When a German immigrant named Theodore Hamm purchased the Excelsior Brewery in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1865, he probably couldn't have imagined that 100 years later a cartoon bear named Sascha would be more highly regarded than the liquid produced by his namesake brewery.

But while the brewery was transferred from owner to owner (Heublein, Olympia, Pabst, and Stroh’s have all taken their turns managing Hamm's), Sascha endured until only recently, when its current owner, Miller Brewing, dropped the mascot in order to head off charges that it was marketing its products to children.

Thanks to Sascha, today Hamm’s is quite famous for its collectibles. The most prized items of Hamm’s breweriana are the signs that were made for taverns and bars, particularly the motorized Scenorama signs (spelled, variously, as Scene-o-Rama, Scenarama, and Scenerama) made by Lakeside Plastics of Minneapolis in the early 1960s.

Large Scenoramas measure more than five feet across and feature working clocks—some feature scenic photographs of lakes and streams whose surfaces appear to be moving, others do not. Smaller, three-feet-wide Scenoramas of the same era come in moving and non-moving versions as well.

Ripplers were produced in 1956 and 1965. The earlier version of this sign is often called the TV Box Rippler because the scenic is housed in a frame that resembles a 1950s television set. The 1965 Rippler was made for the brewery’s 100th anniversary and features a tumbling waterfall on the left panel, a shimmering lake on the right, and a 3D Hamm’s logo in the center.

Other vintage Hamm’s beer signs include the Starry Skies and Blinking Mugs signs, which are bordered on one side by the edge of a home constructed of either paper or plastic bricks. The version of this sign with a moon on the horizon is the most rare example. The Sunrise/Sunset sign features a view of a lake from a wood-framed porch—the light on the lake and in the sky above it appears to change from day to night. Versions of this sign include one with a quartet of goblets above the Hamm’s logo and another with a small clock in the same spot.

Finally there was a Flipper Barrel sign (images in a horizontal beer barrel rotate as an internal mechanism flipped them) and there were several plastic signs of either a skating...

Like Budweiser and scores of other brewers, Hamm’s produced beer steins for its fans. A rather formal 100th anniversary stein was offered for sale in 1965, but many more, such as those created in the early 1970s to celebrate Oktoberfest (these were lidded) and St. Patrick’s Day, featured Sascha prominently.

A Brazilian company called Ceramarte made many of these ceramic steins, as well as salt-and-pepper shakers around the same time. More ornate are the lidded, high-relief steins from the 1980s made in Germany by a company called Gerz.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Red Fox Chapter

Red Fox Chapter

The guys at the Connecticut Chapter of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America have created a full-on tribute to t… [read review or visit site]

Bottle Cap Index

Bottle Cap Index

Assembled by Gunther Rademacher with the help of several other contributors, this collection of over half a million… [read review or visit site]

British Beer Labels

British Beer Labels

This pre-1965 collection is organized alphabetically by brand and contains scans of seemingly thousands of beautif… [read review or visit site]

Plopsite.de

Plopsite.de

Norbert Lamping's collection of 600+ ceramic bottle stoppers, Hutter stoppers, swingtops, swivel stoppers, and ligh… [read review or visit site]

Bock Beer Labels

Bock Beer Labels

A quick tour of pre-Prohibition bock beer label designs with nice, high resolution scans. Do the whole slide show o… [read review or visit site]

Trappist Beers and Monks

Trappist Beers and Monks

An interesting site dedicated to Trappist beers and the history of the development of beer brewed by Trappist Bened… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Antique Hamms Beer Company St Paul Mn Painted Wood Crate Case Box Eagle GraphicOld Hamms Beer Lighted SignHamms Beer 100th Anniversary Rippling Water Lighted Beer SignHamms Beer Starry Skies Vintage Motion SignRare Vintage 1950s Hamms Beer House & Lake Signs -- Get All 3 Parts In One! Hamms Beer - Starry Skies Vintage SignNos Hamms Beer Lighted Motion BarrelRare Vintage 1950s Hamms Beer Canframed Plastic Sign Excellent ConditionLow Bid! Vintage 1950s Hamms Beer Lake Scene With Bottle & Can Tough Hamms Beer Large Glass Ashtray X'mas Dalles Dist Osceola Wi Vintage 1972 Hamms Beer Bear Decanter Bottle Breweriana St. Saint Paul Mn MplsRare Vintage 1950s "script Lettered" Version Of Hamms Beer Bottle Framed Sign Xs8 Hamms Beer Sign Light Lake Scene Lighted Bar Topper Hamm's Vintage Water Hamms Beer Sign Bear 12 Pack Sign Hamms Beer 5/8 Size Marbles Collection LotVintage 1986 Pabst Brewing Hamms Beer 3d Mirror W/ Bear Log Rolling & FriendsVintage Beer Item Lot,hamms,old St.louis,schells,heidelberg,hauensteinVintage Baseball Schedule Hamms Beer Twins 1969Hamms Beer Bear, Table Tent Menu Holder. Mint RareLarge 1965 Vintage Kansas City Athletics Calendar Hamms Beer Municipal StadiumHamms Beer Prototype Flat Sheets 12oz. Beer Can #9Hamms Beer Prototype Flat Sheets 12oz. Beer Can #6Hamms Beer Prototype Flat Sheets 16oz. Beer Can #1Hamms Beer Prototype Flat Sheets 12oz. Beer Can #3Hamms Beer Prototype Flat Sheets 12oz. Beer Can #4Pair Of Hamms Beer Flat Top CansHamms Beer PatchLot Of 11 Old Can Openers - Burgie, Olympia, Genesee, Falstaff, Regal, Hamms,etc1940s Hamms Preferred Stock Beer Matchbook Cover