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Odd Wisconsin Archive

Beer, Bier, and ... Schnitzeling on the Schnitzelbank?


More than a simple thirst-quenching, tongue-loosening, mind-altering drink, Milwaukee beer had unexpected virtues according to this colorful 1890s Miller advertising pamphlet:

The weak, the ill, the pale and wan

Will find their strength returning,

And Miller's pure BUDWEISER beer

Will satisfy their yearning

Made with the famous Salzer hops,

Proclaim it from the chimney tops,

It makes strong men of weakling fops,

And sets their souls a-burning.

We never show a selfish trait

Toward our foreign brothers,

And therefore send our EXPORT beer

To the birth-place of our mothers.

To England, France, the Netherlands,

To Prussia, Russia, Asia's Strands,

To Arctic and to Tropic lands

And very many others.

Brewing was a German tradition that came to Wisconsin in the mid-19th century, and you can learn all about it on the new Brewing and Prohibition page at Turning Points in Wisconsin History. See images of Wisconsin breweries, of the famous Schlitz Palm Garden, and even of the mysterious process of "schnitzeling on the schnitzelbank."

Of course, many non-German Wisconsin residents thought beer was much more than a sugar-free soft drink, that Sunday afternoons ought to be spent in pious reflection rather than convivial ingestion, and they tried to outlaw the pernicious fluid forever. But that's a story for another day.
:: Posted in Curiosities on May 24, 2005

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