The La Crosse rribune 5/10/1971

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The La Crosse rribune 5/10/1971 - Head Of Negro Brewery Promotes Black Industry...
Head Of Negro Brewery Promotes Black Industry By BOB GREENE OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP“When (AP“When the going gets rough, I send me.” That’s the motto of Theodore F, Mack Sr., 41, president of Peoples Brewing Co., the first black-owned brewery in the United States. In a state that includes Schlitz, Pabst and Miller brewing brewing companies, Peoples is considered considered small. But that was before before Mack, a former insurance agent, took the helm. In April, 1969, Mack headed a group that failed to acquire the Blatz division of the Pabst Brewing Co. Pabst had been ordered ordered by the Federal Court to divest itself of Blatz as a result of an antitrust suit. j “We decided we would keep on looking for a brewery and after looking at several, we decided decided on Peoples Brewery here in Oshkosh because the location was close to Milwaukee and the physical plant was in good shape,” Mack said a year later. Organized in 1911, Peoples Brewery sold its beer primarily in the Oshkosh area. Peoples is listed in the Wisconsin Manufacturers Manufacturers Association directory as having a net worth of about $500,000. Mack borrowed $390,000 from the Marshall & Ilsley Bank in Milwaukee after raising another another $200,000 through a public stock sale. The bank loan agreement set purchase of the brewery assets at $365,000 plus an inventory estimated to be about $70,000. The stock, which sold for $5 a share, was purchased by both blacks and whites in Wisconsin. Mack said studies showed that black people in this country country are one of the largest groups of beer consumers. “When I learned that, I decided decided that somehow, we were going to have to own a brewery,” brewery,” he said. “If the black man is going to survive in this country, he is going to have to get into the corporate structure,” said Mack. “While the white man will give you welfare, you can really believe he is not going to give you industry.” Oshkosh is located in the Fox River Valley area of Wisconsin, an area that went strongly for Alabama Gov. George Wallace in the 1964 presidential primary. primary. Mack’s first problem was dispelling dispelling a rumor that he would replace the white employes with blacks. The firm employs about 30 persons. “We don’t worry about the color of a man’s skin,” Mack said. “We’re looking for quality.” quality.” “We haven’t lost any personnel personnel at all’’ in the takeover, be said, and have added some. “We have eight blacks in Milwaukee Milwaukee and 2Vi here,” he said. He listed his wife as the one- half employe since she works only part-time. The Milwaukee personnel are salesmen and truck drivers. The blacks in the Oshkosh office office include “one fellow who is going to (Oshkosh Sate University) University) school here,” he said. “The other person is me.” Mack said he was interested in hiring any qualified person, and was especially interested in finding a qualified black. The brewery opened under Mack’s direction in September, 1970. A month later, the 5,000 barrel a month brewery turned out 2,686 barrels of beer, a 100 per cent increase over the first month. “What keeps me going is the knowledge that if this is successful, successful, all the minorities will be able to move in the same direction,” Mack said. Sending “me,” as he said. Mack has broken into the Mil- ‘welcome to the fold.’ But I am optimistic that we will succeed.” succeed.” “I don’t ever sleep,” said the native of Prattville, Ala. “This brewery is showing that there is a little bit of light in all of this gloom and I am going to make it go.” “We are not making a black beer or a white beer,” Mack said, emphatically. “We are making what the name implies—a implies—a people’s beer.” Butter Market CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago Mercantile Exchange-Butter steady; wholesale buying prices unchanged; 93 score AA 67(6; 92 A 67(4; 90 B 65V4. —AP Wirephoto Theodore Mack, President Of Peoples Brewery Milwaukee County Stadium Shipment Checked waukee, Racine, Madison and Kenosha areas. Peoples Beer is now available in the Milwaukee Arena, where the National Basketball Association Association champion Milwaukee Bucks play; the Milwaukee County Stadium, home of the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team; and student unions at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; Madison; University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee; St. Norbert’s College College at De Pere, Wis., and Whitewater, Wis., State University. University. Summer is the traditional time for beer sales to jump. For Mack, this summer is especially especially significant. “We were concerned about surviving the winter,” he said, “but now we don’t have to wor-1 ry about that.” “This brewery has run into a lot of obstacles and the big brewers did not exactly say

Clipped from The La Crosse Tribune10 May 1971, MonPage 8

The La Crosse Tribune (La Crosse, Wisconsin)10 May 1971, MonPage 8
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  • The La Crosse rribune 5/10/1971

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