Friday, February 17, 2012

Memories of Old Dutch Beer

Vintage Old Dutch label from my collection
Mention Old Dutch beer to anyone under fifty and you'll probably get a blank stare in return. If you're lucky, they might vaguely remember it as the beer their grandparents drank.

From my collection
Heck, I once tried to talk about it with a guy at work over sixty and even he didn't remember it!

Well, believe it or not, Old Dutch used to be mighty popular around this area in the 1950's and, to a lesser degree, the 1960's. It was brewed at the Krantz Brewery in Findlay, Ohio for many years and was so well-known it even sponsored the Old Dutch Polka Revue on WEWS-TV in Cleveland.

While I was growing up in the 1960's, Old Dutch was the only beer I ever saw my parents drink. I was aware of the other brands: Budweiser, with those Clydesdales commercials; Miller High Life; Black Label. But Old Dutch is what my parents had with dinner once in a while, usually with something special like a steak.

I'm not sure why they were so loyal to Old Dutch. Maybe it was the fact that both of my parents had German blood in them, and they identified with the elderly German couple on the label.

Anyway, after my parents had poured their glasses, my brothers and I would jockey to drink the last few drops out of the empty bottle or can. It was then that I would study the label with its advertising slogan: THE GOOD BEER.

Now that's a nice, understated marketing statement. It's not the great beer; it's just the good beer.

From my personal collection
My parents were so loyal to Old Dutch that when they visited me at Ohio State in the late 1970's, they sometimes brought me a six-pack. I guess they felt better knowing what I was drinking.

One of my wise-guy roommates used to call it Old Ditch.

Anyway, when Old Dutch was no longer being produced, my parents finally moved on to other beers. But Old Dutch remains a symbol of the good old days to me.


The Hancock Historical Museum in Findlay features a nice display of Old Dutch beer and Krantz Brewery memorabilia.


Dorene from Ohio said...

Just charming...I do not drink beer as a rule, but I surely do recall these ads!

Remember, "Hey Mabel, Black Label" ??

Sean Gaffney said...

There was a bar across the street from City Hospital in Akron on East Market that opened at 5:30 a.m. They sold Old Dutch on tap for 25 cents a glass. This was in the late 80s. Many U of A students used to go there and get a cheap buzz before class.

Bob Jones' Neighbor said...

I was just thinking about Old Dutch. It was the brand my grandfather and all my uncles - and a few cousins - drank. They lived in Findlay, so it was their local brand (and they were of German ancestry.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the memory - Sis and I were discussing - I remember well growing up in Findlay.

Does anyone remember the name of the skin product may by the Glessner family during/just after WWII - 'skin to soft?' is a really beautiful black jar.

Or the potato chip from Findlay?? Was it Best or Tasty Tater??

Dick Judy Findlay Presdbyterian;Van Buren HS '53

Rex Osborne said...

Tasty Taters. Best potato chip ever made. Factory burned down some 30 years ago as I recall.

Rex Osborne said...

Tasty Taters were the best Potato chips Ever. The factory burned down some 30 years ago as I recall.

Anonymous said...

There used to be a barn on tiffin ave that burned down in the late 70's. In the field where AAA is now. It had the Old Dutch logo painted on it. I would like to find a pic of the logo. Any ideas where to find one?

dsteen said...

Here is a page of history for Old Dutch Beer

dsteen said...

Here is a TV commercial

Dan Brady said...

Hi Dave,
Thanks for posting those links. The Old Dutch TV commercial is great! And the article from the other link is very informative. The rest of that website is probably the best source of Old Dutch Beer information and memorabilia on the internet. I interviewed the gentleman about his website several years ago when I wrote about Old Dutch for the Black Swamp Trader & FIrelands Gazette.

Anonymous said...

HI MY NAME IS STEWART Kelly and I Worked for Old Dutch from 1957 to1963 in Toledo Ohio at 3315 Lagrange st At that time there were four owners.Steve Surjowski,Louis Urbanski,Charlie Jankowski,Casper Turbinski. Tel.253 347 9555.