brewery owners to boost sales and boast a little bit, said Matt Schmidt, director of operations.

"You want to show off your prowess," Matt Schmidt said of the lithograph's intention.

He often joins R.C. in the hunt at auctions. A few of R.C.'s biggest finds come from the Herb and Helen Haydock collection, part of which was housed at the former Oldenberg Brewery in Kentucky. More of the Wisconsin Rapids couple's belongings are at Minhas Brewery in Monroe.

Diners are offered the chance to learn about the collection one bite at a time. Each year, the Water Street Brewery menu highlights a piece of the memorabilia on the menu cover &mdash menus, coincidentally, made to mimic the Green Sheet.

Soon diners will be able to view the pieces as they might in a museum. Water Street Brewery plans to start a self-directed Beer Memorabilia Tour for its four locations in 2016. Visitors will get a brochure identifying pieces and the collectibles' history.

ABOUT THIS FEATURE

This Is Us is a recurring feature in the Journal Sentinel Green Sheet, with stories on the people, places and things reflecting the spirit and heart of our community.

About Kathy Flanigan

Tap Milwaukee reporter Kathy Flanigan covers entertainment news, events and our beer culture. She is the author of Weekend Guide, a newsletter with best bets for weekend activities.


50,000 cans of beer on the wall — and other memorabilia — at Water Street Brewery

The first thing patrons see at Water Street Brewery &mdash any of the four locations &mdash is beer being brewed. Think of it as dinner and a show.

"This is theater for our restaurants," said R.C. Schmidt, whose many restaurant holdings started with RC's Bar in 1974.

On Nov. 11, 1987, Schmidt opened the original Water Street Brewery at 1101 N. Water St. He's since followed up with three more &mdash Delafield, Grafton and, most recently, Oak Creek.

At each, Schmidt has added a sideshow of impressive vintage breweriana. The four locations display hundreds of brewery-related memorabilia items, from simple bottle openers to an ornate, hand-carved wooden sign for A. Schumacher's Potosi Lager Beer dating back to 1886.

Sprinkled among the brewpubs are:

■ 50,000 vintage beer cans of those, 6,000 are arranged alphabetically in 25 wood-framed displays

■ 1,300 beer tap knobs and handles

■ 825 bottle and can openers, some displayed in wood frames

■ 25 original brewing history lithographs

■ 450 large and miniature beer bottles

"We go to these auctions," Schmidt said. "You don't know this stuff exists."

He didn't know this stuff existed before he needed décor for his first brewpub. He does now. Schmidt has been collecting for so long, people often come to him. While renovating an old building, a man found a partial wall highlighting the Schlitz Brewery in mosaic tiles and asked Schmidt if he wanted to buy it. Schmidt jumped at the offer. A doctor from Vermont sold Schmidt 50 Wisconsin beer trays he had collected.

Early on, Schmidt made the decision to collect only Wisconsin breweriana and to focus on pre-Prohibition items, Schmidt said.

His newest brewpub, at 140 W. Town Square Way in Oak Creek, welcomes diners with a one-of-a-kind overhead Pabst sign and a backroom decorated with vintage corner signs &mdash the type that bars would place at the front door so patrons could see the brewery name from either side of the corner.

The Grafton location, 2615 Washington St., concentrates on vintage pieces from northern Wisconsin breweries, such as signs from the former Hochgreve Brewery in Green Bay and Storck Beer from Slinger.

The Delafield brewpub, 3191 Golf Road, is the keeper of the wooden Potosi sign along with a Potosi neon sign, part of the large can collection, large-scale neon signs and a tap knob display.

Miller Brewing artifacts are the most difficult to find, Schmidt said, and he's saved at least one of them for the flagship location downtown. That's where diners will find industrial lithographs from Blatz, Schlitz, Pabst and Miller.

"It is the beer capital of the world," he said.

The lithographs were created in the early industrial era and were a way for brewery owners to boost sales and boast a little bit, said Matt Schmidt, director of operations.

"You want to show off your prowess," Matt Schmidt said of the lithograph's intention.

He often joins R.C. in the hunt at auctions. A few of R.C.'s biggest finds come from the Herb and Helen Haydock collection, part of which was housed at the former Oldenberg Brewery in Kentucky. More of the Wisconsin Rapids couple's belongings are at Minhas Brewery in Monroe.

Diners are offered the chance to learn about the collection one bite at a time. Each year, the Water Street Brewery menu highlights a piece of the memorabilia on the menu cover &mdash menus, coincidentally, made to mimic the Green Sheet.

Soon diners will be able to view the pieces as they might in a museum. Water Street Brewery plans to start a self-directed Beer Memorabilia Tour for its four locations in 2016. Visitors will get a brochure identifying pieces and the collectibles' history.

ABOUT THIS FEATURE

This Is Us is a recurring feature in the Journal Sentinel Green Sheet, with stories on the people, places and things reflecting the spirit and heart of our community.

About Kathy Flanigan

Tap Milwaukee reporter Kathy Flanigan covers entertainment news, events and our beer culture. She is the author of Weekend Guide, a newsletter with best bets for weekend activities.


50,000 cans of beer on the wall — and other memorabilia — at Water Street Brewery

The first thing patrons see at Water Street Brewery &mdash any of the four locations &mdash is beer being brewed. Think of it as dinner and a show.

"This is theater for our restaurants," said R.C. Schmidt, whose many restaurant holdings started with RC's Bar in 1974.

On Nov. 11, 1987, Schmidt opened the original Water Street Brewery at 1101 N. Water St. He's since followed up with three more &mdash Delafield, Grafton and, most recently, Oak Creek.

At each, Schmidt has added a sideshow of impressive vintage breweriana. The four locations display hundreds of brewery-related memorabilia items, from simple bottle openers to an ornate, hand-carved wooden sign for A. Schumacher's Potosi Lager Beer dating back to 1886.

Sprinkled among the brewpubs are:

■ 50,000 vintage beer cans of those, 6,000 are arranged alphabetically in 25 wood-framed displays

■ 1,300 beer tap knobs and handles

■ 825 bottle and can openers, some displayed in wood frames

■ 25 original brewing history lithographs

■ 450 large and miniature beer bottles

"We go to these auctions," Schmidt said. "You don't know this stuff exists."

He didn't know this stuff existed before he needed décor for his first brewpub. He does now. Schmidt has been collecting for so long, people often come to him. While renovating an old building, a man found a partial wall highlighting the Schlitz Brewery in mosaic tiles and asked Schmidt if he wanted to buy it. Schmidt jumped at the offer. A doctor from Vermont sold Schmidt 50 Wisconsin beer trays he had collected.

Early on, Schmidt made the decision to collect only Wisconsin breweriana and to focus on pre-Prohibition items, Schmidt said.

His newest brewpub, at 140 W. Town Square Way in Oak Creek, welcomes diners with a one-of-a-kind overhead Pabst sign and a backroom decorated with vintage corner signs &mdash the type that bars would place at the front door so patrons could see the brewery name from either side of the corner.

The Grafton location, 2615 Washington St., concentrates on vintage pieces from northern Wisconsin breweries, such as signs from the former Hochgreve Brewery in Green Bay and Storck Beer from Slinger.

The Delafield brewpub, 3191 Golf Road, is the keeper of the wooden Potosi sign along with a Potosi neon sign, part of the large can collection, large-scale neon signs and a tap knob display.

Miller Brewing artifacts are the most difficult to find, Schmidt said, and he's saved at least one of them for the flagship location downtown. That's where diners will find industrial lithographs from Blatz, Schlitz, Pabst and Miller.

"It is the beer capital of the world," he said.

The lithographs were created in the early industrial era and were a way for brewery owners to boost sales and boast a little bit, said Matt Schmidt, director of operations.

"You want to show off your prowess," Matt Schmidt said of the lithograph's intention.

He often joins R.C. in the hunt at auctions. A few of R.C.'s biggest finds come from the Herb and Helen Haydock collection, part of which was housed at the former Oldenberg Brewery in Kentucky. More of the Wisconsin Rapids couple's belongings are at Minhas Brewery in Monroe.

Diners are offered the chance to learn about the collection one bite at a time. Each year, the Water Street Brewery menu highlights a piece of the memorabilia on the menu cover &mdash menus, coincidentally, made to mimic the Green Sheet.

Soon diners will be able to view the pieces as they might in a museum. Water Street Brewery plans to start a self-directed Beer Memorabilia Tour for its four locations in 2016. Visitors will get a brochure identifying pieces and the collectibles' history.

ABOUT THIS FEATURE

This Is Us is a recurring feature in the Journal Sentinel Green Sheet, with stories on the people, places and things reflecting the spirit and heart of our community.

About Kathy Flanigan

Tap Milwaukee reporter Kathy Flanigan covers entertainment news, events and our beer culture. She is the author of Weekend Guide, a newsletter with best bets for weekend activities.


50,000 cans of beer on the wall — and other memorabilia — at Water Street Brewery

The first thing patrons see at Water Street Brewery &mdash any of the four locations &mdash is beer being brewed. Think of it as dinner and a show.

"This is theater for our restaurants," said R.C. Schmidt, whose many restaurant holdings started with RC's Bar in 1974.

On Nov. 11, 1987, Schmidt opened the original Water Street Brewery at 1101 N. Water St. He's since followed up with three more &mdash Delafield, Grafton and, most recently, Oak Creek.

At each, Schmidt has added a sideshow of impressive vintage breweriana. The four locations display hundreds of brewery-related memorabilia items, from simple bottle openers to an ornate, hand-carved wooden sign for A. Schumacher's Potosi Lager Beer dating back to 1886.

Sprinkled among the brewpubs are:

■ 50,000 vintage beer cans of those, 6,000 are arranged alphabetically in 25 wood-framed displays

■ 1,300 beer tap knobs and handles

■ 825 bottle and can openers, some displayed in wood frames

■ 25 original brewing history lithographs

■ 450 large and miniature beer bottles

"We go to these auctions," Schmidt said. "You don't know this stuff exists."

He didn't know this stuff existed before he needed décor for his first brewpub. He does now. Schmidt has been collecting for so long, people often come to him. While renovating an old building, a man found a partial wall highlighting the Schlitz Brewery in mosaic tiles and asked Schmidt if he wanted to buy it. Schmidt jumped at the offer. A doctor from Vermont sold Schmidt 50 Wisconsin beer trays he had collected.

Early on, Schmidt made the decision to collect only Wisconsin breweriana and to focus on pre-Prohibition items, Schmidt said.

His newest brewpub, at 140 W. Town Square Way in Oak Creek, welcomes diners with a one-of-a-kind overhead Pabst sign and a backroom decorated with vintage corner signs &mdash the type that bars would place at the front door so patrons could see the brewery name from either side of the corner.

The Grafton location, 2615 Washington St., concentrates on vintage pieces from northern Wisconsin breweries, such as signs from the former Hochgreve Brewery in Green Bay and Storck Beer from Slinger.

The Delafield brewpub, 3191 Golf Road, is the keeper of the wooden Potosi sign along with a Potosi neon sign, part of the large can collection, large-scale neon signs and a tap knob display.

Miller Brewing artifacts are the most difficult to find, Schmidt said, and he's saved at least one of them for the flagship location downtown. That's where diners will find industrial lithographs from Blatz, Schlitz, Pabst and Miller.

"It is the beer capital of the world," he said.

The lithographs were created in the early industrial era and were a way for brewery owners to boost sales and boast a little bit, said Matt Schmidt, director of operations.

"You want to show off your prowess," Matt Schmidt said of the lithograph's intention.

He often joins R.C. in the hunt at auctions. A few of R.C.'s biggest finds come from the Herb and Helen Haydock collection, part of which was housed at the former Oldenberg Brewery in Kentucky. More of the Wisconsin Rapids couple's belongings are at Minhas Brewery in Monroe.

Diners are offered the chance to learn about the collection one bite at a time. Each year, the Water Street Brewery menu highlights a piece of the memorabilia on the menu cover &mdash menus, coincidentally, made to mimic the Green Sheet.

Soon diners will be able to view the pieces as they might in a museum. Water Street Brewery plans to start a self-directed Beer Memorabilia Tour for its four locations in 2016. Visitors will get a brochure identifying pieces and the collectibles' history.

ABOUT THIS FEATURE

This Is Us is a recurring feature in the Journal Sentinel Green Sheet, with stories on the people, places and things reflecting the spirit and heart of our community.

About Kathy Flanigan

Tap Milwaukee reporter Kathy Flanigan covers entertainment news, events and our beer culture. She is the author of Weekend Guide, a newsletter with best bets for weekend activities.


50,000 cans of beer on the wall — and other memorabilia — at Water Street Brewery

The first thing patrons see at Water Street Brewery &mdash any of the four locations &mdash is beer being brewed. Think of it as dinner and a show.

"This is theater for our restaurants," said R.C. Schmidt, whose many restaurant holdings started with RC's Bar in 1974.

On Nov. 11, 1987, Schmidt opened the original Water Street Brewery at 1101 N. Water St. He's since followed up with three more &mdash Delafield, Grafton and, most recently, Oak Creek.

At each, Schmidt has added a sideshow of impressive vintage breweriana. The four locations display hundreds of brewery-related memorabilia items, from simple bottle openers to an ornate, hand-carved wooden sign for A. Schumacher's Potosi Lager Beer dating back to 1886.

Sprinkled among the brewpubs are:

■ 50,000 vintage beer cans of those, 6,000 are arranged alphabetically in 25 wood-framed displays

■ 1,300 beer tap knobs and handles

■ 825 bottle and can openers, some displayed in wood frames

■ 25 original brewing history lithographs

■ 450 large and miniature beer bottles

"We go to these auctions," Schmidt said. "You don't know this stuff exists."

He didn't know this stuff existed before he needed décor for his first brewpub. He does now. Schmidt has been collecting for so long, people often come to him. While renovating an old building, a man found a partial wall highlighting the Schlitz Brewery in mosaic tiles and asked Schmidt if he wanted to buy it. Schmidt jumped at the offer. A doctor from Vermont sold Schmidt 50 Wisconsin beer trays he had collected.

Early on, Schmidt made the decision to collect only Wisconsin breweriana and to focus on pre-Prohibition items, Schmidt said.

His newest brewpub, at 140 W. Town Square Way in Oak Creek, welcomes diners with a one-of-a-kind overhead Pabst sign and a backroom decorated with vintage corner signs &mdash the type that bars would place at the front door so patrons could see the brewery name from either side of the corner.

The Grafton location, 2615 Washington St., concentrates on vintage pieces from northern Wisconsin breweries, such as signs from the former Hochgreve Brewery in Green Bay and Storck Beer from Slinger.

The Delafield brewpub, 3191 Golf Road, is the keeper of the wooden Potosi sign along with a Potosi neon sign, part of the large can collection, large-scale neon signs and a tap knob display.

Miller Brewing artifacts are the most difficult to find, Schmidt said, and he's saved at least one of them for the flagship location downtown. That's where diners will find industrial lithographs from Blatz, Schlitz, Pabst and Miller.

"It is the beer capital of the world," he said.

The lithographs were created in the early industrial era and were a way for brewery owners to boost sales and boast a little bit, said Matt Schmidt, director of operations.

"You want to show off your prowess," Matt Schmidt said of the lithograph's intention.

He often joins R.C. in the hunt at auctions. A few of R.C.'s biggest finds come from the Herb and Helen Haydock collection, part of which was housed at the former Oldenberg Brewery in Kentucky. More of the Wisconsin Rapids couple's belongings are at Minhas Brewery in Monroe.

Diners are offered the chance to learn about the collection one bite at a time. Each year, the Water Street Brewery menu highlights a piece of the memorabilia on the menu cover &mdash menus, coincidentally, made to mimic the Green Sheet.

Soon diners will be able to view the pieces as they might in a museum. Water Street Brewery plans to start a self-directed Beer Memorabilia Tour for its four locations in 2016. Visitors will get a brochure identifying pieces and the collectibles' history.

ABOUT THIS FEATURE

This Is Us is a recurring feature in the Journal Sentinel Green Sheet, with stories on the people, places and things reflecting the spirit and heart of our community.

About Kathy Flanigan

Tap Milwaukee reporter Kathy Flanigan covers entertainment news, events and our beer culture. She is the author of Weekend Guide, a newsletter with best bets for weekend activities.


50,000 cans of beer on the wall — and other memorabilia — at Water Street Brewery

The first thing patrons see at Water Street Brewery &mdash any of the four locations &mdash is beer being brewed. Think of it as dinner and a show.

"This is theater for our restaurants," said R.C. Schmidt, whose many restaurant holdings started with RC's Bar in 1974.

On Nov. 11, 1987, Schmidt opened the original Water Street Brewery at 1101 N. Water St. He's since followed up with three more &mdash Delafield, Grafton and, most recently, Oak Creek.

At each, Schmidt has added a sideshow of impressive vintage breweriana. The four locations display hundreds of brewery-related memorabilia items, from simple bottle openers to an ornate, hand-carved wooden sign for A. Schumacher's Potosi Lager Beer dating back to 1886.

Sprinkled among the brewpubs are:

■ 50,000 vintage beer cans of those, 6,000 are arranged alphabetically in 25 wood-framed displays

■ 1,300 beer tap knobs and handles

■ 825 bottle and can openers, some displayed in wood frames

■ 25 original brewing history lithographs

■ 450 large and miniature beer bottles

"We go to these auctions," Schmidt said. "You don't know this stuff exists."

He didn't know this stuff existed before he needed décor for his first brewpub. He does now. Schmidt has been collecting for so long, people often come to him. While renovating an old building, a man found a partial wall highlighting the Schlitz Brewery in mosaic tiles and asked Schmidt if he wanted to buy it. Schmidt jumped at the offer. A doctor from Vermont sold Schmidt 50 Wisconsin beer trays he had collected.

Early on, Schmidt made the decision to collect only Wisconsin breweriana and to focus on pre-Prohibition items, Schmidt said.

His newest brewpub, at 140 W. Town Square Way in Oak Creek, welcomes diners with a one-of-a-kind overhead Pabst sign and a backroom decorated with vintage corner signs &mdash the type that bars would place at the front door so patrons could see the brewery name from either side of the corner.

The Grafton location, 2615 Washington St., concentrates on vintage pieces from northern Wisconsin breweries, such as signs from the former Hochgreve Brewery in Green Bay and Storck Beer from Slinger.

The Delafield brewpub, 3191 Golf Road, is the keeper of the wooden Potosi sign along with a Potosi neon sign, part of the large can collection, large-scale neon signs and a tap knob display.

Miller Brewing artifacts are the most difficult to find, Schmidt said, and he's saved at least one of them for the flagship location downtown. That's where diners will find industrial lithographs from Blatz, Schlitz, Pabst and Miller.

"It is the beer capital of the world," he said.

The lithographs were created in the early industrial era and were a way for brewery owners to boost sales and boast a little bit, said Matt Schmidt, director of operations.

"You want to show off your prowess," Matt Schmidt said of the lithograph's intention.

He often joins R.C. in the hunt at auctions. A few of R.C.'s biggest finds come from the Herb and Helen Haydock collection, part of which was housed at the former Oldenberg Brewery in Kentucky. More of the Wisconsin Rapids couple's belongings are at Minhas Brewery in Monroe.

Diners are offered the chance to learn about the collection one bite at a time. Each year, the Water Street Brewery menu highlights a piece of the memorabilia on the menu cover &mdash menus, coincidentally, made to mimic the Green Sheet.

Soon diners will be able to view the pieces as they might in a museum. Water Street Brewery plans to start a self-directed Beer Memorabilia Tour for its four locations in 2016. Visitors will get a brochure identifying pieces and the collectibles' history.

ABOUT THIS FEATURE

This Is Us is a recurring feature in the Journal Sentinel Green Sheet, with stories on the people, places and things reflecting the spirit and heart of our community.

About Kathy Flanigan

Tap Milwaukee reporter Kathy Flanigan covers entertainment news, events and our beer culture. She is the author of Weekend Guide, a newsletter with best bets for weekend activities.


Watch the video: 99 Bottles of Beer Full Version with all 99 Beers (October 2021).