Blue/Grey Show – Fredricksburg, VA Recap

posted on: February 18, 2013

I just got back home from attending the 2013 Blue/Grey show this past weekend and it was a blast. I got to talk and meet with lots of other tray collectors and get to know other folks collecting signs, cans, and all manner of brewery stuff.

If you’ve never been to Blue-Grey you really need to go check it out. There are so many people, lots of drinks and good times and if you get there early I’ve been told there are many many really cool trays, cans and other items. Below I’ve added a small gallery of a few pictures I took of the main room inside.

New Addition to Site: Guinness White Label Tray

posted on: January 31, 2013

I’ve added another page for a new tray that came in for Guinness White Label Stout.

To read more about the tray please visit our new page: McMullen Guinness Tray. It has a great equestrian scene, tons of color and great action.

New Addition to the Site: Hudepohl Wood-Grain Tray

posted on: January 14, 2013

I’ve recently received a tray that I purchased from a website contact and since I didn’t have it on the site I added a new page. To read up on this tray please visit the new page:

Hudepohl Wood Grain Beer Tray

This is a great tray from one of Ohio and Cincinnati’s oldest and most famous breweries. It has a great lithographed faux wood-grain and the tagline “Decidedly the Best”, which was a common tagline for Hudepohl.

New Tray – Fuhrmann & Schmidt Beer and Ale

posted on: January 4, 2013

I just got in this tray from Fuhrmann & Schmidt Brewing Co. of Shamokin, PA. It is a 12″ round dish with a great image of a waiter carrying out beers. The style of the illustration is compatible with a date to the 1930s or 40s, I don’t know when it dates to exactly, but its definitely post-pro. This guy has suffered some damage to the rim with flaking of the litho, as well as several trouble spots on the face, but it still displays pretty well, so something to upgrade again in the future maybe…

This is a great Pennsylvania tray which prominently features the state’s name along with the brewery at the bottom. The color in the picture looks more orange than it does sitting beside me because my camera isn’t the best, oh well. The tray’s text reads “We Serve F&S Beer and Ale” the nice contrast between the yellow italic script font with the medieval/gothic font used for F&S is really nice and the detail in the waiter and bush give good color and appeal. I’m really liking this guy!

It was manufactured by the Universal Tray and Sign Co. of NY, NY as you can see in the bottom picture.

Thanks for checking it out,

eBay Alert

posted on: December 21, 2012

I just saw this awesome tray on eBay and thought I’d share for anyone who might be interested. The auction ends soon, but it’s currently over $700!

ebay auction for Wieland’s Beer Tray

New Trays!

posted on: December 14, 2012

I recently got a couple of new trays in and wanted to share them here!

The first tray is a Black Eagle Pilsener Beer Tray. This tray has good color and the main image is a two-headed heraldic eagle with black feathers and red highlights. The Class & Nachod Brewing Co. of Philadelphia, PA. The company was operated from 1913-1920 and then again after Prohibition from 1933-1936. This tray dates to the pre-pro period and while it has some condition issues it’s still a nice new addition. The tray reads “It’s slow process makes it perfect” and below “Class & Nachod Brewing Co. Since 1854”.  There is no manufacturing information printed on the tray and I don’t have any other way to tell who made this design. The double-headed eagle was a symbol of the Holy Roman Empire and the heads represent the church and state. Brewing traditions from Germany and Austria spread to America and many traditional symbols from this area can be found on older beer trays.



The next tray is an Old Stock Lager Tray from the Philadelphia Brewing Co. It also features heraldic symbols with griffins supporting the coat of arms that is the central feature of the tray. This tray dates to the 1940s and is in very nice condition. It is a 13″ dish tray that is 2″ deep. It was produced by the Electro-Chemical Engraving Co. of New York, N.Y. as can be seen in the second picture.

Shoutout to

posted on: November 30, 2012

There was a post yesterday at about the lithograph of the mass killing at Mankato (mentioning an article on This American Life ) that is featured on the tray by Standard Brewing from the same town ( see our page here ). I emailed the author to let her know about the connection and AntiqueBeerTrays was mentioned on their Facebook and Twitter.

Kind of cool to learn a little more about this history of this event. Below is a picture of the tray and image from the article.

Tray from Standard Brewing Co., Mankato, MN


“Execution of the thirty-eight Sioux Indians at Mankato, Minnesota, December, 26, 1862.” Milwaukee: The Milwaukee Litho & Engr. Co., 1883. Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1883 by John C. Wise in the office of the librarian of Congress at Washington. American Antiquarian Society copy the gift of Jay Last, 1997.


posted on: November 28, 2012

Today I wanted to do a post that talks a little bit about Prohibition and its effects on the brewing industry and on the trays that are the focus of the site.

In early America per-capita consumption of alcohol was much higher than it is today and drinking often led to problems such as domestic abuse and political corruption through saloons. This led many women’s groups and evangelical Christian groups to promote a policy of Prohibition they thought would help lead Americans back to better morals and more responsibility.

Around the same time period in history other countries also tried Prohibition including Russia, Iceland, and Norway. The US ratified the 18th Amendment on January 16, 1919 and the law took effect with the Volstead Act outlining enforcement procedures on January 17, 1920. Prohibition would last until it was repealed by the 21st Amendment on December 5, 1933. During that 13 year period consumption of alcohol did decrease, but the demand remained and to fill the void organized crime and mobsters supplied alcohol across the country and concentrated power and money in the process.

Most breweries were obviously forced to close their doors as they could no longer stay in business producing beer. Some breweries were able to produce sodas, tonics or other non-alcoholic beverages, and some produced “near-beer” that was less than 0.5% alcohol (some of these include Pablo, by Pabst, Famo by Schlitz, Vivo by Miller, Lux-O by Strohs, and Bevo by Anheuser-Busch source: American Breweries II ), which was the threshold specified by the Volstead act.

Of the breweries that were open before Prohibition, less than half were able to reopen and resume production after the 13 year ban, although mass production and industrialization techniques were already slowly reducing the overall number of breweries in the US as early as 1880. Additionally, by the 1930s radio and later television had arrived as a mass market where products could be advertised to thousands and millions, which would slowly spell out the decline of the beer tray as legitimate advertising medium.

Below is a tray for the Bevo brew made by Anheuser-Busch:


Mathie Brewing Co. Tray

posted on: November 26, 2012

Here’s a tray that I recently added to the collection for Old Dutch Lager, Malt Tonic, and Red Ribbon Beer by Mathie Brewing Company of Los Angeles, California.

This tray has a great looking Victorian scene where our beautiful and well mannered lady drinks from one of the company’s two beers. In the background in a nice painting of two mythological youths, the chair holds her fur, and the tablecloth even has the Mathie logo of the California bear. You can’t tell in this picture but you can even read the text on the bottle labels because the detail is so good.  The Red Ribbon Beer ( red label on the left ) reads “Red Ribbon Beer Purity and Quality” while the Old Dutch Lager ( yellow label on right ) reads “Mathie’s Old Dutch Lager For Your Health’s Sake”. From the style of illustration and information taken from Breweriana II, I date this as a pre-prohibition tray because to my knowledge Mathie’s did not produce Red Ribbon Beer after prohibition and didn’t operate under the name Mathie’s except for the year 1933 after prohibition.

Unfortunately the condition on my tray isn’t that great, there are quite a few scratches and discoloration, but it still displays well. For a look at one in better condition check out the page on the site for Mathie Brewing Co. tray.

Note: There was also a Mathie Brewing in Wisconsin which to my knowledge has no relationship to the Mathie Brewing in California.

Happy Thanksgiving!

posted on: November 21, 2012

Due to my family obligations for Thanksgiving I’ll be out of blogging range so hopefully everyone can live without my posts until Monday ( as if anyone will care ).

In honor of the holiday today is a spotlight on the Pilgrim Ale Tray so click the link and head over to the page to learn more about this beautiful tray.

Everyone be safe driving to meet the family, eat, drink lots of beer (but don’t drive after), and stay away from the Black Friday sales if you value your sanity!