1985 : Stroh’s Plant Closes in Detroit

May 31, 2022 all-day

Beer was brewed in Detroit as early as 1836. By the eve of the Civil War there were around 400 breweries in Michigan’s largest city. One of these was operated by Bernhard Stroh, who began brewing beer in Detroit in the 1850s. By the 1880s, Stroh was Detroit’s biggest brewery. In the years following World War II, Stroh fought with Goebel and Pfeiffer for dominance in the city. By 1982, Stroh was the nation’s third largest brewery, but Stroh’s acquisition of Schlitz led to the closing of the Detroit plant.

The day the Stroh’s plant closed in Detroit, a lab technician and his coworker climbed atop the tallest building at the historic brewery and lowered the American flag to half-staff.

“In our minds, we were mourning the death of the brewery, and it seemed a fitting tribute,” recalled Steven Lees. It was May 31, 1985.

On Monday (August 22, 2016) , Detroit-made Stroh Brewery Co. beer returns to stores and bars across Michigan. The Bohemian-Style Pilsner (5.5% alcohol by volume) is made by Brew Detroit in the Corktown neighborhood through an agreement with Pabst Brewing Company.

Pabst acquired the brand in 1999, and the Stroh family no longer has a hand in the product.

“I don’t care who’s making it, just that they’re back in Detroit where they belong,” Lees said. “I’m thrilled. I think it’s awesome.”

For the full article, see Robert Allen, “Stroh’s returns to Detroit with a new beer, but pride never left“, Detroit Free Press, August 20, 2016

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