Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Brew 102 Makes Racial History and the World's Worst Beer

Brew 102 was so proud of their Miss Brew 102 contest, they hired two professional photographers to cover it. I suspect it was because they were making both racial progress and a marketing move to the hood, but both are speculation. Whatever, the press was assembled to cover the brew beauty pageant. Shown is the lovely Louise Franklin hopefully placing the deciding vote in favor of the sisters, though either are certainly pretty enough to sell beer. Either would also work better on the label than that bottle neck "coming at 'cha" or the Shemp-like mug of the owner.

I first heard of "Brew 102" when I found a trio of 8 x 10 glossy photographs, but I first read of it on a web bulletin board titled "What is the worst beer you ever tasted?" It didn't lack for contributions.
I would enter "Golden Goebel" which was 89 cents a six in college. We had numerous names for it, all variations of the "taste likes piss" phrase so common among underage drinkers.

It appears Brew 102 was the Golden Goebel of Los Angeles. Reading up on it finds a good share of memories, all of them bad. The 101 highway through LA was curved to allow for their big cauldron ferment tanks. An eyesore of a big sign remembered by fathers. A beer can hunter killed through mishap while digging around the ruins of the brewery decades later. A typical day in the life Dull Tool Dim Bulb.

I find no mention of the contest. The African-American model may be named "Louise Franklin" according to a note scribbled on the reverse. I hope the sister won, because while it may be just the camera angle, the blond's head is ENORMOUS!

Original 8 x 10 glossy photographs by Art Adams and Irving C. Smith no dates Collection Jim Linderman

BIG UPDATE! Scott Warmuth looks close, finds answer!

Did you notice that the contestants for Miss 102 include a set of twins? The Peralto Twins won the contest; Bo Franklin, the African-American woman, placed second after weeks of being in the lead in the voting.
This shady contest is covered in the book The Melody Lingers On: Scenes from the Golden Years of West Coast Jazz.




  1. As far as I, and my friends back in the 1960's it was the worst brew ever. I remember driving past the huge sign on the building. It also seems like some top entertainer fellow has purchased it or bought into it, and was going to get it going good... but who escapes me... and as far as I know... the beer never got any better. I always thought Falstaff beer ran a close 2nd behind Brew 102.

  2. This was my Dad's favorite beer. Once, when I was of age, I bought a six pack to drink in his honor. I had to spit the stuff out - you could literally taste the smog in the brew! My poor Dad . . .

  3. That was my mother's favorite beer in the 1940s and 1950s. Mostly because she could not afford a real beer. She later went to Falstaff, which was like drinking colored water. Just as bad as 102.

  4. The first time I drank that swill I projectile vomited all over my pals car back in the mid seventies. I was young and poor, but still only went for it once. Unfortunately I switched to Ranier Ale and soon became an alcoholic. My bad.

  5. Hey, man, it was the greatest beer ever when I lived in la Puente back in the 60s. 25 cents a quart! AND it was local. I hate all these fancy beers today. To us kids Brew 102 was straight up a working man's beer. :)

  6. That was my dad's favorite beer, because it was cheap. But when my boyfriend, who is now my husband of 49 years, started to bring his own beer, Coors, and put it in the refrigerator because he did not like the Brew 102. After a couple of weeks when he placed his Coors in, there was a 6 pack of Coors already there. He knew he was in good with my dad and the rest is history. So Brew 102 started it all.

  7. I remember seeing the brewery on my way to catch the train to San Diego, 1975 - 80. I remembered the radio commercials -- "You can pay more, but you can't buy a better beer" -- but I had no idea the brewery was 100 years old! That was really significant and very rare in those days, and I was just getting interested in the history of the city.