L. Hoster Brewing Company, Tin Pre-Prohibition Serving Tray, Columbus, OH. Ca. 1905

The Louis Hoster Brewing Company in Columbus, OH, opened in 1836 and became a household name and product by the 1900 era.   The Hoster Brewery became one of the largest regional breweries in the Columbus area.  This particular tray clearly documents the hustle and bustle activity of this particular brewery, and would lead the viewer to believe they were larger than they might have been with the brilliant blue world globe featured on the left side.   By 1900 some of the largest breweries in the United States certainly were global companies, and had distribution set up in countries both near and farther away to their mainline brewing operations in the United States.   Because of refrigeration and rail lines it was much easier to ship the beer to long distances with a lessened risk of spoilage.

This particular Hoster Brewery tray proudly proclaims several of their products, including Muenchener, Wiener Style Beer, Lager, and their own Special Brew.   Interestingly the tray does not mention their famous Gold Top brand, which was their biggest seller.  Perhaps the Gold Top brand had it’s own advertising tray?   The brewery lasted until 1919 when prohibition ended their long operation.  Unlike many other breweries, the Hoster family elected not to rebuild the brand once prohibition ended, as they did not want to water down the ingredients as so many other breweries were doing to help lower prices while The Great Depression was rolling into full force.   FOrtunately for beer drinkers today, the Gold Top brand has been revived recently, and still uses the original award winning formulation which propelled the brewery to their regional dominance.