One of several
fascinating stories from Ray Bareis, born about 1900 and raised across
the street from the
Brewery, is that of childhood memories of the lakefront side of the
Brewery. The Brewery had a rail spur between the icehouse and other
buildings. In the open yard, coopers repaired wooden kegs. Using
two-handed wood shaving tools, they would shape replacement staves for
a broken keg. Once enough of these repaired kegs were ready, the
pitching machine would be turned on. This machine would pitch rosin
like material inside the barrel to seal it and protect the beer. The
yard also had a large wooden tank with thick sidewalls raised on legs
that would allow its contents to be dumped into a rail car. This was
for broken glass from the bottling operation. According to Ray, the
gang initiation was to walk around the top of the container in bare
feet! Of course, “if you were caught by Brewery employees,
got bounced back home.”
"My name is Clayton J. Bossart from Monroeville,
PA. I worked several summers plus odd weeks during holiday breaks from
at the brewery. My Dad, John L. Bossart, worked there over 40 years.
Brewery offered him a contract to serve the city of Madison's bars
latter part of WWII, I worked for him as well.
My Grandfather, Joseph Bossart,
is pictured on your site driving the horse-drawn load of keg beer (See
There was another picture of Joseph Bossart hanging in the Fauerbach
where he had a keg on each of his massive shoulders. I can never forget
one; did that make it into your archives? My Uncle Joe Schroeder also
Fauerbach for many years."
handled those monster kegs back then. As I remember Fauerbach had a
wooden kegs and steel kegs at that time, probably because they wanted
to use up
the older kegs until they had served their purpose. Both weighed about
in the 1/2 bbl size, compared to 155 lbs for the aluminum kegs that
Both used some kind of black pitch inside; you didn't want either the
steel flavor in your glass of beer. The wooden kegs were also water
further prevent leakage (and probably splitting), so their weight must
varied more than the steel kegs. We usually off-loaded these kegs from
gate or side doors of the truck by guiding and dropping them as gently
strenghth allowed onto a "bumper" shaped like a pillow, usually made
from heavy rope.
vaguely remember some steel or wood kegs in full barrel size. The bars
the University preferred those; they sold a lot of tap beer! I did
of those 31 gallon aluminum kegs (about 310 lbs), when I was older.
that size seemed to be pretty much confined to the UW bars."