The Schaefer Story: 100 years old in 1942

In 1942 Schaefer Brewing in Brooklyn, NY issued a handsome company history to commemorate 100 years in business. A website maintained by (I believe) Schaefer descendants and devoted to the brewery’s history has placed the rare volume online as a public service, here.

Earlier, I discussed a number of brewery and distillery histories, many from the mid-1900s. The Schaefer volume is not dissimilar but is particularly suave and well-designed. Hand-drawn illustrations inside the cover set the tone with their stylized depiction of beer lovers in different ages ranging from a Falstaffian figure to arm-in-arm modern young Americans striding toward their 1940s future.

In truth, the future was somewhat dimmed by America’s recent entry into WW II. War shadows were minimized even as a passage toward the end notes that with the taxes paid by Schaefer America could buy x number of P-40 fighter aircraft. So readers were reminded: the brewery and the country had entered a parlous era.

But certainly the book capped almost 10 years of solid success from the repeal of Prohibition. Schaefer made a particularly strong showing at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York with its art deco Schaefer Center, a restaurant and reception centre whose centrepiece was a curved, 125-foot open-air bar.

Rather than discuss the book further, I thought I’d open it up to discussion in the comments. Feel free to state impressions of this Schaefer valentine, pro-, con, or other.

I’ll respond with reactions when back from a short trip tomorrow night.




4 thoughts on “The Schaefer Story: 100 years old in 1942”

  1. Unfortunately, in the NY area, Schaefer began the trending towards lightening their beer : more adjuncts, high attenuation and less hops.

    • And that is the taste pretty much if you look at reviews of the beer called Schaefer currently packaged by Pabst, see beeradvocate or Ratebeer reviews. The beer had to have more character in the 30s-60s….


  2. I now have the jingle stuck in my head :
    Schaefer is the one beer to have when you’re having more than one !

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