The History of The German American Brewing Co.

Excerpted from the book "RUSHING THE GROWLER: A History of Brewing in Buffalo" by Steve Powell 1996,1997 all rights reserved.

Operated by:

Philip Scheu 11/13 High St. 1849-1859

Joseph L. Haberstroh a.k.a. Haberstroh & Scheu 1859-1885

German-American Brewing Company 1885-1920

Philip Scheu built his brewery in 1849 at the corner of Main and High Street. In 1859, after running the business for ten years, he handed the business over to his son-in-law Joseph L. Haberstroh. Between 1859 and 1884 Haberstroh made some additions to the brewery and was said to perform many of the day-to-day operations of the business himself.

He found it necessary to don the workman's apron and enter the brewery as a laborer. Nor did he think it unbecoming to take a seat upon the delivery wagon and distribute his goods to his customers. It is related that a gentleman from New York having been introduced to Mr. Haberstroh at the place of business of one of his customers where he was delivering beer, barely recognized the young brewer in the habiliments of a laborer, who was at the time President of the Common Council, but meeting him later in the day, with his dress suit on, a prompt salutation was made.

Mr. Haberstroh jocosely remarked, "Your refusal to recognize me in my working garb this morning is sufficient reason why I should not return your salutation now. 1


Haberstroh later was elected sheriff and held many other civic offices in Buffalo.

In 1869-1870, Haberstroh sold 6,362 barrels of beer. Under the name of the German-American Brewing Company, the brewery sold 23,565 barrels in 1888 and employed 20 men.2

In 1885 Haberstroh sold the brewery to The German-American Brewing Company and Carl Strangmann became its president and manager. In 1893, a new brewhouse was added. In 1894, a whole new brewery was erected on the spot of Haberstro's original brewery. When the building was completed in 1896, a beer garden installed on the roof and the brewery became the center of German-American Culture for many years.3

The German-American Brewing Company's most famous beer was called "Maltosia," which was billed as a healthful malt based beverage (or tonic) as well as a beer. The German-American Brewing Company also owned the Gambrinus Brewery, as well as the German-American Hall & Cafe.4

The brewery closed during Prohibition and reopened briefly after its repeal with a listed address at 525 Humbolt St. The brewery closed in 1934 probably due to a lack of funding to maintain operations.5

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