First up, we have the Brewers' throwback caps manufactured by New Era and available on MLB's online store.
Blue cap, red bill & squatchee, white block "M". Simple and bold. It's a gorgeous look, obviously most commonly associated with the Milwaukee Braves but actually introduced by the Brewers as a nod to the similar cap worn by their parent club in Boston.
This cap was introduced in 1948, when the team's traditional sans-serif red letter was replace with a white block "M". With minor variations to the monogram, the style was worn through the Brewers' final game in 1952.
But how authentic is this 1948 throwback cap?
First of all, there are the concessions to modern construction and specifications. This cap was made in the United States of the relatively-new synthetic COOLERA™ fabric. It features a black underbrim and MLB "batterman" logo on the back. Obviously, neither of these elements would have been present on the originals, but I don't have a problem with including them here.
So that's the construction of our 1948 reproduction. But how close the style of this cap comes to the originals is worth exploring in detail.
The first thing that jumps out to me is the color. The navy seems a little light.
It's a quirk of the manufacturing process that New Era only produces caps in a limited palette of colors. Red is red is red, be it the Cardinals or Reds or Angels, who all wear the exact same color cap, the same red as this brim. New Era does offer MLB teams a choice of two shades of navy blue, however. The Brewers wear the lighter navy, while teams like the Yankees sport a darker "midnight navy":
Even accounting for the age of this jersey, the Brewers' shade of blue at the time was clearly very dark. New Era's midnight navy would probably have been a better match.
Which brings us to the "M".
New Era has an ongoing problem with this logo, everywhere it appears. I don't know if the problem lies with the Cooperstown Collection style guide, or if it's just bad work on the manufacturers, but their "M" has never been right.
Look how squat their standard letter is (with the triangular crotch extending almost all the way down to the bottom) compared with the originals:
The letter should be significantly taller than it is wide, but for some reason in recent years we've seen nothing but squat, square "M"s on reproduction caps.
So, on balance, how did New Era do? Their reproduction 1948 cap is good with all the broad strokes, but just misses on the details. Still, it's a fantastic design, and well worth picking up while you can.