U.S. Beer Tray History

This section of the site features some of the more interesting trays that I have come across over the years. As time permits, we will include more information about the trays pictured on this page.

New York State trays.

Brucks was another Cincinnati brewery that produced through the 1940's.
Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana Trays

The Budweiser factory scene tray dates to around 1900. This tray shows the enormity of the St. Louis Anheuser-Busch brewery factory even back 100 years ago. This is one of the few trays that have been reissued. Side-by-side they are easy to tell apart. The old beer trays were made using the lithography process while the newer reproductions were made with a silk screening process. A close look at the surface of the reproductions will reveal a cloth-like texture. The walls of the factory scene reproduction tray are straight and almost perpendicular to the tray's floor while walls of the original are curved and at a slight angle to the floor. The Anheuser-Busch trays often list the date of reproduction on the back of the tray.
Missouri, Kentucky, and Nebraska Trays

Pennsylvania Trays

There was no end to the variety of tray designs. Two of the trays below use monks to sell their products. Monks were long famous for brewing beer in their abbies in Europe.
Illinois trays.

The Fredericks Brewery of Chicago produced this interesting tray in the late 1930's. It reflected the old German influence by displaying an old German Shepard. Companies often played up their German heritage because of the long-standing reputation of German beers. With the onset of World War II they tried to play down their German connection. A large number of breweries had a more patriotic theme such as this the tray from the Scheidt brewery of Norristown, Pennsylvania.

Minnesota and Wisconsin Trays

The Knapstein tip tray is from the New London, Wisconsin- a brewery that lasted until prohibition.
East Coast trays.
The George Brehm & Son brewery is from Baltimore and lasted from 1866 through prohibition.

Western Trays