Theodore Hamm, born in 1825 in Germany, immigrated to America in 1854, moved to St. Paul, Minnesota in 1856 and by 1864 he inherited the Excelsior Brewery from his friend and business associate A. F. Keller. In 1865, he renamed it The Theodore Hamm Brewing Company which would quickly grow to become the second biggest brewing company in Minnesota by the 1880’s.
Theodore Hamm died in St. Paul in 1903 at the age of 78 and passed ownership of the brewery to his son, William Hamm Sr., and grandson, William Hamm, Jr. During prohibition The Hamm’s Brewing Company was able to remain in business by producing soft drinks, near beer, syrups and other food products. William Hamm, Jr., remained in control of the company until 1968.
Hamm’s, The Beer Refreshing, is one of the most iconic beer brands in American
History. The brand has been enjoyed by beer drinkers across the country since 1865.
Born in the “Land of sky blue waters”, the beer was known for its superior quality due to being produced with pristine water in Minnesota. The brand is most well-known for its quirky advertising campaigns from the 1950’s through the early 1980’s including a popular jingle and the Hamm’s Bear.
From the land of sky blue waters,
From the land of pines, lofty balsams,
Comes the beer refreshing,
Hamm’s the beer refreshing.
Hamm’s the beer refreshing,
Hamm’s the beer refreshing
America’s Classic Premium Lager born in the land of sky blue waters, Hamm’s is brewed in true family tradition from purest water and choicest barley malt, grain and hops. Quality was Theodore Hamm’s fundamental principle which holds to today. Hamm’s Beer has won numerous medals at the Great American Beer Festival®, including gold in 2007 and 2010, and silver in 2002, 2008 and 2009.
Continuing in the tradition of Hamm’s fundamental principle of quality, Hamm’s Special Light is a special light beer with a premium taste.
- In 1999, Advertising Age Magazine named Hamm’s “From the Land of Sky Blue Waters” advertising campaign as one of the top 100 advertising campaigns of the 20th century.
- In 2000, the St. Paul Pioneer Press named the Hamm’s Bear as one of the “150 Most Influential Minnesotans of the past 150 Years”.
- The Hamm’s Brewery sign on top of the Hamm’s San Francisco brewery was built in 1954. The sign, containing a 13-foot-tall 3D chalice, at the time was the largest commercial sign west of the Mississippi River at 23-feet tall and 80-feet wide. In total, the sign contained 4,000 light bulbs and 6,300 feet of tubing.
- Hamm’s owned and operated breweries in St. Paul, Minnesota, San Francisco, California, Los Angeles, California, Baltimore, Maryland and Houston, Texas.
- In 2015, Hamm’s celebrated its 150th anniversary, making it one of the longest produced beers in the United States