J & M Haffen Brewing Co, Serving Tray, New York City, N.Y. Circa 1900

This subtle and non-descript but brilliantly colored blue and gold serving tray was never meant to tout the breweries products. It was simply designed to serve as a reminder of the brewery and their products as a choice for the saloon or tavern patron. Typically brewers oftentimes added a specific type of beer they were advertising on their trays by name or style, but not John and Matthias Hafen with this tray style. Perhaps the brewery only handed these trays out in a very condensed part of the Bronx area of NYC where they were based, and because of that, no specific brands were needed to be added? This is just a guess, but today breweriana collectors are left with a very colorful example of an early pre-prohibition era brewery long gone before anyone reading this blob was born.

Located on Melrose Avenue between 151st and 152nd Street, the former six story Haffen Brewery certainly was a well known building in that area of the Bronx. Originally called the Haffen Brewery, and eventually later named the J & M Haffen Brewing Co., the owners sold out to Jacob Ruppert in 1914. Ruppert was another well established brewery in the NYC area, however, the purchase was short lived as prohibition doomed all brewing activity for over a decade starting in 1919 with the famous enactment of the law.