I've covered j-spouts before, a type of conetop can made by Crown Cork and Seal from 1937-1939. (See the link at the bottom of the page.) I wanted to feature two from this brewery this month just because I like them. I'll also show their successor crowntainers.
Chevy Ale was introduced in early 1938. Apparently this was not a huge seller, at least not in cans. They are harder to find than the Hudepohl Beers from the same era. That's not entirely surprising, as Ales were not as popular as Lagers outside of New England. On the other hand, Hudepohl made this brand into the 1960s, although it was not always canned. Moreover, local rival Red Top brewing made ale sold as Red Top Ale and as 20 Grand Ale. Burger Brewing also made an ale. Like the Hudepohl Ales, Burger Ale cans are also less common than the beers. Chevy Ale was renamed Old 85 Ale after World War II which was then renamed Chevy 85 Ale in the 1950s. Canned in flat tops, the Old 85 and Chevy 85 cans are also somewhat scarce.
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The brewery's main brand.
Chevy and GM??
Hey, wait a minute, why was Hudepohl allowed to use the word "Chevy"? Didn't GM trade-mark it?
I am not certain why Hudepohl was able to use the term "chevy." But first off, the term "Chevy Chase" was already a very old term by the 1930s. it comes from the Battle of Otterbourne which took place at Otterburn, in the Cheviot Hills, Northumberland, England, in August 1388, between the Scots and English (the Scots won). To chevy or chivy someone meant to chase. To be chevying is to race. Chevy Chase in Maryland was created in a 1751 land patent (as Cheivy Chase) and a ballad about the Battle of Otterbourne was popular in the US even into the nineteenth century. My guess (and it is just a guess) is that Hudepohl used the name because ales were associated with England and "Chevy" was a British term. That's just a guess though.
What about GM? It's possible GM had not yet trademarked the word. In the Trademark database run by the US Trademark and Patent Office I found a 1929 patent for collars using the name "Chevy." The earliest GM patent for the name I could find was 1961. Since there was little likelihood of a beer being confused with an automobile (or a shirt collar) my guess is that Hudepohl was allowed to use it. Time for more research!
Ohio had for a long time different drinking ages for 3.2% and "full strength" beers. You could buy 3.2% at age 18, but had to be 21 to buy the stronger stuff. This complicated things for brewers who needed a way to differentiate the different strengths. Some brands just used different caps on their bottles and different tax stamps on their cans. Hudepohl actually used different cans, at least initially. Their 3.2% j-spout and crowntainer of Hudepohl Beer were white, and their regular strength was reddish. I don't have examples I can show here, as the white 3.2% are quite rare and I don't have either one yet. Not many other breweries used different color labels to mark their 3.2% packages. Miami Valley in Dayton, Ohio is another.