The C.H. Wittenberg Distilling Company once was one of the largest whiskey distilleries in the Midwest, and was certainly amongst the largest selling distillers in the Saint Louis, MO marketplace. Featured here is a large lithograph from their marque Blue Wing Whiskey brand. This particular litho is about 18 inches wide and 24 inches tall in its original frame. As was the Wittenberg family marketing prowess, the brand was easily recognizable as their advertising items almost all featured a well depicted blue winged mallard duck. Today collectors can find Blue Wing advertising items from the pre-prohibition era on tin serving trays, etched whiskey shot glasses, and lithographs such as the one featured here.
I am excited to let my readers know the Blue Wing Rye Whiskey brand is back and once again available as a result of the efforts of descendant Bill Wittenberg. Bill explains there is a lot of product waiting to be bottled with the second round of rye, but for those trying to try it today, the website below will tell you a bit more.
While the Blue Wing brand was a huge seller, they were certainly not alone in the pre-pro days in the Saint Louis marketplace. There were about 15 distillers in the city, including Edwin Schiele and his best selling Autocrat brand, the Kamp Distillery, Teuscher Distilling Company, Nelson Distillery, Hellkamp’s Distillery and their famous Old Crow Brand, Stark’s Distilling Company, Bardenheier Wine and Liquor Company, and on and on. Unfortunately like all liquor manufacturers, the death knell for them occurred with the start of Prohibition, ending many long established family business’s and their employees jobs sadly. Most never started back in business thirteen years later with the passing of the 21st Amendment, as too much time had simply passed in the interim. Now that the Blue Wing brand is back, I suggest we toast to pioneers who left their recipes and craft for us to enjoy today!