Anheuser Busch Barley Cleaning House and Elevators, 1911 postcard.
It has been estimated that at one time during the mid nineteenth century St. Louis had anywhere from 40 to 53 breweries. Possibly the earliest brewed beer in St. Louis was concocted by a John Coons, a few years after 1804, when the territory was purchased by the United States. By 1810 one of St. Louis' original French residents, Jacques St. Vrain, a former officer of the Spanish government, opened the St. Vrain Brewery. But beer production and consumption did not really become popular until waves of German immigrants reached St. Louis. [Pictured at left is bottle from the Henry Grone Brewery, that was located at 2219 Clark avenue, producing beer and soda water from 1861-1934. This bottle was found by the author in a creek in north St. Louis County]
Some historic breweries in St. Louis:
American Brewing Co.
Anheuser Busch Brewing Co.
Anthony & Kuhn Brewing Co.
Arsenal Brewing Co.
Bavarian Brewing Co.
Bremen Brewing Co.
Bresser Henry Brewing Co.
Brinckwirth-Nolker Brewing Co.
Cherokee Brewing Co.
Chouteau Ave. Brewing Co.
City Brewery (owned by James and William Finney)
Columbia Brewing Co.
Consumer's Brewing Co.
Empire Brewing Co.
Excelsior Brewing Co. (1876-1889, absorbed into St. Louis Brewing Assoc.)
Falstaff Brewing Co. (arises from the former Griesedieck Beverage Corp.) Logo/Name purchased in 1920 from the Lemp family.
Forest Park Brewing Co. (purchased by Griesedieck Beverage Company)
Fulton Brewing Co. also known as Wainwright Brewing Company (owned by Ellis Wainwright)
Gast Brewing Co.
Green Tree Brewing Co. (absorbed into the St. Louis Brewery Assoc.)
Griesedieck Beverage Co. (reorganized in 1920 as the Falstaff Corporation)
Grone Brewery Co. (absorbed into the St. Louis Brewery Assoc.)
Home Brewing Co.
Hyde Park Brewing Co.
Klausman Brewing Co. (absorbed into the St. Louis Brewery Assoc..)
Lemp Brewery (William J. Lemp Brewing Co, formerly Western Brewing Co.) Falstaff name and logo purchased in 1920 by reorganized brewery of the former Griesedieck Corp.
Liberty Brewing Co.
National Brewery Co.
Phoenix Brewing Co.
Reliance Brewing Co.
St. Louis Brewing Association (owned by 1st: John Philipson, 2nd: John Mullanphy, 3rd: Isaac McHose and Ezra English)
St. Vrain Brewery
Schnaider Brewery and Beer Gardens
Schorr-Kolkschneider Brewing Co.
Schroeder's Berliner Weiss Bier Co.
Star Brewery Co.
Chas. G. Stifel Brewing Co.
Union Brewing Co.
Wainwright Brewing Co. (absorbed by St. Louis Brewing Association)
Western Brewing Co. (later renamed, William J. Lemp Brewing Co)
Witteman-Rost Brewing Co.
Of all the breweries St. Louis offered, Anheuser Busch became the most successful. Its most popular beer, Budweiser, was first sold in 1876. Today in 2002, Budweiser Lite is the world's number one brew. One of Busch's advertisements published in 1903 was the song, "Under the Anheuser Bush" (words by Andrew Sterling and music by Henry von Tilzer. Its chorus went," Come, Come, Come and make eyes with me, Under the Anheuser Bush Come, Come, drink some “Budwise” with me.." In the early 1900's one could hear this song played with the piano at the local dime store. That's when dime store's sold sheet music, before records became real popular. If you have never heard this song or read the words, select the following link and hear it now: "Under the Anheuser Bush".
The outlaw of alcoholic beverages, called "Prohibition" in 1919 was disastrous for St. Louis breweries. Hundreds of people were laid off of work and breweries had to try to survive until the prohibition law could be repealed. For example, Falstaff made brewer's yeast and Busch produced non-alcoholic beverages, like "near beer". In the meantime, prohibitionist in the city were happy. One prohibitionist song, "John Barley Corn Good-bye" (audio available online) was published in 1919 by John Stark in St. Louis.
But with St. Louis being a beer city, alcohol consumption did not die with prohibition. Instead it went underground with bootleg wine, beer or whiskey. Most was produced in small quantities in resident's cellars, but larger quantities were peddled by organized crime. This black market ended with the repeal of prohibition on April 7, 1933, a day when St. Louis' taverns were packed to capacity.
Glass Plate Photography of 1914-1917 construction work at Anheuser Busch Brewery by J. R. Eike, Thomas Kempland Collection:
Anheuser Busch (construction Bevo plant)
Anheuser Busch (construction)
Anheuser Busch (temporary trestle over RR yards for Bevo plant construction)
Anheuser Busch (Mr. Mathie and other salesmen at Bevo plant)
Anheuser Busch Street Car Stop (at Arsenal and Broadway, corner of Lyon Park)
Anheuser Busch Street Cars (at Arsenal and Broadway, corner of Lyon Park)
Anheuser Busch Street Car (crossing Arsenal street)
Anheuser Busch? (RR car used in Bevo Plant construction?)
Anheuser Busch (railyard, trains, horses with wagon)
Anheuser Busch (railyard, trains, steamshovel)
Anheuser Busch (Bevo Plant construction)
Anheuser Busch (Bevo Plant construction sideview)
Anheuser Busch (construction, railyard)
Anheuser Busch (construction, men tilting a RR car)
Anheuser Busch (construction, tall crane)
Anheuser Busch (construction, church steeple, some buildings visible)
Anheuser Busch (construction, better view of buildings along road)
Anheuser Busch (railyard construction, closeup view of platform supports )
Anheuser Busch (construction, steamshovel, engine and workmen)
Anheuser Busch (close-up of , steamshovel working)
Anheuser Busch ( steamshovel working, workmen)
Anheuser Busch ( railyard, rr cars, steam engine)
Anheuser Busch ( railyard, loaded cars pushed by steam engine)
Anheuser Busch ( railyard, rr cars, gang of men carrying heavy beam)
For a complete listing of glass plate photography by J.R. Eike, visit: http://www.usgennet.org/usa/mo/county/stlouis/kempland/glassplate.htm
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