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May 28, 2024

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April 2003

pail I have been looking at your web site and decided that I would email you to see if you have ever run across the beer item I have and can help me identify it. I will add a couple of picture to help.

What I have is a heavy metal pail that has a handle and lid. It weighs 8-1/2 lbs., is 27-1/2" around (or 9" diameter bottom), and 10-1/8" tall. The name "HEILEMANN'S" is embossed in the metal and the words "10 QTS. LIQUID" is stamped behind it.

I have been in contact with a guy at City Brewery where the Heilemann people originated trying to find out more about the pail but so far have not had much luck getting any concrete information. I was told that it possibly was a "carry-out" type pail that might have been used to take home beer from a tavern in the days before processed beer was available. I also asked the guy if this was really beer related since the name Heilemann's has two "n"s and the current name has only one "n". He told me that originally the name did have the two "n"s.

So, my question for you is......have you ever seen one of these pails? If so what can you tell me about it and is it a "collectible" item and, if so, what might it's value be?

Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.
Janet Gienger Beaman, Iowa

Beer Dave writes:

"My latest All About Beer column (not yet published) is on the growler. This almost three gallon tub was too big to be used as a growler to tote beer home from the tavern. I think it was more than likely used to tote yeast or another by-product away from the brewery. Yeast was very much a desired by-product for farmers, especially diary and hogs. Ralston Purina had it’s beginnings in St. Louis because they would haul away the spent grains from the breweries and distilleries along the Mississippi River. Brewer’s Yeast is a very desirable ingredient in pet foods, especially dog and cat foods. Those shiny coats on the dogs at Westminster have probably been enhanced by a dose of brewer’s yeast.

"It may also have been used to transport wort during Prohibition. Many breweries stayed afloat making wort and malt extract during the noble experiment. Some brewers also made Ice Cream and egg products and processed lard during Prohibition. My best guess is it was either used for ice cream, wort or yeast. The size makes me doubt that it was a growler. 10 quarts sure sounds like ice cream. Stroh made ice cream all the way into the 70’s, and Yuengling made it into the 60’s. The heavy gauge metal would also help to insulate the frozen treasure."

Sorry, but it is not Dave's policy, nor that of, to make appraisals.

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