In 1907, Valentine Merz founded the Dixie Brewing Company in New Orleans. Merz permitted a few dozen—which soon grew to a few hundred—investors to join in his original enterprise. After getting through Prohibition by selling “Dixie near beers”, Dixie began an aggressive post-WWII marketing campaign in which it described itself as New Orleans’ friendly, slow-brewed made in New Orleans’ beer. This advertising campaign gave Dixie Beer (the signature brand) a peak market share of 32.1% of the New Orleans market in 1962.
Like many brands that rise from nothing more than mere start-up capital to occupying a niche in a city, this brand repaid it and then some. For those early investors in the closely held corporation that held their shares or otherwise kept them in the family, the distributions in the 1960s and 1970s alone were capable of paying for whatever they wanted out of life—new model automobiles, new … Read the rest of this article!