Stein Collectors International
Featured Stein ~ December 2020

Ho, Ho, Ho! Merry Christmas from Santa, Schultz & Dooley

By Steve Steigerwald
SCI Master Steinologist, member of the Burgermeister chapter

The Santa stein produced by Gerz in Germany for the F.X. Matt Brewing Company, is one of the favorite steins that I ever received as a gift. I do not own too many post World War II pieces but the few that are in my collection are all connected to some favorite memories. My wife tries her best each year (and often succeeds) to add something interesting to my collection as part of my Christmas gift. This piece was purchased by my wife at a convention member’s auction that I did not attend because I did not see anything in particular on which I wanted to place a bid. She paid cash and snuck it into her luggage for the plane ride back. She knows my affinity for Santa steins and she also knew that I have a particular affection for the Utica Club Brewery (part of F.X. Matt Brewing Company) from my college days.

Long ago, I remember heading up to Utica from college in an older Chevrolet piloted by one of my longtime friends with 4 others in his car to head for our regular Utica Club Brewery tour trip. It got to the point where the company would have been well off hiring the six of us to do the tour as we knew it as well or better than the actual guides. The reason, of course, were the tickets we received for two free beers at the end of the tour. Thereafter, we would go next door to the Rainbow Room, a local tavern, to play foosball on a table that looked like it was 100 years old while listening to music and enjoying a couple of cold Maximus Supers. Of course we always had a  designated driver appointed to ensure we were able to safely negotiate our way home.

The Santa stein pictured here is one of a  long series of steins manufactured for the F.X. Matt Brewing Company as part of its Schultz and Dooley line of steins. Those steins were first made in 1959 and additional editions were made by several manufacturers over the years. These characters were based on the Utica Club beer advertisements that were on television at the time. In 1973, other characters in the television advertisement series were introduced as steins. Finally, in 1992 there were steins made depicting additional characters which were not part of the original television advertisements. The Santa stein was first produced in 1998. It is a relatively tall (almost 10”) liter character stein depicting Santa in his red and white outfit complete with hat and red mittens. He is carrying a black sack containing four items: a wrapped gift, a small Christmas tree with multicolor bulbs and a pair of Schultz and Dooley steins. The base reads : First Edition; WEBCO; Made in Germany for FX Matt Brewing Co.; Utica NY. I do not know if there were additional Editions of the stein produced but the Beer Stein Library notes a price difference for the First versus subsequent editions.

Starting the day after Thanksgiving each year, the stein (together with my other post World war II Christmas themed steins) makes its journey from the stein cabinet it occupies most of the year down to the main floor where it is proudly displayed with our other Christmas decorations. Our relatives and friends that regularly visit during the holidays know the story of this stein so well, I let them give the rendition each year to anyone who has not heard it before.

For anyone that wants to gather further information on the Schultz and Dooley series and the brewery, there are several very good articles available for study. In addition to two articles that appear in the Beer Stein Library (Schultz & Dooley et al., A Collector's Guide and Schultz & Dooley Character Stein Catalog), I strongly recommend an article written by John Manning and Dennis Hunsicker that was written for Steve on Steins.

Wishing everyone a Very Happy Holiday Season!!! Prosit!!!