Lemp Brewery - St. Louis, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Wampa-One
N 38° 35.490 W 090° 13.089
15S E 742285 N 4275116
Quick Description: This was the largest brewery in St. Louis prior to Prohibition.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 1/13/2009 11:52:54 AM
Waymark Code: WM5JE8
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Windsocker
Views: 13

Long Description:
The Lemp Family began with Johann Adam Lemp who arrived in St Louis from Eschwege, Germany in 1838. Building a small grocery store at what is now Delmar and 6th Streets, he sold common household items, groceries, and homemade beer. The light golden lager was a welcome change from the darker beers that were sold at the time. The recipe, handed down by his father, was so popular that just two years later, he gave up the grocery store and built a small brewery in 1840 at a point close to where the Gateway Arch stands today.

Lemp first sold his beer in a pub attached to the brewery, introducing St. Louis to its first lager. Before long, Lemp found that the brewery was too small to handle both production and storage and found a limestone cave south of the city limits. The cave, which was located at the present-day corner of Cherokee and De Menil Place, could be kept cool by chopping ice from the nearby Mississippi River and depositing it inside, providing perfect conditions for the lagering process to run its course. Lemp’s Western Brewing Co. continued to prosper and by the 1850s was one of the largest in the city. In 1858, the beer captured first place at the annual St. Louis fair.

A millionaire by the time of his death, Adam Lemp died on August 25, 1862 and his son, William, began a major expansion of the brewery. He purchased a five-block area around the storage house on Cherokee, above the lagering caves. In 1864, a new plant was complete at Cherokee Street and Carondolet Avenue. Continually expanding to meet the product demand, the brewery eventually covered five city blocks. By the 1870s the Lemp family symbolized both wealth and power, as the Lemp Brewery controlled the St. Louis beer market, a position it maintained until prohibition.

By the middle 1890s, the Lemp Brewery gained a national presence after introducing the popular “Falstaff” beer, which is still brewed today by another company. The Lemp Western Brewery was the first brewer to establish coast-to-coast distribution of its beer. At the same time he was building his own business empire, William, Sr. also helped Pabst, Anheuser and Busch get started.

Then Prohibition came along in 1919. The individual family members were already wealthy so there was little incentive to keep the brewery afloat. For a time, Will hoped that Congress would repeal Prohibition but finally gave up and closed the Lemp plant down without notice. The workers learned of the closing when they came to work one day and found the doors shut and the gates locked. Liquidating the assets of the plant and auctioning the buildings, William, Jr. sold the famous Lemp “Falstaff” logo to brewer Joseph Griesedieck for $25,000 in 1922. The brewery buildings were sold to the International Shoe Co. for $588,000, a fraction of its estimated worth of $7 million in the years before Prohibition
~ condensed from Legends of America (visit link)

There is talk of redevelopment of the property.

A detailed history may also be viewed at BeerHistory website (visit link)

There is currently no beer brewed at this location. The current incarnation of Lemp Beer is brewed elsewhere. (visit link)
3500 Lemp Avenue
St. Louis, MO USA


Website: Not listed

Parking Coordinates: Not Listed

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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kJfishman visited Lemp Brewery - St. Louis, MO 12/22/2011 kJfishman visited it