Here is a Hard to find Heileman’s Special Export Beer sign. It is a tavern vacuform sign from 1974. This long sign is made of a molded plastic. The center has a green stripe shaped like a ribbon. At the top there is a raised 8 point white star with a circle behind it. Below that it reads Heilemans in gold cursive. Below that is the words Special Export in red and below that MFG Co. The back also has in black numbers 75cents MD. This sign is quite stunning with the bright green color on the cream background.
Wisconsin wanted to bring industry into it’s state so they encouraged immigrants overseas through pamphlets to come there. With that push came Heileman beer which was started in 1853 by Gottlieb Heileman and John Gund in La Crosse , Wisconsin. It operated until 1996 when Stroh’s purchased it. Mr. Heileman died in 1878 and his widow Johanna ran it until her death in 1917. During prohibition Heileman used the ruling of the time that alcohol had to be below 0.5% alcohol and designed “near beer”. The company continued to propel to the top of breweries. In 1933 the USA had 700 breweries and in 1974 there were 54 of which Heileman was one and in 1960 it was 31st. One interesting fact is they got there with 90% of their sales were in 15 states from Pennsylvania to Missouri to the Dakotas . In some states in 1977 they were rated #1. It then was the 7th largest brewery in the US. It was later sold to Stroh’s.
My father collected beer items and often stopped at bars in Wisconsin as we explored the state. This was one of the signs that a salesman left at the bar and my dad purchased .
Heileman’s Rare 1974 Special Export beer sign
$55 $60 SALE