Spass, the German word for “fun”, is an important word in German philosophy. So, it was no surprise that there were businesses and celebrations centered around for just about everything, including thirst quenching. One parade float sign in the 1890s summed up the mood of such festivals: “Strength and Cheer are given you by the foaming of noble City Beer”.
As early as 1872, Otto and Theo Simon were bottling ice-cold soda at their home. They bought a new ice machine in 1875 and, with a partner, they opened and ran an ice cream/soda water parlor until 1881. Naegelins (Naeglins Bakery) bottled “Squeeze” brand soda waters and IronBrew. The bottling business was kept until the building was remodeled in 1937. In 1886, John Sippel opened St. John’s Bottling Works. Sippel bottled soft drinks of all flavors and a seltzer (sparkling water) called Sippel’s Water
Commerce and Trade were profitable. The top flavors were “Cherry Blossoms” and “Orange Julep.” Weidner’s Orange Crush Bottling Works obtained the franchise for Dr. Pepper and became the Dr. Pepper Bottling Works. In 1963, Edwin Staats also bought this franchise and boosted his soda water sales by 30% that year.
In addition to soda bottling companies, New Braunfels was home to a few breweries and many taverns. Today’s New Braunfels Brewing Company resurrected an old brewery name that was operational form 1914-1925 and the Faust opened in 1998. The Phoenix Saloon name and location from 1871 was resurrected in 2010 and still stands today as an operational business.
It is said there is freedom in beer, but wisdom in wine and winemaking in New Braunfels was a coveted talent. Family wine recipes from local wild mustang grapes were prized and initially kept secret. Eventually, families shared their wine, perhaps mostly to add to their community commerce efforts.
With such a rich history in thirst quenching wine and spirits, its only fitting that we introduce ourselves to you with THIRST IMPRESSIONS.
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Artist credit: James Sampsel