Thursday, December 3, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Go behind the curtain at Carling

Aerial image of the completed Carling Brewery in Ft. Worth (May 1964).

If you've got some free time and are looking to turn back the clock while taking in a bit of North Texas brewing history, the Special Collections division of the University of Texas at Arlington Library has made available an online database of images depicting the former Carling Brewing Company of Ft. Worth.

Carling, as you may know, predated Miller Brewing Company on the site where MillerCoors now operates on I-35W, just south of I-20 in Ft. Worth (the physical address is 7001 South Freeway). The Canadian brewery began construction on the property in January 1963, but what was to be "The World's Most Modern Brewery" never managed to get fully up and running due to production issues. This led to the eventual buyout by Miller in 1966, with various expansions and upgrades over the years leading to the facility we see today.

Images of Carling (dating from 1963-1965) are archived at UTA as part of the W.D. Smith Photography Negatives Collection, with over 140 entries providing a glimpse of both the interior and exterior of the plant at various stages of its construction and development. In addition to numerous aerial shots of the outside of the building, images of the inside capture views of employee common areas, as well as virtually all aspects of the manufacturing process.

Above and below, I've put together a preview of what can be found in the collection, which is accessible at the following website: Once there, click "Search" at the upper right and enter "Carling" as your search term.


Click thumbnails to link directly to the gallery at UTA where you can view full size images (clicking will open a new tab/window):

Early and late-stage construction (left: March 1963, right: October 1963)

Left: Brewing system control board (1964).
Right: Liquid adjunct tank with a capacity of 400 barrels (1964).

Left: Fermentation tanks with a capacity of 1000 barrels (1964).
Right: Storage room lined with 1000-barrel tanks (1964).

Above: Packaging line, including a bottle washer (upper right) capable of processing 14,840 bottles at a time, and a label machine (just out of view to the left) capable of labeling 270 bottles per minute (1964).

Note: All images are the property of University of Texas at Arlington and are used here in accordance with the terms of the non-commercial license found here.

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