St. Louis Brewing History Timeline

  • 1809 – John Coons opens first documented primitive brewery in St. Louis on the current site of the Gateway Arch.
  • 1840 – Adam Lemp credited with brewing the first lager beers produced in the United States in St. Louis.
  • 1852 – George Schneider establishes the Bavarian Brewery in south St. Louis. The Bavarian Brewery would eventually become Anheuser-Busch, America’s largest brewer.
  • 1860 – 40 breweries brewing a combined 212,400 barrels of beer are operating in St. Louis.
  • 1876 – Adolphus Busch and Carl Conrad introduce Budweiser Beer.
  • 1887 – District St. Louis of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA) founded.
  • 1889 – St.Louis Brewing Association is formed when an English business syndicate purchases eighteen of the city’s thirty breweries.
  • 1904 – Adolphus Busch accepts position of World’s Fair Director and brings together local brewers to create the fair’s largest entertainment venue, a lavish six acre biergarten called the German Tyrolean Alps.
  • 1933 – On April 7th, the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale Hitch makes its first public appearance delivering a case of post-prohibition Budweiser to former New York Governor Al Smith, a longtime opponent of prohibition, in front of the Empire State Building.
  • 1935 – Falstaff Brewing Company of St. Louis buys the Krug Brewing Company of Omaha (Nebraska) and begins producing Falstaff beer there. This is the first time a brewery produces its flagship brand in two different cities.
  • 1951 – Anheuser-Busch’s Newark (N.J.) brewery comes on line making Anheuser-Busch the first brewer to build a regional brewery outside its hometown.
  • 1957 – Anheuser-Busch becomes the American beer industry sales leader surpassing Schlitz and has retained that lead ever since. Its sales for 1957 were 6,116,077 barrels which amounted to 7.17% of the industry total.
  • 1964 – Anheuser-Busch becomes the first brewer to produce 10 million barrels of beer in a single year.
  • 1964 – Falstaff Brewing Company opens America’s first museum dedicated to beer and the American brewing industry which operated until 1975.
  • 1966 – Anheuser-Busch and Falstaff Brewing Corp. are ranked #1 and #4 Top U.S. Brewers respectively brewing 13.5 million barrels and 7 million barrels.
  • 1967 – Anheuser-Busch’s St. Louis brewery is declared a National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior.
  • 1970 – The Brewery Collectibles Club of America (BCCA) was founded in St. Louis in April of 1970 under the name Beer Can Collectors of America. This premier breweriana collector’s club still maintains its office in Fenton, MO.
  • 1975 – Final decline of Falstaff begins with Corporate HQ moving to San Francisco and mass layoffs and brewery closings. By 1990, the Falstaff brand existed as a contract brew only when the final Fort Wayne brewery is shuttered. By 2005 the brand ceased to exist altogether with only 1,468 barrels brewed in its final year.
  • 1977 – Final St. Louis-based Falstaff brewery closes.
  • 1986 – Anheuser-Busch breaks the billion barrel production mark since the founding of the brewery. This is the largest production of beer by a single brewer in history.
  • 1991 – On December 26th, Dan Kopman and Tom Schlafly open The Saint Louis Brewery’s Schlafly Tap Room at 2100 Locust Street, the first new brewery to open in St. Louis since Prohibition.
  • 1995 – Morgan Street Brewing Company opens on Laclede’s Landing.
  • 2000 – O’Fallon Brewing Company opens.
  • 2006 – Square One Brewery & Distillery opens in Lafayette Park.
  • 2007 – The first annual St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival takes place May 10-12 in Forest Park featuring beer samples from the 7 existing St. Louis area breweries, Alandale Brewing Co., Anheuser-Busch, Augusta Brewing Co., Morgan Street Brewery, O’Fallon Brewery, Square One Brewery, and The Saint Louis Brewery – Schlafly Beer.
  • 2008 – On July 13th, international brewing conglomerate InBev announces takeover of Anheuser-Busch. The combination of the two brewers creates the largest brewing company in the world.
  • 2010 – Ferguson Brewing Co. and Perennial Artisan Ales open.
  • 2011 – 4 Hands Brewing Co., The Civil Life Brewing Company, Kirkwood Station Brewing Co., Urban Chestnut Brewing Company, Exit 6 Pub & Brewery all open.
  • 2014 – Earthbound Brewing Co. and Modern Brewery open.
  • 2017 – 8th and 9th generation members of the Griesedieck family in the brewing industry prepare to open a new Griesedieck Bros. brewery in North St. Louis.
  • 2017 – Earthbound Brewery finishes construction on a new brewery on the site of the former pre-prohibition brewery, Cherokee Brewing Company.
  • 2017 – Almost 60 breweries operating or in planning in the Greater St. Louis area.

Brewing Timeline from the St. Louis Brewer’s Guild website. For new brewery updates visit STLBEER.org

Join Our Newsletter