The Back Story

Ed News Article

Happy 3.2 Beer Days!

by Nancy Sajdak Manning

This 1934 Depression Era photo shows unemployed carpenter Ed Schutt standing behind the bar of his newly constructed Big Tent (1934-1944), a German neighborhood restaurant and beer garden destined to become a popular Bay County entertainment spot, across from Monitor Sugar Company on South Euclid, Bay City. Prior to building the Big Tent and Prohibition's repeal (December 1933), Ed and his wife Clara (Schmidt) started selling chili and hamburgers from a home-based roadside "little" tent to beet truck drivers. New 3.2 beer sales were added at a supplementary "big" tent, two blocks north.

A May 28, 1933 Bay City Times special ad section celebrated legalized beer's return. "Yah, Vohl!" cheered H.D. Peet Packing Company's ad. Beer brands advertised in the ad section were Phoenix, Blatz, Stroh's, Atlas, Berghoff, Miller's, Kingsbury, Old Heidelburg, and LaBatts. Photo courtesy of Marie Schutt Sajdak.