Robert Portner Brewing Company


Portner's Brewery in Alexandria VA - has anyone ever seen an actual photograph of this brewery?

Company Names, addresses, dates1:
  Portner & Recker, 146 King c. St Asaph, Alexandria VA (1863-1864)
  Portner & Co, King & Fayette Sts, Alexandria VA (1864)
  Robert Portner Fayette corner King St, Alexandria VA (1866-1867)
  Robert Portner St. Asaph corner Wythe St, Alexandria VA (1871-1916)

Portner was also in Washington DC:
Company Names, addresses, dates2:
  Robert Portner, 626 Va Ave SW Washington DC (1877-1884)
  Robert Portner Brewing Co, 626 Va Ave SW Washington DC (1885-1890)

Since the city directories for Alexandria are sketchy (i.e. I could only find directories for 7 of the years between 1870 and 1900), this may be a more accurate representation of his breweries & dates:
Company Names, addresses, dates3
  Portner & Co, Northeast corner King & Fayette Sts, Alexandria VA(1862-1865)
  Robert Portner, Alexandria VA (1865-1868)
  Robert Portner, 600 block N St Asaph, Wythe & Washington Sts, Alexandria VA (1869-1883)
  Robert Portner Brewing Co Tivoli Brewery, Alexandria VA (1883-1916)


Notes:
Robert Portner (born 3/20/1837) voted for Abe Lincoln in 1860. He moved to Alexandria during the Civil war. After the war he sold “Tivoli” beer. In 1894, his brewery was the largest in the South.4
Robert Portner & his brewery are well documented at other web sites such as this one 5.



Washington DC Bottles :
portner_07 book # 531
This is a 9" blue-aqua blob top with remains of the metal wire around the blob and a crudely formed bottom, embossed:
front: R. PORTNER / WASHINGTON, D.C.
portner_54 book # 532
These are lady-leg bottles with applied tops. Left is 10" tall an amber, right is 9.5" tall and aqua. They are both embossed:
front: R. PORTNER / WASHINGTON, D.C.
back: KEEP THIS BOTTLE ALWAYS / STANDING
portner_53 book # 534
This is a 9.5" aqua blob top embossed:
round slug plate: ROB. PORTNER / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in double-diamond) / WASHINGTON D.C.
rear: THIS BOTTLE / MUST BE / RETURNED
portner_36 book # 535
This is a 9.3" aqua blob top embossed:
oval slug plate: ROBERT PORTNER / WASHINGTON / D.C.


Alexandria VA. Bottles (blob-tops):
portner_38 book # 536
This is an aqua 6.5" hutchinson bottle with a tombstone slugplate, embossed:
tombstone slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING CO. / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in double-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
rear on heel: DOC
portner_28 book # 537
These are 7" hutchinson bottles. The one on the left is aqua and is embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING CO. / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in double-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
The one on the right is sun colored amethyst, and is embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING CO. / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in double-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
back: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO BE SOLD
base: O D
portner_45 book # 538
This is a 6.7" hutchinson, embossed similar to the ones above, except that it has a single-diamond trade mark. It's embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING CO. / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in single-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
portner_29 book # 539
This is an aqua 6.7" hutchinson bottle embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING CO. / TRADE MARK HYGEIA (in single-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
base: 25
Note that the trade mark on this one says "HYGEIA", not "TIVOLI". The "HYGEIA" trade mark was used for soda4.
portner_20 book # 540
This is an 8" aqua hutchinson bottles with a round bottom (it wont stand upright). Some say round bottoms were to force you to keep the bottle on it's side to keep the cork from drying out - but the fact that this is a hutch (did not use a cork) makes me think there was another reason. Round botoms provide more strength to handle the pressures of carbonation, but by the hutchinson era I would expect that was no longer a concern. Anybody got a better theory?
It is embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREW. COMP. / TRADE MARK HYGEIA (in single-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
portner_42 book # 541
This is a 9.2" aqua blob-top with a metal lightning stopper, embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING CO. / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in double-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
back: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO / BE SOLD
base: KARL HUTTER / 20 / NEW YORK
portner_49 book # 541
This is similar to the bottle above, but it has a single-diamond trademark vs. a double-diamond, and it doesn't say "BREWING CO". It's a 9.2" aqua blob-top embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in single-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA VA
back: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO / BE SOLD
base: KARL HUTTER / 2 / NEW YORK
portner_32 book # 542
Left is a baltimore-loop top, and right is a blob top.
They are both 10.5" aqua bottles embossed:
round slug plate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREW COMP / TRADE MARK HYGEIA (in single-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
back: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO BE SOLD
base: I
portner_51 book # 542 (variation)
This is a 9.25" aqua blob-top bottle (front & rear views shown in photo), embossed:
round slug plate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREW COMP / TRADE MARK HYGEIA (in single-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
back: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO / BE SOLD / RETURN WHEN EMPTY
base: A
This is the only Portner bottle I've ever seen that says "RETURN WHEN EMPTY" on the back.
portner_30 book # 542
This is a 7.8" aqua blob top with a bulge in the neck, embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREW COMP / TRADE MARK HYGEIA (in single-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
back: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO / BE SOLD
portner_10 book # 543
This is unusual because it says "Rob" instead of "Robert". It's a 9.3" aqua blob top embossed:
round slugplate: ROB PORTNER / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in double-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
portner_33 book # 544
This is a 10.5" aqua blob top (with a swirly manufacturing defect) embossed:
front: ROB PORTNER / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in double-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
back: TIVOLI / CABINET / BEER
"Tivoli Cabinet" was a brand of beer. "Cabinet" implied that it was a "select" beer5.
portner_50 book # 544
This is a 10" amber Baltimore-loop top (front & rear views shown), embossed:
front: ROB PORTNER / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in double-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
back: TIVOLI / CABINET / BEER
portner_21 book # 544-variation
This is a 10.2", aqua blob top embossed:
front: TIVOLI / CABINET / BEER
It does not say "Portner" on it anywhere, but it's embossing is identical to the embossing on the back of the bottle shown above, so I assume it's a Portner.
portner_48 book # 545
This is a 9.25" aqua blob top embossed:
round slug plate: ROB. PORTNER / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in double-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
back: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO / BE SOLD
base: DEAN FOSTER & CO / BOSTON
portner_41 book # 546
This is a 9.2" aqua blob-top, with holes in the blob for the wires that hold the stopper, embossed:
round pattern: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING CO. / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in double-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
back: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO BE SOLD
It has a ceramic stopper that says "R. PORTNER BREWING Co. Alexa Va TRADE MARK TIVOLI".
portner_34 book # 547
These are blue-aqua blob top bottles. Left is 10" tall and right is 9.3" tall. The right one also has a ceramic stopper that says "R. PORTNER BREWING Co. Alexa Va TRADE MARK TIVOLI". They are both embossed:
round pattern: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING CO. / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in double-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
below the round pattern: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO BE SOLD
(I've painted the embossing with water-colors on the bottle on the right)
portner_12 book # 548
This is a 9.2" olive-green bottle with an applied blob top, embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING Co / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in double-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA
back: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO / BE SOLD
portner_16 book # 549
This is similar to the above bottle, but the letters make sharp angles at the top & bottom of the triangle. It's a 9" aqua blob top embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER BREWING CO / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in double-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA VA
portner_13 book # 550
This is a 7.2" amber bottle with a blob-top, embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING CO / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in single-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA VA
portner_17 book # 551
This one is only 7.3" tall. It's an aqua blob top embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING CO / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in single-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
portner_60 book # 551
This is the same as the bottle above, except it has a double-diamond. It's a 7.3" aqua blob top embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING CO / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in double-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
portner_24 book # 554
This is unusual because it just says "R." instead of "Robert". It's a 9.1" aqua blob top embossed:
round slugplate: R. PORTNER / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in double-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
back: THIS BOTTLE / IS NEVER SOLD
base: KARL HUTTER N.Y.
portner_08 book # 555
This is a 9.2" green bottle with an applied blob top and no embossing except on the base, where it is embossed:
base: R. PORTNER / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in single-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA
portner_06 book # 556
This is an 8.5", BIM, amber bottle with a "rope" design on the edges, embossed with:
front: PORTNER'S / TRADE MALT MARK / EXTRACT
portner_55 portner_56 book # 556
This is the same bottle as above, but it has 2 labels on it. The labels say:
label 1: EVERY BOTTLE OF PORTNER'S LIQUID EXTRACT OF MALT CONTAINS THE MOST NUTRITIOUS EXTRACTIVE MATTER FROM ONE QUART OF CHOICE MALTED BARLEY. Until opened, the Bottle should be kept on its side, so that the cork will remain moist and retain the gas. This bottle contains about four large wine-glasses of extract, one days supply for adult. A larger quantity is not deleterious but often beneficial.
label 2: PORTNERS LIQUID EXTRACT OF MALT Is a pure and palitable preparation of malted barley and hops, combining all the nutritive and digestive properties of malt with the bitter tonic qualities of hops. The large amount of ??ritious extractive matter, and very low percentage of alcohol it contains render it a valuable preparation for administrating to nursing women, invalids, children, and sufferers from all nervous and weakening ailments. The diastatic principles of the malt render this preparation of great service in cases of mal-nutrition, dyspepsia, etc. causing the assimilation of starchy foods, increasing the appetite, and imparting tone to the stomach. A wine-glassful taken three or four times daily, is the adult does; children in proportion: It is best taken during mealsor in cases of loss of appetite, immediatley before.
portner_09 book # 557
These are 9" bottles with baltimore-loop tops. They are 2 different shades of amber. They're embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING Co / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in double-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA VA
back: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO / BE SOLD
portner_43 book # 557
Left is a 9" tall aqua bottle and right is an 8.75" tall clear bottle. They both have baltimore-loop tops, and are embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING CO. / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in double-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
back: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO BE SOLD
base (left bottle only): A
portner_40 book # 557
This is similar to the bottles above, except the shape is a little different, and it has a single-diamond logo instead of a double-diamond. It's a 9" aqua baltimore-loop top embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING CO. / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in single-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
portner_26 book # 558
These are baltimore-loop top bottles shaped like hutchinsons. Left is 7" sun colored amethyst, embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING CO. / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in double-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
back: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO BE SOLD
Right is 7.3" aqua embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING CO. / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in double-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
back: REGISTERED NOT TO BE SOLD



Alexandria VA. Bottles (crown-tops):
portner_18 book # 559
This is a large sized (10.5"), aqua BIM crown top bottles embossed:
front: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING CO / TRADE / TIVOLI / MARK / ALEXANDRIA, VA. / THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO BE SOLD
base: 1545
portner_04 book # 560
These are BIM crown top bottles. Left is 8" and sun-colored-amethyst, middle is 7.5" and clear, right is 8" and aqua. They are embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING CO. / TRADE / TIVOLI / MARK / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
back: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO BE SOLD
portner_25 book # 560
This is a clear 8.2" BIM crown top bottle embossed:
oval slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING CO. / TRADE / TIVOLI / MARK / ALEXANDRIA, VA./ THIS BOTTLE NOT TO BE SOLD
back: REGISTERED
portner_11 book # 560
These are BIM crown tops embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING CO / TRADE/ TIVOLI / MARK / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
Left is 8.3" tall and SCA, right is 8.4" tall and light aqua with the lightning stopper intact.
portner_05 book # 561
These are BIM crown top bottles. The one on the left is 9.3" and aqua; the one in the middle is 9.5" and slightly sun-colored-amethyst. the one on the right is 9.5" and clear. They are embossed with:
shoulder: ROBERT PORTNER BREWING CO. / TRADE / TIVOLI / MARK / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
portner_44 book # 561
These are BIM crown top bottles, same as the above bottles but different colors. The one on the left is 9.5" and amber; the one on the right is 9.0" and citrine/yello. They are embossed with:
shoulder: ROBERT PORTNER BREWING CO. / TRADE / TIVOLI / MARK / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
portner_23a book # 561
This is similar to above, except it has a mistake - it says "PA" instead of "VA":
shoulder: ROBERT PORTNER BREWING CO. / TRADE / TIVOLI / MARK / ALEXANDRIA, PA.
portner_22 book # 561-a
These are 9.5" BIM clear crown-top bottle with the same embossing on the shoulders as the bottles above, each with a semi-intact label:
embossed on the shoulder: ROBERT PORTNER BREWING CO. / TRADE / TIVOLI / MARK / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
printed on the label: ROBERT PORTNER BREWING CO / TIVOLI HOFBRAU / PALE EXPORT / BEER/ Alexandria Virginia / Guaranteed by Rob't Portner Brewing Co. under the Food and Drugs Act. June 30, 1906. Serial No. 18564.
portner_15 book # 562
This is a similar to the above bottles, except the printing is at sharp angles, vs. an arched pattern. It is 9.2", BIM, aqua crown top bottle embossed:
shoulder: ROBERT PORTNER BREWING CO / TRADE / TIVOLI / MARK / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
portner_57 book # (unlisted)
Like the bottle above, the embossed words are printed at sharp angles, but the embossing is lower on the bottle, and it is in a slugplate, much like #549 (which is a blob-top, whereas this is a crown-top). It is 9.25", BIM, amber crown top bottle embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER BREWING CO / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (in double-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA VA
portner_31 book # 563
This is a 8.8", BIM, clear crown top bottle embossed:
oval pattern: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING CO / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
book # 564
This 8" bottle has the same as embossing as book # 560 a few rows above, the difference is that this one is machine made. It's also greener shade of aqua. It's embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING CO. / TRADE / TIVOLI / MARK / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
back: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO BE SOLD
portner_47 book # 565
This 9" bottle has the same as embossing as book # 561 a few rows above, the difference is that this one is machine made. It's embossed:
shoulder: ROBERT PORTNER BREWING CO. / TRADE / TIVOLI / MARK / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
portner_59 book # 566
This is an 11.6" amber machine-made crown-top bottle, embossed:
shoulder: ROBERT PORTNER BREWING CO. / TRADE MARK TIVOLI (inside double-diamond) / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
rear heel: 2
portner_14 book # 567
This is a 9.5", BIM, SCA crown top bottle embossed:
oval slugplate: MALT BEVERAGE / PORTNER BREWING CO / ALEXANDRIA, VA.



Portner bottles from other cities:
CITY / STATE PHOTO DESCRIPTION
Charlotte, NC charlotte_01 This is a 9.5" tall, aqua, blob-top bottle with a lightning stopper, embossed:
round slugplate: ROR. PORTNER / (TRADE MARK TIVOLI in double-diamond) / CHARLOTTE N.C.
back: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO / BE SOLD
It appears they spelled Mr. Portner's first name wrong: it says "Ror.", not "Rob.".
Charlotte, NC (I don't have one) I've seen a photo of a bottle just like the one above, except it has Mr. Portner's name spelled correctly (ROB instead of ROR). It is embossed:
round slugplate: ROB. PORTNER / (TRADE MARK TIVOLI in double-diamond) / CHARLOTTE, N.C.
back: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO / BE SOLD
Charlottesville, VA (I don't have one) I've seen a photo of this bottle. It's about 9.5" tall, aqua, baltimore-loop, embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING Co / F.J. LILIENFELD / MANAGER / VA / CHARLOTTESVILLE
below slugplate: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO BE SOLD
Charlottesville, VA (I don't have one) I've seen a photo of this bottle. It's about 9.5" tall, aqua, blob-top, embossed:
oval slugplate: E.B. GIANNINY / MANAGER / R.P.B. Co / 421 WEST MAIN / CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.
below slugplate: THIS BOTTLE IS REGISTERED / NOT TO BE SOLD
Charlottesville, VA (I don't have one) I've seen a photo of this bottle. It's about 9.5" tall, aqua, baltimore-loop, embossed:
oval slugplate: GIANNINY & GLEASON / MANAGERS / PORTNER'S BEST / CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.
below slugplate: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO BE SOLD
Fredericksburg, VA ?? (I don't have one) I've seen a photo of this bottle. It does not have a city on it, so I don't have any proof it was from Fredericksburg. But I have also seen a photo of a bottle that did have FREDERICKSBURG VA embossed on it, as well as "McCRACKEN & BRO", so I suspect it's a Fredericksburg VA bottle. It's about 9.5" tall, aqua, blob-top, embossed:
round slugplate: R. PORTNER'S BEER / (TRADE MARK TIVOLI in double-diamond) / McCRACKEN & BRO. AGTS.
Lynchburg, VA lynchburg_01 This is a 9.25" tall aqua blob-top bottle, embossed:
round slugplate: ROBERT PORTNER / (TRADE MARK TIVOLI in double-diamond) / LYNCHBURG VA.
rear: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO / BE SOLD
base: DEAN FOSTER & Co BOSTON
Norfolk, VA norfolk_02 This is a 9.5" tall, aqua, blob top bottle embossed:
round slugplate: R. PORTNER / NORFOLK VA.
rear: THIS / BOTTLE / NOT TO BE / SOLD
Norfolk, VA norfolk_01 This is a 9.4" aqua blob-top, embossed:
round slugplate: ROB PORTNER / TIVOLI (in double-diamond) / NORFOLK. VA
back: THIS / BOTTLE / NOT TO BE / SOLD
base: ('H' on top of an '8')
Raleigh, NC (I don't have one) I've seen a photo of this bottle. It's about 9.5" tall, aqua, blob-top, embossed:
round slugplate: THOS R JONES / TIVOLI BEER / RALEIGH, N.C.
Richmond, VA portner_46 This is a 9.25" aqua blob-top bottle embossed:
round slugplate: R. PORTNER'S BEER / (TRADE MARK TIVOLI in double diamond) / C. & W. AGTS / RICHMOND, VA
rear: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO / BE SOLD
Variations: also comes in amber; may say "DEAN FOSTER & CO / BOSTON" on the base.
Richmond, VA (I don't have one) I've seen a photo of this bottle. It's very similar to the bottle above, except that "C&W AGTS" is not embossed on a separate line by itself, and it's a single-diamond instead of a double-diamond. It's about 9.5" tall, aqua, blob-top, embossed:
round slugplate: R. PORTNER'S BEER / (TRADE MARK TIVOLI in single diamond) / C. & W. AGTS RICHMOND, VA
Variations: also comes in amber.
Richmond, VA portner_61 This is a 9" tall amber blob-top bottle embossed:
round slugplate: CHRISTIAN & WHITE / (TRADE MARK TIVOLI in double diamond) / RICHMN,D VA
The word RICHMOND is spelled without an 'O', and it appears to have a comma before the 'D' instead of after it.
Wilmington, NC portner_52 This is a 9.25" tall, aqua, blob-top bottle embossed:
round slugplate: R. PORTNER / (TRADE MARK TIVOLI in double-diamond) / WILMINGTON NC
rear: THIS BOTTLE / NOT TO / BE SOLD



Ceramic Bottle Stoppers:
portner_cap_01 This is a ceramic stopper. It is marked as follows:
top: R. PORTNER BREWING Co. / TRADE / TIVOLI / MARK / Alexa Va
bottom: AKT BES. F. GLASINDUSTRIE / GERMANY / CREDDER
portner_cap_02 This is another ceramic stopper. It is marked as follows:
top: R. PORTNER BREWING Co. / TRADE / TIVOLI / MARK / Alexa Va
bottom: PAT'D FEB. &, 1893
portner_cap_03 This is another ceramic stopper. It is marked as follows:
top: R. PORTNER BREW'G CO. / TRADE / TIVOLI / MARK / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
bottom: DREYFUSS BOTTLE & STOPPER Co N.Y. / PAT'D / OCT. 15 / 1895

Mugs and glasses:
I bought this old ceramic beer mug on eBay. It says:
Robert Portner Brewing Co.
TRADE TIVOLI MARK
ALEXANDRIA, VA. U.S.A.
Go-withs
This is a 6.75" tall, 8-ounce glass is embossed:
"R. PORTNER BRG. Co / TIVOLI / ALEXANDRIA VA"
glass_02
This is a 3.5" tall, 6-ounce glass etched:
"ROBERT PORTNER BREWING Co / HOFBRAU / PALE EXPORT / Lager Beer / BAVARIAN HOPS. CANADIAN MALT. / TIVOLI / Alexandria Virginia"
glass_01
This is a 4" tall, 6-ounce glass etched:
"ONE GLASS / Portner's / BEER / Table Tea / (graduation marks)"
glass_04
This is a 4" tall, 6-ounce glass. It's not etched, but appears to be painted or pyroglazed. The markings are:
gold: (ring around top edge of the glass)
light grey: ONE GLASS / Portner's / HOFBRAU / BEER / Table Tea / (graduation marks)
glass_05
This is a 3.75" tall, 6-ounce glass, that's pyroglazed:
white pyro dots: PORTNER's / HOFBRAU / EXPORT / ALEXANDRIA, VA.
orange pyroglaze: TRADE / TIVOLI / MARK
glass_03

Postcards:
These two postcards depict "the Portner Tower" in Manassas VA. Portner owned a mansion in Manassas named Annanburg, which included this 3-story sandstone tower in the front yard. Tower was built in 1892 and torn down in 1978. 4
The one on the right is postmarked 1907. I think the one on the left is newer, as I've seen versions of it postmarked on or after 1911.
postcard_01
These 2 postcards both have a caption that says "Annaburg Residence of Mrs. Robt. Portner, Manassas, Va.".
The black-and-white one on top is postmarked 1909. The color one on the bottom seems to be newer, but I can't read the postmark.
postcard_02
This is a postcard with caption "No. 1 - Prince William Hotel, Erected by Mr. Robert Portner at a Cost of $50,000, Manassas, Va.". It's postmarked June 23, 1906. postcard2
This postcard has a caption that says "The Portner, Washington DC". This was a massive apartment building at the northeast corner of 15th and U Streets that was built by Robert Portner in 3 stages between 1897 and 1902. postcard_04

Letters and receipts:
This is a letter that is postmarked 1898. It has a picture of the Portner brewery in Alexandria VA. go_withs_04
This is a recept from 1915, with a picture of the brewery. It says:
STATEMENT. / MR.____ / IN ACCOUNT WITH / ROBERT PORNTER BREWING COMPANY / TIVOLI (picture of brewery) BREWERY / TRADE MARK TIVOLI ALEXANDRIA, VA. / Alexandria VA, July 1st 1915 ...
go_withs_06
This appears to be a check. It says:
vertical on side: ROBERT PORTNER BREWING CO. / TRADE MARK TIVOLI / TIVOLI BREWERY .
horizontal: $5 25/100 / Alexandria, VA., 7/1/05 / Received from Mr G.P.Deane / Five and 25/100 Dollars / Accept Thanks Robert Portner Brewing Company, / No. 140 per Nugent
go_withs_07
This is a 4.5" x 8.5" receipt for 4 dozen bottles of Hofbrau. The beer was $2.50, and the bottles were $1.20 (2.5 cents per bottle). I believe the $1.20 was to be refunded once the bottles were returned.
Permanently printed: (picture of brewery) Alexandria, Va. / Bought of / Robt. Portner Brewing Co. / Tivoli Brewery
typed: March 17, 1908 / Messrs. A.C. Reid & Co., / Upperville, Va. / To 1-4 doz Crate Hofbrau @ 62 1/2 2.50 / To 1-4 doz Bottles @ 30c 1.20 / $3.70 / By Express to B.M. Baker, Delaplane, Va. / We allow $120 when crate and bottles are returned.
handwritten on back: Dear Gentlemen, 1-4 doz crate shipped to you, Decbr 20 1907, Delaplane VA, has not been returned. Please look it up. Truly yours, ROBERT PORTNER BREWINB COMPANY Alexa Va 3/17/1908
portner_37


Labels:
This is a red, black & white label. It says:
GUARANTEED UNDER THE FOOD AND DRUGS ACT, JUNE 30, 1906. / Serial No 18564 / NON-INTOXICATING / SMALL (picture of George Washington holding a beer) BREW / BEVERAGE / REGISTERED / A mild fermented and carbonated infusion of Malt / and Hops containing less than two per cent of Alcohol. / PREPARED BY / PORTNER MALT EXTRACT COMPANY / ALEXANDRIA, VA. U.S.A.
label_01


Other Paper Items:
This is a page from an unusual book I have. The book has pictures of Vessels of the United States Navy, but it is also an advertisement for Robert Portner's beer. The list of Navy ships in the back has vessels that had their "Keel Laid" between 1862 and 1896, so it was probably published in 1897. Navy Advertisement
This ad came out of a book or magazine. It advertizes Hofbrau Lager Beer. go_withs_05
This booklet says "Complements of Robert Portner Brewing Co Alexandria VA" on the cover, and was originally blank inside except for the 2 pages shown in the picture. It was owned by "M.E. Putnam, Battery C. 2nd Art., Fort Screven, Tybee GA". Mr. Putnam seems to have been a merchant, as the book mostly lists items he sold to various people. It also lists some info about his daughter and her children (birthdays he had to remember?). portner_booklet

Miscellaneous Stuff:
This is a 5" diameter tip tray. It advertizes Portners HOFBRAU Lager Beer, made with Bavarian hops and Canadian malt. tip_tray
I'm not sure what this is, maybe an emory board? It's made of 2 peices of cardbord that swivel, and each piece of cardboard is shaped & painted like a bottle of Hofbrau Tivoli lager beer. The black sheet in the middle may have been rough enough to file one's nails with at one time, although it's smooth now. portner_35
This is a token, probably made of brass. I don't know what it was for, or how it was used. It says "R.PORTNER" on the front and has a "V" on the back. I saw a similar one on eBay that has a "J" on the back. Email me if you know anything about this token. portner_token
This is a metal match box. The top is on a hinge, and swings open. The bottom has an area with ridges for people to strike the matches against. It has the letters "A.L.H." scratched into the back, presumably a previous owner's initials. The front is engraved with:
engraved: ROBERT PORTNER / BREWING CO. / ('TIVOLI' in an oval inside a diamond) / ALEXANDRIA / VA.
portner_62
This is a metal bottle opener. It's badly rusted, but what I can make out, is that it says:
along the edges: PORTNER'S / HYGEIA
portner_63


Portner items from other cities:

Augusta, Georgia
The Augusta GA branch operated from approximately 1882-19165.
go_withs_09 This is an advertisement in the Augusta Herald from Friday, March 30, 1906. It says:
PORTNER'S HOFBRAU EXPORT BEER is a pure liquid food / contains less alcohol than other beverages.A
(comparison of beer alcohol at 4% with cider/claret/champagne/sherry/gin/whiskey/rum).
(description from Dr. W.h.Wiley about the goodness of beer)
(Table comparing nutrition of beer to turnips/eggs/milk/lean meat/potatoes/cabbage/bread)
RORBERT PORTNER BREWING CO., August, GA. Jno. J. Nugent, Agent, Bell Telephone 133


Charleston, South Carolina
The Charleston SC branch operated from approximately 1891-18935.
letter_01 This is a letter from Febuary 22nd, 1893. It has "Alexandria VA" crossed out and replaced with "Charleston SC", and it looks like it is signed with the name "Otto Banck". The letterhead shows the Portner brewery. It also lists the cities where the Portner "Depots & Botting Establishments" were at that time.


Danville, Virginia
The Danville VA branch operated from approximately 1885-19165.
corkscrew This is a corkscrew that says:
front/back: COMPLIMENTS OF / ROBERT PORTNER BREWING CO. / J.W. GIBSON, Mgr / DANVILLE, VIRGINIA
bottom: NEED NOT PULL KEEP TURNING


Hagerstown, Maryland
The Hagerstown MD branch operated from approximately 1907-19165.
cap_01 This bottle cap is yellow and red, and says:
bottle cap: ROBT. PORTNER BREWING CO. / COLORED WITH / CARAMEL / AROMATIC / GINGER ALE / CONTAINING / CAPSICOM / HAGERSTOWN, MD.
cap_02 This bottle cap is yellow on green, and says:
bottle cap: ROBT. PORTNER BREWING CO. / ARTIFICIAL / STRAWBERRY SODA / COLOR / HAGERSTOWN, MD.


Norfolk, Virginia
The Norfolk VA branch operated from approximately 1876-19165.
go_withs_03 This looks like a receipt but has a letter on the back. The letterhead is from the Southern Depot at 83 Main Street, Norfolk VA, but mentions the Alexandria brewery and the principal depot at 624-28 Virginia Ave, Washington City D.C. The letter on the back is dated "April 28/78". The hadwriting is too hard for me to decipher.


Roanoke, Virginia
The Roanoke VA branch operated from approximately 1893-19165.
portner_58 This is a metal bottle opener (front & back shown). It says:
front: ROBT. PORTNER BRG CO. / C.S. JOHNSON, AGT. / ROANOKE, VA.
rear: DRINK HOFBRAU / (EXPORT BEER)
rear along the edge: TRADE PICNIC MARK / REG. US. PAT. OFF
portner_65 This is a receipt from 1896. It says:
top section: Roanoke, VA., July 1st 1896 / Hotel Roanoke / To GEORGE P. CARR, Dr. / AGENT / Robert Portner Brewing Company's / VIENNA CABINET AND TIVOLI LAGER BEER.
Below section: June 15 1/8     1.00 / ...
There are 11 entries on this receipt, and each cost $1. 10 of them say "1/8", and one says "2 doz". A similar receipt I saw said "1/8 keg", so I assume that the "1/8" was referring to 1/8th of a keg. If 2 dozen bottles is about equal to 1/8th of a keg, then a keg held about 192 bottles - assuming 12 ounce bottles, that would be 18.375 gallons per keg.
portner_64 This is a receipt from 1897. It says:
top section: Roanoke, VA., May 3rd 1897 / Hotel Roanoke / To GEORGE P. CARR, Dr. / AGENT / Robert Portner Brewing Company's / VIENNA CABINET AND TIVOLI LAGER BEER.
Below section: April 5 2 doz Beer 1.00 / ...
Unlike the receipt above, this one says "2 doz" beers on each line. So if 2 dozen beers cost $1, that would be a little over 4 cents per beer that the hotel was paying. My guess is that the hotel sold them for 5 cents each.
go_withs_08 This is a framed photo of the Portner bottling building in Roanoke, VA. It shows the building with some men standing outside in front of it, and a horse drawn wagon with Portner's logo on it.


Staunton, Virginia
The Staunton VA branch operated from approximately 1901-19165.
go_withs_02 This is a receipt from Staunton VA for 16 Dozen Soda Waters for $5.60. Date is August 10, 1908.



1 Boyd's Directory for the Alexandria Virginia (various years)
2 Boyd's Directory for the Washington DC (various years)
3 American Breweries II by Dale P. Van Wieren
4 The Shortest Dynasty 1837-1947 by Michael Gaines
5 Report "ROBERT PORTNER AND HIS BREWING COMPANY" by Timmothy J. Dennee for Saul Centers, Inc., Parsons Engineering Science, Inc. and Alexandria Archeology



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This page last updated on December 1, 2017.