In St. Louis, a new brewery from an old name

Griesedieck Brothers, one of the most famous names in St. Louis brewing history, plans to build a new brewery in the city. Eighth generation brewer Raymond A. Griesedieck and his son, Bob, expect to begin brewing in the Baden neighborhood by the middle of next year.

The family’s brewing roots trace back to 1766 when Johann Griesendieck began making beer in Stromberg, Westphalia. About 100 years later Anton Griesedeck moved to America and settled in St. Louis. After he and two partners bought the Thamer Brewing Co. in 1878 his family became enmeshed in St. Louis brewing. When the indsutry consolidation of the 1940s and 1950s left just four major local players operating (Anheuser-Busch, Flastaff, Stag and Griesedeck Brothers) the latter three were still largely controlled by members of the Griesedieck family.

G/B sold nearly a million barrels of beer a year in the early 1950s, but after Edward Griesedieck died in 1955 and the family faced a massive estate tax bill its members decided to sell to Falstaff Brewing. Falstaff was controlled by another branch of the family. Not long after Falstaff bought the G/B brewery it discontinued the brand, then briefly revived it in 1976 for one year.

In 1987, local entrepreneurs resurrected the brand, contracting to have it made in Wisconsin. The Griesediecks later bought it back. Now the plan is to resume brewing in St. Louis. “St. Louisians are proud of their beer, especially the beers that are locally owned and have a story behind them,” Raymond Griesedieck said. “We don’t have to make up a story for G/B Beer, though; we just have to tell the story that already exists. Brewing and packaging a St. Louis beer in St. Louis just adds to the story.”

Bob Griesedieck said the family plans to open a tasting room in the space, but initially, the brewery will primarily focus on production and manufacturing.


Beer mega deal complete

SABMiller shareholders have approved the $100 billion deal that allows the company to be taken over by Anheuser-Busch InBev. AB InBev shareholders previously backed the transaction.

“We are committed to driving long-term growth and creating value for all our stakeholders,” Carlos Brito, chief executive of AB InBev, said in a statement.

Regulators around the world have already approved the deal, which AB InBev says will create “the first truly global brewer.” The takeover is expected to be formally completed Oct. 10, AB InBev said.

Acquiring SABMiller gives AB InBev a large presence in Africa while increasing its business in South America and Europe. The combined company will control almost a third of the global beer market. However, AB InBev sold off dozens of brands to gain regulatory approval for the deal, including Miller Lite, Peroni and Snow, the world’s top-selling beer.


The billion dollar impact of homebrewing

Research by the American Homebrewers Association suggests that the total impact of homebrewing on the American economy was $1.225 billion in 2015, and that homebrewing created 11,672 jobs.

An AHA survey found that 815 shops sold home beverage-making supplies to the nation’s estimated 1.2 million homebrewers in 2015, with collective revenues estimated at $764 million. However, Brewers Association economist Bart Watson explained that measures only part of the contribution to the economy.

“To estimate the total impact of that spending, we need to think about all the other ripples those dollars create,” he wrote at the AHA website. “Equipment suppliers buy raw materials to make the equipment. Homebrewing shops employ people, and those employees spend money. This is called the ‘multiplier effect.’ Retail multipliers are typically lower than those in manufacturing industries, but they can still add 20% to the total impact.

“To estimate the total impact, I put these spending numbers into economic impact modeling software called IMPLAN. For simplicity, I assigned the $764 million to a retail category that includes hobby shops. In addition, I put $50 million in building material and garden supply stores (I’m sure some of you have bought homebrew supplies at Home Depot) and another $50 million in food and beverage stores. The final $136 million I evenly divided between hotels, travel, restaurants, and entertainment (to estimate travel and other expenses).”

The AHA is a division of the Brewers Association.