The Union Hill Birch Beer Company was listed in the Brooklyn directories from 1904 t0 1951, always with an address of 6 Monitor Street.
Edward C. Hindermann was named as the owner of the business in his October 30, 1959 obituary that was printed in the Geenpoint Weekly Star. Born in 1872, 1910 census records indicate that he immigrated to the United States in 1901. The 1904 Brooklyn Directory listed Hindermann’s residence as 8 Monitor Street, right next door to the business, suggesting that it was a relatively small operation.
The 1910 census records also listed a Dieterich Benken living at the same 8 Monitor Street address. Benken, like Hindermann, listed his occupation as a birch beer manufacturer so he was likely associated with the business, but in what capacity is unknown.
Hindermann was still living at 8 Monitor Street when he died on October 24, 1959.
There’s not much information available on the company which is another indication that it was not a large business. I did find one reference to it in a column entitled “I Remember Old Brooklyn,” in the March 22, 1965 edition of the New York Daily News. A reader had submitted this story to the newspaper.
When the St. Nicholas Band struck up a tune with fifes, drums and bugles, that was a signal that we St. Nicholas pupils were starting off on a picnic to Washington Park on Grand St., Elmhurst.
The band would parade through the neighborhood and stop at Grand and Olive Sts. We would pile aboard chartered trolley cars at 7 A.M. with shoe boxes full of lunch, enough for all day.
Our tickets cost 15 cents, including three stubs, each good for a glass of Union Hill birch beer. The beer was on tap at the park for us. Then the trolleys would take us back at 7 P.M.
Today 6 – 8 Monitor Street does not date back to the early 1900’s
The bottle I found is 27 ounces and machine made. A monogram is embossed on the back of the bottle that, as far as I can tell, represents Hindermann’s initials “E H.”