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Monterey cones were produced by Monterey Brewing of Salinas, Calif. probably around the 1938 to the early 1940's interval. Prior to 1938, the brewery name had been Salinas Brewing, and was a very small brewery located on Main Street in Salinas. In a ranking of around 33 California breweries as of December, 1936, Salinas Brewing was ranked about 27th and may have had a capacity of only around 5,000 barrels annually.
However this brewery did can beer in a cone with an interesting design. The main variation that is mostly seen, is "white" with black in the shield and elsewhere in the label. Also oddly there is at least one slightly cream-colored variation and the two are shown together in the picture. This cream-colored variation would seem to be "smoked", but its history is known and this near-perfect example came from an original collector who started in a small Sierra Nevada town in 1936 and his cans were never in a smoky environment.

For most collectors the unusual Monterey cone is the "blue" variation. The early 1990's picture of Gene DiCicco shows him holding the "white" and the "blue" variations. Gene first saw the "blue" variation when finding around 20 "outside" Monterey cones in the Santa Cruz Mountains in the early 1980's.

Letter from A.K. Neubert, Page 1

Letter from A.K. Neubert, Page2

Other collectors said it was only a discolored "white" cone and that a "blue" variation didn't exist. Then a Redding, Calif. collector Charlie Hoyer, who collected with Loren Love, got some cones from a man who worked at the dump in Redding. Included in this group was a clean example of the "blue" variation of the Monterey cone along with others like a Eureka cone. Turns out the source for Charlie Hoyer had worked at the Redding dump during the late 1930's on, and had picked up beer cans he liked.

In 1971, California collector Bob Myers wrote the former owner of Monterey Brewing, A.K. Neubert, inquiring on what cans he might have and sending along a picture of California beer cans. A copy of Mr. Neubert's letter is shown, and at that time, Mr. Neubert had relocated to a ranch in Montana, only visiting Calif. once a year or so. He never located any beer cans but sent a Rodeo beer label with a straight flush hand on the back. (Label could be torn off to see the cards' hand.) Mr. Neubert wrote in this letter:

"The Government stopped me on the use of these because of the expression - 'Don't Gamble, drink Rodeo Beer' - reminded the drinker of the gambling possibilities, and this was illegal."

Mr. Neubert highlighted that his brother-in-law, George Ziegler became "one of the big shots of Lucky Lager after he left me in the mid 30's". (Lucky Lager showed steady growth from the 1930's and became the leading California Brewery peaking around the late 1950's and George Ziegler rose to become its brewmaster at that time. The peak year in barrels may have been 1958 when it was the 12th largest brewery in the U.S. with 2,265 million barrels, but the peak year in profits could have been 1956 when it earned over $3 mil. Not many years after that sales were down only a little, but profits plummeted until many years had losses. Details on Lucky Lager from Pat Franco who specializes in the brewery.)
Mr. Neubert had some interesting comments in his letter, but never mentioning finding a Monterey cone; at the time the "blue" variation was unknown, so that subject was never raised.

"Inside" Monterey examples known: There may only be one (?) of the "blue" variety, but a dozen or more (?) of the "white" one; some major collectors went many years before they found a clean Monterey cone, which suggests on-grade ones may be scarce.

"Outside" examples: the "blue" variety is still rare but 50-100+ (?) of the "white" variation have been found in all conditions, notwithstanding that Monterey Brewing was a very small brewery. 1-2007

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