I have always loved the image of King Gambrinus sitting on his throne with a beer in his hand while wearing his jewel filled crown. This particular porcelain sign is from the Columbus, Ohio Gambrinus Brewery Company and calls the brand a “Beer of Quality”. King Gambrinus was a mythological figure who was known for providing health, vigor and longevity. Gambrinus was also considered the patron saint of beer with many songs, poems and stories created to tell his story. Creatively, brewers aligned their beers to this figure, hoping to garner sales with consumers who wanted a longer and more jovial life. The image was so popular that Gambrinus beer was made in the United States from as early as the 1860’s until the 1970’s.
Interesting, the Gambrinus brand of beer was sold not only by the Columbus, Ohio brewery as demonstrated on this sign, but was also sold by the August Wagner Brewery in Columbus, The Shiner Brewery in Shiner, TX, The Oshkosh Brewery in Oshkosh, WI, The Gambrinus Stock Company in Cincinnati, and finally the Pittsburgh Brewing Company in Pittsburgh, PA. The final production run of Gambrinus was in Pittsburgh before the brewery shuttered the brand in the mid 1970’s. However, the Gambrinus name lives on as Gambrinus Beer is still being sold by a brewery in the Czech Republic today, and remains a large seller there!