About this blog

by Bill Combs IV

Rudolph J. Schaefer, Jr. was my great-grandfather. We knew him as “Pie.” In 1980/1981, about a year before his death, he published “The Schaefer Story”. It’s a written account of his family – the Schaefer family – from 1752 in Wetzlar, Germany through May, 1981 in the suburbs of New York City. The foreward is from July, 1980 but there are notes included from 1981 – making me think there were some additions after the original writing. There are a total of 5 chapters in The Schaefer Story. Chapter IV is currently the only chapter included here due to the fact that it presents the entire Schaefer Beer story – it’s the public side of The Schaefer Story and the side that will be interesting to beer historians, fans of beer and all Schaefer People. Chapter IV is also a first-hand account from the man who ran the brewery from 1927 to 1968. The other 4 chapters touch on the brewing business but are more about the life of R.J. Schaefer, Jr and his family before him. We’ll see how it goes with Chapter IV before getting into the other chapters. At the very least I will add some brewery-specific excerpts from those chapters.

The text was tape recorded by RJS, Jr. and transcribed by Mary C. O’Connell, which was her profession. As a result the text tends to ramble, tack, jump and jibe. Chapter IV is 10,760+ words and there was no breakdown in the original text. My intent in rewriting The Schaefer Story is to stay as close to the original text as possible. Therefore, in lieu of inventing my own break down, re-chaptering, etc. I’ve chosen to simply break Chapter IV into 4 sections of somewhat equal length. So, if you intend on coming back to it, keep tabs on the section you’re reading.

Any comments, additional info, critique, etc. is welcome and is a major contributor as to why this is in a blog format. Also, from what I know of Pie, as a creative and forward-thinking marketing mind, I think he would have embraced the digital age, social media/networking, etc. and would enjoy reading The Schaefer Story on the web.

As the blogger, I am simply trying to preserve the history of The F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company which, after becoming somewhat intimate with the text, transcends the history of just one brand of beer and enters into the realm of the history of the brewing industry, and maybe industry in general, from 1842 through Prohibition and into 1981 – 139 years in all. Within and throughout the text you’ll notice highlighted links to other web pages/sites. Hopefully these links will help paint a bigger, broader picture of the story.

There is much more to come in this story – both from the original text and other on- and off-line sources. Max’s Diary was just added – Maximilian’s (the M in F. & M.) personal diary from his Wetzlar, Germany to NYC voyage. In fact, the story is still developing. Schaefer is still a brand, now owned by the Pabst Brewing Company, and is still America’s oldest lager. I’ve setup a Twitter channel where I try to share small bits of Schaefer history, aggregate and share what others are saying about Schaefer, etc. If you are “Schaefer People,” following @schaeferstory on Twitter will be a good way to stay in, and become part of, the story.

Enjoy and please bring your comments.

115 Comments

115 thoughts on “About this blog

  1. Ed "Schaefer Employee"

    Started in 1949 in Local 59 to wherever they sent me…mostly Budweiser in Westbury…and for Schaefer I was an employee from 1951 till 1982… started in Brooklyn as a yard truck jockey and left as a delivery man . Early days in Brooklyn we had two “Steinewitz” bars open for a half hour in those days… our foreman was called “Shakey Joe”.
    I still remember to this day the big “beer strike” in 1949 that hit NYC… I did picket duty on the waterfront…
    After Brooklyn I moved up to Westchester County operations and delivered beer until 1982, working as a driver.
    Thank you for your efforts on this website… still Schaefer People.

    • Thanks so much, Ed. You’re the kind of people I was hoping would find this blog. The Schaefer Story just got much richer.

      All the best,
      Bill

      • Nancy Rife

        I am great great granddaughter of Maximillan Schaefer, great granddaughter of General Emil Frederick Schaefer, granddaughter of Frieda Elsa Schaefer. Would love to hear from relatives of original Schaefer family. Nancy (Wyatt) Rife rifenancy@live.com

    • john omalley

      sounds like you’d know my dad, john o’malley, from schaefer — also i worked at harbor as a drivers helper — i was in the truck that was bulown up & burned on jericho tpk in 1971

    • John W. Moore

      I was at a garage sale today and saw an electric clock that had a sticker on the back that said:Property of The F. & M Schaefer Brewing Co. New York, N. Y. Display #615. I purchased the clock and brought it home. It runs but not sure how well. I’ll run it over night and see how it does.

  2. Thank you for your informative blog!

    3 years ago I met my future brother in law. The first question I ever asked him was “what’s your favorite beer?” he promptly replied “Schaefer”. Being in his early 20’s and living in Minnesota, he never actually tried Schaefer beer, but liked the fact that they shared a common name. And he was quite familiar with the Schaefer beer history.
    They’re getting married in June, and being a homebrewer, I’d love to take a stab at brewing the lucky couple a batch of Schaefer beer. I know they’d love it because they thouroughly enjoy history. After extensive searches online, I can’t find any references to any Schaefer beer recipes.

    I’d much appreciate any recipe help with making a Schaefer beer for their wedding!

    Thank you,
    Josh Mahoney

  3. Hey Josh –

    Cool idea. Unfortunately we do not have the original recipe but I can check with some family members. If he’s never had Schaefer you may be ok with any light lager recipe. Miller has been brewing Schaefer for Pabst for a number of years so the original recipe is no longer in use – and probably hasn’t been for decades.

    I would go with a brown bottle and get some unused Schaefer labels from Ebay. Just go to ebay.com and search for “Schaefer Beer labels” – just checked and there are a bunch on there. In the meantime, I’ll check for that recipe.

    Thanks for getting in touch!

  4. Steve

    THANKS! I am working on some family genealogy and the story has entwined itself with the Frederick Schaefer family. Your site has been of great interest, and also provided some valuable information. Here is an obscure link the Will of Max Schaefer. It gives a glimpse into the family workings and names in 1923.

    http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cannf/unknown_wills_rudolphschaefer.htm

  5. Bob Romond

    My father was a salesman for the company following a letter he wrote to the company while in combat during WWII. He retired as a regional sales manager. I witnessed much of the growth of the company with the traditional dinner table conversations over the years. I got to sail on Mr. Schaefer’s yacht “WERLOU” and on the replica “AMERICA”. My brother got to deliver a case of beer to California in the late ’60’s because of a letter requesting a 25th anniversary surprise of a case of beer were it wasn’t sold, sent to Mr. Schaefer, and his request that my dad “take care of this”. When there was an issue with insurance coverage for teenage drivers of the company car, somehow the problem got mentioned to Mr. Schaefer who told someone responsible for insurance to “take care of this”.

    Schaefer son William (Billy) was being shown the details of the family business in the mid ’60’s and his time with my dad ended with dinner at the house with the family. He held the chair for mom and helped clear the table after dinner and knew his way around the sink and loading the dishwasher. Perhaps there is no better proof to the way the company was run then to appreciate the way the “Boss’s” kids were raised.

    • Connie (Funaro) Garone

      Hi Bob, Just found out about this site. I knew your Dad very well and liked him very much. I worked for Jack Morris, VP of Marketing and then President of Schaefer. Whenever your Dad came in for a meeting, he always brought me Jersey tomatoes and corn which he claimed he and your Mom picked in their garden. I always sent a thank you to your Mom. Years later, I learned from your Dad’s secretary that he never had a garden and allways picked up the veggies at a roadside stand. I think he enjoyed the joke. I always wondered what your Mom thought. Connie

      • Jim McElligott

        Connie:
        I could not pass up the opportunity to say hello to you after all these years. Hope things have been well for you.
        I have never worked with a finer group of people than you, and the other Schaefer people and I hold all in the highest regard.

        Warm regards,

        Jim McElligott

      • R. Richard Romond

        Thanks for the kind words Connie….it’s true that he never had a garden, but he did have an Irish wit and loved to do those kind of things.

  6. Joe W. Hill

    I met a young Schaefer woman in Nashville at a Cajun Restaraunt on night. We spoke for approximately 20 minutes about her family business. She was one of the most interesting people I have ever met. I do not remember her name anymore but I can certainly see why the history of Schaefer Beer is so interesting and I can also see that the Schaefer Family kindness has been passed down to another generation. Big Fan!
    (It probably didn’t hurt that she was beautiful as well!)

  7. John O

    What a great blog– my dad & grandfather & uncle worked for Schaefer. Dad got my g’father’s union book after he died during WW2. My dad spoke very warmly and respectfully of Rudy Schaefer. He wound up in management and left when the company was sold to Busch.

  8. Ondria

    My Grandfather worked and retired from Schaefer Brewery. I still has his employee ID card. He also lost his leg in an accident at the brewery. While recovering, Schaefer gave him a small settlement and would pay for his wooden prosthetic until he turned 75. My Grandfather returned to work when he recovered. My Grandfather used to visit hospitals and encourage other people who lost a leg that they could live a full and happy life, including dancing. My Grandfather lived until 82 years old and without question, Schaefer continued to pay for a new prosthetic leg every year until he passed away. I also have a half wooden barrel, that hangs on the wall and holds Schaefer glasses, that I believe he received when he retired or when he reached a certain number of years working for the company. I also have Schaefer serving trays. My Grandfather was proud to work for this company. He worked the night shift and I stayed over every Friday night and waited up until he returned home. My grandparents lived in Woddhaven Queens and I miss them everyday.

  9. robert coonrod

    what ever happened to frederick schaefer jr b 1845 he married my great grand aunt elizabeth euler know as lizzie i have a family photo of him if your interested

  10. Hey Robert – I’m from the Maximilian (Frederick Sr’s brother) side, so I’m not sure but I’ll look into it and see what I can find.

  11. Eugene Patrick Devany

    I enjoyed the site and just wanted to add a bit of Schaefer trivia. In 1978 I worked as a stained glass artist and developed a technique for cutting bottles and creating 3D objects using traditional Tiffany copper foil methods. I used 12 oz. and 32 oz Schaefer bottles (they were beautiful) to create a lamp that won first prize (in crafts) in the Washington Square Outdoor Art Show. I went on to law school but the Schaefer lamp remains one of my prize works of art.

  12. Kathy

    Like his father before him, my husband worked for the brewery as a keg man for twenty years. Always he spoke with the greatest respect for Rudy Schaefer. Rudy, apparently, wasn’t the typical head of a successful company. Sometimes he would visit the yard on Kent Avenue. Knowing the men and their families by name, and that he took the time to talk to them, clearly impressed my husband. Rudy Schaefer wasn’t an average man but he didn’t forget the average man.

    • Wow, Kathy. Thank you – VERY nice to read your words.

      • I want you to know how much working at Schaefer meant to me. I started at 18 in the legal Deptartment on the executive floor and worked with all the VP’s and when Mr. Schaefer Jr. secretary was out sometimes for him. He was such a gracious gentleman and was Mr. Schaefer III. I learned so much about business, etiquette and professionalism during my 7 years with the Company. I can still remember typing at the top of each letter we sent out the phrase “Our….Year”. I have my charm bracelet that was awarded to the ladies who worked there after 5 years and we both still have our id cards.
        I meet my husband at work and your great grandfather gave us a beautiful wedding gift that I still treasure. He treated us like family.

        Here is a funny story. When we became engaged he stopped into Mr. Heutchy’s office to see me and asked to see my engagement ring. His response was. ” I think we are paying the Traffice Department guys too much, that is a very impressive ring.

        Oh for the days of civility in business. thanks for the blog
        linda

  13. Just found your site. What fun! I will forever remember my times at 1 Bay Avenue!!!

    Hollis Chesley Annibale

  14. Helene Crystel Chesley Purdy

    Named my son Maximilian Emile…after our Grandpa Schaefer as well as the ‘ originals.’ We have enjoyed the printed copies of this history, as well as the photos, made available to us by Jan Schaefer ( a.k.a “Aunt Jan” who was known for her sweet attention to our Grandma Helene Schaefer which included and was not limited to peach roses ). Thank you for creating a blog! Helene Chesley Purdy , Hamilton, VA

  15. Robert

    Do you know why schaefer beer split max’s family seemed to take over and frederick’s dropped out edward went to banking george and albert drifted away theresa left even his daughter went back to germany

  16. Robert

    would you like a picture of frederick jr was in my family album

  17. Thomas Kamerasevic

    My parents worked for Janet and Rudolph Schaefer at their house in Mamaroneck from 1970-1974. We lived above the garage. My most vivid memories involve Christmas at the house, a trip to the yacht and the dogs.

    • That’s cool, Tom. I was at that house once; probably around 1980. What did your parents do there?

      Thanks,
      Bill

      • Tom K

        Actually, it was ’71-’75. We came from Yugoslavia and my parents’ first jobs in America were as a domestic couple.

    • Gary Gerold

      Thomas, I just found this site by accident, my dad worked as RJ’s private chauffeur. He drove a 1972 dark blue Oldsmobile 98. His name was Henry Gerold, I am sure your parents would know of him.
      All the best, Gary

    • Noel combs Garapola

      Oh my gosh, Tom! I am one of ‘Pie’s’ granddaughters and I think you gave my brother and I pigeons! We brought them home to Pa. And our dad built a pigeon cage for them!

  18. Joe Anderson

    After serving in VietNam in 1967, I was fortunate enough to become a Schaefer beer salesman, in Manhattand and later Long Island, from 1968 – 1974. My first branch manager was Des O’Connor in the office on Williamsbridge Road in the Bronx. Pilar and Ellie were office staff there. Reporting to Des were District Sales Managers Tommy Hutchinson, Frank Green, Jack (a super guy) , and Joe O’Rourke. Later, I reported to Eddie Brown and then Ralph Cassanova. Back then, Schaefer salesmen were required to wear not only suit, white shirt, and tie, but a hat as well. I was a charter member of Schaefer’s President’s Club for sales excellence and received a personalized world series sized ring as an award.

    Among my proud possessions is a vintage can of schaefer that was cream in color with a red logo along with the slogan “Our hand has never lost it’s skill. I also have a copy of the company magazine, “Foam,” with my picture on the cover. Also, I have a “boat clock” and a pie sized Schaefer branded thermometer, each in like new condition as I treasure them.

    Schaefer people, as well as Schaefer training, were nothing but the best. I got my start from a senior salesman, Paul Dawson. I am fortunate to have followed Paul as he was the best. Wonderful, wonderful folks worked for Schaefer; I know that the good people were a reflection of the boss, Rudy Schaefer. Needless to say, I much appreciate the start I received at Schaefer as well as the many, many, fond memories I hold.

    Joe Anderson

  19. Barbara Briggs

    I found this site trying to research my family history. My great-grandmother was Theresa Nohe-Benz. Her mother’s name was Wilhelmina Schaefer. She came to America from Germany in 1889 and lived with a Schaefer family in Brooklyn, NY. I was told that the family she stayed with was the Schaefer’s of Schaefer Brewing. I would greatly appreciate if you had any information that would help my search.
    Thank you for your time,

    Barbara

  20. Dennis Garone

    Bill: thanks so much for this wonderful tribute to a brewery that was pretty good to my family over three generations. I was hired as an 18 year old merchandiser in Broolkyn in 1975 and worked through college. My aunt Conne worked in the corporate offices on Madison Ave for J. Morris. My dad, two uncles, grandfather all worked there too in different functions. Thanks for the memories. We all talk about our Schaefer days.

    • Jim McElligott

      Dennis:
      I remember your aunt Connie. When she worked for Jack Morris I also reported to Jack when I was Director of Distribution.
      It certainly was a great Company with many many outstanding people.

      Jim McElligott

      • Dennis Garone

        Jim:

        I agree with the statement “outstanding people”. Connie remembers you. She left Schaefer in 1974 when I started. Keep in touch, it’s always fun to catch up with people with common ground.

        Dennis Garone

    • Is your Aunt Connie – Connie Funaro – is if she is – please let me know – we were friends and she attended my wedding, lost touch after we moved to Connecticut. Thanks

      • Dennis Garone

        Linda :

        Yes. Connie Funaro. She started at Schaefer in the late 50s and left in 1974. Is Connie Cicio your cousin? And is Abate your married name?

        Dennis Garone

      • Yes Dennis, my cousin is Connie Cicio and my married name Abate. Connie now lives in Florida at the Villages. She lost her husband Lou about 2 years ago very suddenly just as he retired. I left Schaefer in 1972 when we moved to CT . We have lived here all these years and have two children, Greg who is 39 and married and lives in CA with his family and our daughter Lesley 35 who lives in RI and is married and just had our new granddaughter. My husband Pat worked in the Traffic Department and I worked in the Legal Department. Please give your Aunt Connie my email if you like. Thanks Linda

      • Connie (Funaro) Garone

        Hi Linda, It’s amazing to hear from people after all these years. I recently connected with Julie Rutowski Carrol through my cousin in New Mexico (who also worked for Schaefer back in the day). And now to hear from you, another member of our luncheon group, is unbelievable. I do keep in touch with Connie and I knew about Lou. Two years ago, I visited her in East Meadow. We are always meaning to get together but she doesn’t drive and I’m getting older and don’t like to drive far anymore. We always exchange Christmas Cards. Keep in touch.

      • Hi Connie,
        here’s my email loapfa@comcast.net if you would like to chat. also on facebook. love to hear from you. I remember you and Pat dancing the polka at Julie Rutkowski’s wedding! Also, Peter Watson from engineering lives in Madison. He is retired from the real estate business and also Henry von Wotke lives in Ct. Great to hear all those old names. Was wondering if Alice Schilling is still with us?

  21. Chris Perkins

    Hi, I recently bought an old home in New Rochelle NY. We found a trap door that led to a room with a dirt floor. I believe it was used during prohibition. I found an old F&M Schaefer bottle. The number 460 is on the bottom. Any idea how to date this?

    • Hey Chris – my dad was actually born in New Rochelle! Not sure what the number on the bottle might mean, but I’ll do some digging.

      Thanks for getting in touch,
      Bill

  22. Jim McElligott

    Bill: thanks for the memories. I worked at Schaefer for over 20 years, until 1972. In my last position I was Director of Distribution for the Company and reported to the Vice Chairman, Howard Jones.
    Nothing but wonderful memories of great people- Rudy Sr., Rudy Jr., Billy,
    Jack Morris, Bob Murray,Bob Schantz, and Al Heutchey to name just a few..
    Please keep the memories coming.

    Jim McElligott

    • Thank YOU, Jim! Love that you’re touching base with other folks on the blog. I’ll keep it coming…

    • Sean Murray

      Jim, my grandfather was Bob Murray. Do you have any good stories to share?

      • Jim McElligott

        Sean:
        Your grandfather was one of the finest gentlemen I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
        One of my fondest recollections of Bob is when he made a position in his operation as a favor to me for someone who really needed a job. This is the kind of man he was

        He also carried me into my house after I broke my ankle at a Company picnic (and requested my wife to make him a cocktail).
        I think of him often.

  23. James F. Finnen

    Bill – I’m happy to have found your website, and greatly enjoy hearing the words of some old friends. I started with Schaefer in 1969, hired by Joe Cahill, and reported to Alan Schuster in PR, to be assigned to the Lehigh Valley Brewery. Watched it being built, wrote the script for the tour program, and arranged for opening ceremonies in 1972. Remained until the end, arranged the final shareholders’ meeting in Detroit, and then joined Stroh, in government relations, full time until 1989, and as a consultant until 1999, when Stroh sold to Pabst. Had the pleasure of working with wonderful people like Mr. Schaefer, Rudy and Bill Schaefer, Peter Stroh and his family in Detroit, Bill Weatherston, Pat Fox and Norm Swanson, to mention just a few Stroh people, and, of course, those Schaefer names like Jack Morris, Bob Murray, Joe Romond, Norm Bowes, Frank Banko, Bob Leonhardt, Alice Murray, Peggy Redmond, Bob McCarthy, Pete Fitzpatrick, Joe Fitzpatrick, Bob Romeo, Ed Kennedy, Tony Grau, and the list goes on, and on, and on.
    Incidentally, one of my final duties at Schaefer was to take the priceless Schaefer Stein Collection from Park Avenue to Tennessee in 1982, to be placed in The Stroh House, one of the highlights of the 1982 World’s Fair. It was then sent on to Detroit. For memories of Schaefer Center at the New York World’s Fair in ’64 and ’65’, I suggest contacting dear friend Alan Schuster, new in retirement in South Carolina, who presided over Schaefer Center, as well as the building of the “America” in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, working directly for Mr. Schaefer. I could go on forever, but for now, thanks for the memories. Jim Finnen, Easton, PA.

    • Hi Jim – Just realized I never responded to your post. I was actually born on June 15, 1972 – the day the Lehigh Valley brewery was dedicated. I have the scissors that cut the ribbon and a couple of small programs, etc. My dad was given the first two bottles off the assembly line for “giving” his grandfather a great-grandson. Turns out those two bottles of beer were drank when my dad’s celebration ran out of beer.

      THANK YOU for getting in touch. I’m assuming you read Alan’s blog post, but if not here is a link:

      http://theschaeferstory.wordpress.com/2012/09/30/stories-from-a-schaefer-pr-man/

      All the best,
      Bill

    • Robert Finn

      Jim,
      Do you remember “Marcy Hopkins” and the trip to the Superbowl in California?
      I had 18 wonderful years with Schaefer, and went on to 29 years with Dr Pepper.
      Carol passed 3 years ago but Suzanne has a 4 year old Samantha, both loves of my life.
      And, Bob Murray Jr. is my Newtown neighbor.
      All the Best.
      Bob Finn

  24. Alan Schuster

    Bill: I heard from Jim Finnen a couple of days ago – on his 80th birthday no less – and he mentioned this wonderful blog. It would be quite an honor to add some comments to it, and I plan to do so in the next week or so. I’ll need that much time just to make a list of so many memorable experiences I had in the company of this great man. P.S. My thanks to so many guys listed above who brought back more memories of other Schaefer people I had the pleasure of knowing and working with.

  25. Ed

    My Dad work for Schaefer for 25 years as a deliveryman, so naturally Schaefer was the only beer that was served in our home and it was what I grew up drinking (and still do).

    I was curious if anyone knows of any place that you can currently purchase Schaefer in bottles?

    I have no problem locating it in cans and still enjoy it that way but it has been years since I’ve been able to locate it in bottles.

    I live in Nassau county but would be willing to travel in order to get a supply.

    Thanks!

    • Awesome, Ed – welcome to The Schaefer Story! It’s unfortunate, but Schaefer is not available in bottles – cans only, MAYBE 40oz’ers… Start writing Pabst and tell them to BRING BACK THE BOTTLES!

  26. brian McGrath

    My father John McGrath started on the dock unloading hops with a large vacuum from barges and then was a helper on trucks to New Jersey bars in the 1950’s to 1970’s. I remember getting a newsletter at home each month that included a puzzle for kids , you mailed it in and they sent you a prize. Also Rudy would hand out free turkeys for Christmas. My father had great memories. I remember walking the strike line when I was 7 in 1949 or so.We still have the coasters and trays. B.McGrath

    • Unreal! Thanks, Brian.

    • Peggy

      Brian,
      Did you have a relative, Margaret McGrath, working in the Legal Department of Schaefers? She was one of our ‘lunch group’!!
      Peggy

      • Linda Orlando abate

        I worked with Margaret McGrath and Alice Schilling in legal department in the late 60’s until 1971. My husband worked in traffic. We moved to Ct. Was wondering if anyone keeps in touch ith Margaret and Alice. Linda Orlando. Abate

  27. Millie Aldamuy

    Hi I’m new to this site!
    This is awesome! I’ve been looking to connect with anyone who has worked for Schaefer Beer, or is related to any one who worked for Schaefer Beer Company!
    My father worked for Schaefer (Brooklyn NY) back in 1974.
    Does anyone remember working with ” Philip Vega” ??? He was a delivery truck driver :-)
    Thank you
    M.Aldamuy

    • Ignatius ( Iggy ) Abruzzo

      Yes I recall Phil . I also was a driver in the delivery dept.

      • Millie Aldamuy

        Hello, Ignatius (Iggy) Abruzzo,
        Thank you so much, for replying to my comment. Is there a way you can email me? I would really like to know if you can please share some of your memories, working with my father, Philip Vega?My email is Jssgkids6@aol.com
        Thank you, again! :-)
        Millie Aldamuy

  28. Richard Fischer

    My family all worked at the Brooklyn, NY facility. The Fischer family.
    My grandfather, Louis, and uncle George in the Bottle House.
    My uncle Louis in the Packing Plant.
    My father Frank in the Accounting Dept.
    Myself in the Sales Dept. out of Queens.

    Regards,
    Richard Fischer

    • Peggy

      Hi Richard,
      When was your uncle Louis in the Packing Plant? I remember working with a Louie Fisher when I first started at Schaefers. If it’s the same ‘Louie’, he was a kind-mannered and lovely gentleman.
      Peggy

      • Richard F. Fischer

        Louie was still there in the 60’s. I don’t remember when he retired.

  29. Anthony

    I would be very interested in learning more about the life of Rudolph Schaefer. I already read chapter 5 on this site and I own a copy of the 100 Years book. I also read other material and articles available on the internet about the Schaefers and their beer, not to mention the many hours I spent watching Youtube videos and old vintage tv commercials. I like beer a lot and I like history and beer history is the best. Also, Schaefer beer is my favorite brand, even though its technically Pabst/Miller now. Still, its the closest thing you can get to the real deal. I guess it goes without saying that the history of something you like is by far the most interesting history to read about. So, not just beer history but Schaefer beer history – I’m interested. Did RJS ever publish the Schaefer Story in book form? Would it be possible for me to go on ebay or Amazon or somewhere and purchase this book like I did with the 100 Years book? Or was it more of just a family diary that he left just to his descendents? I read chapter 5 but I am also curious about the chapters where he writes of his life. He was obviously a very interesting man. And, the last brewery of the company, the one in Lehigh Valley, PA, it is still there, looks exactly the same and it is still in operation today. Today it is owned and operated by the Boston Beer Company and they make Sam Adams there among other brands. It is not far from my home in Lebanon, PA, and often they post job ads on their website. I always apply with the hope of oneday working in a brewery, but in this case, not just any brewery, but in the legendary Schaefer brewery of PA. Thanks!

  30. Anthony

    Bill,
    Just thinking of it now, is there any chance at all – I know it sounds entirely unrealistic and all with the competitive market place, the economy and the taxation and regulations in this country today, not to mention high start up costs and the need for large capital investments and so forth and all the other tedious stuff on the business side of things, but is there any chance at all that maybe Schaefer Beer could make a comeback of some kind? Have you and your family ever thought about or discussed the idea or the possibility of buying back the name and rights and recipes of the company from Pabst and re-starting the F&M Schaefer Brewing Co.? Maybe even buying back some of the still-existing breweries from their current owners and resuming operations as if nothing had ever happened? Because that would be totally awesome if original Schaefer beer were to be reborn and revived. I know its far-fetched, but just an idea, just a thought.

    • elizabeth proud (wint)

      Hello. I remember your grandfather well. He was a lovely man, generous with his time for an english nanny far from home Its been so long since we all spoke. Ithink about you all often and hope you are all well. I look foreward to reading your final version of the Schaefer Story.Wint

    • S. Eric Schaefer

      I had thoughts along the same lines. With the explosion of micro breweries and craft beer the past few decades, technology, shipping and today’s marketing/social media, I don’t see why it wouldn’t be plausible. And for a leg up, Schaefer has a history unmatched, so the nostalgia would be there as well.

      It saddens me in a sense I can buy a craft-beer from 2300 miles away at my local grocery store, but it’s nearly impossible to find anyone who sells Schaefer, with only one distributor I believe in the entire state. I mean, I have a friend from Honduras who knows Schaefer beer. There’s just no advertising anymore, younger generations have never even heard of it.

      I too would enjoy seeing a comeback before it’s too late. I do think it’s entirely possible.

  31. Caryn

    Hi., I have enjoyed learning your family history, thank you. I started researching this because we were curious to know the value of a lithograph we found while cleaning out my mother in laws home. It’s titled Christmas At The Inn, which I believe was the Ancestral home of your great grandfather in Wetzlar Germany , It was originally painted by Homer Hill. Very cool to learn the history behind it. Now to see if I can figure out what to do with it, we live in Florida and while it is a beautiful winter scene, not very Sunshine state looking.
    Thank you for the history lesson,
    Caryn

  32. Lorraine M. Cheney

    Lorraine Cheney I worked at the brewery from 1960-1963 in personnel records. I remember John Anderson in Insurance, Mr. Tilley (my supervisor),, Maureen Golden (personnel) & Valerie Pettit.I remember that Valerie was dating a guy named Pat Berkery. I was on the bowling team at the lanes in Greenpoint. I bowled on a team with Connie Funaro. Glad I found this site. Thanks.

    • Peggy

      Lorraine,
      Just found this site by error actually. I was secretary up in the Comptroller’s Budgeting Department. I remember you used to be in Personnel, right? I sure do remember the bowling team at Greenpoint Lanes. One night, my (future at the time) husband came to meet me at the lanes, brought a box of Cracker Jacks, and asked if I wanted some. Well, long story short, my engagement ring was in that box of Cracker Jacks and almost got swallowed!! Great memories. Are you still in the neighborhood?
      Peggy

  33. Marie Donlon

    I have a painting by Homer Hill of the Historic Royal Orb Inn(Zum Reichsafel), Wetzlar, Germany, Ancestral Home of The Schaefer Brewing Family. Christmas At The Inn. I was wondering if you have any information about it that you could send me. Thank You

    • Wow – yep, The Royal Orb… I’ll work on getting some info for you.

      • Marie Donlon

        Thank you very much. I have had this picture since the 1960s’, and never knew much about it. I appreciate your time doing this for me.

  34. Barbara Briggs

    Hi,
    My great great grandmothers maiden name was Schaefer. When my great grandmother moved here from Germany, she lived with the schaefer s I think in Brooklyn. Her name was THeresa Nohe. Also her husband had a pub in New Rochelle and had the Schaefer contract, his name was HErman Benz. Was hoping there might be something in your book that might help with my family history as I was told her relations were those of Schaefer brewing.
    Thank you!

  35. Laura Keane

    My mother Claire Keane would have loved this site. Unfortunately she passed away in January of 2012. My mother worked in the office at both the plant in Brooklyn and in Maspeth. She started in March 1967 and continued until Maspeth was closed. She loved working for Schaefer and remember her years there fondly.

  36. Paul Johanson

    My grandfather was captain of Schaefer’s replica yacht “America”-maybe her first captain; I know it was in the late 1960’s. His name was Walter Karl Johanson. I’d love to learn of any logbooks, photos (!), and stories involving him and that lovely boat.

  37. Where exactly did u actually pick up the suggestions to write
    ““The Schaefer Story”? Thanks for your time ,
    Amelie

  38. Cindy

    Help! I’m looking for a picture of Schafer Brewery in Albany, NY in the 50’s-60’s. There is a pub in Albany (Stout) that has a picture displayed on their wall and I want to find one just like it. I have searched the internet everywhere and cannot find any pictures. Anyone out there know where I could find this?

    • Bill Schaefer, Jr.

      Hi Cindy,
      My father used to run the Schaefer plant here in Albany. I just found a couple of pictures from that era. Could not figure out how to attach them to this reply. Please email me directly and I can send them to you: wschaefe@nycap.rr.com
      Bill Schaefer, Jr.

  39. Marita Varnes

    My great uncle was Albert Schaefer who married Marie T. Beck. I am looking for information on their marriage date, how and where they met. I have other information on them as well as pictures on my ancestry site. I have even visited their graves in Woodlawn Cemetery.

  40. Mitch Boltz

    I bought a bronze pitcher at auction with this brewery in 1842 carved in relief from the Wendell August Forge. Does anyone know anything about this? Its the same as the painting. Thanks.

  41. Linda Smith

    Does anyone know where, if any place, employment records are archived? Thanks

  42. Kelly

    My grandmother was Billy Schaefer’s nanny in the 1940s. I just discovered some pictures that she had of Billy and also of Lucia. Please contact me, I would like someone in the family to have these pictures.

  43. Marita Varnes

    Still looking for information on my Great Uncle Albert Schaefer? Anyone out there know something about him? I know he was married but had no children so no close relatives to research.

  44. S. Eric Schaefer

    Thank you for creating this space. I’ve been looking and reading as much as I can about the F&M Schaefer Brewing Co., as well as my own ancestry I know almost nothing about. There seemed to be a complete lack of history until I happened upon this site. I’m so glad to read the information here, and to see everyone’s stories, it’s refreshed my desire to continue my own search.

  45. Damon Schaefer

    I have always wondered if I was a decendant of the Schaefer Beer family…no for any monetary gain mind you, but because I am unsure the best way to find out. I have always wondered where from Germany my family came from and was hoping that any information you may have may help me find out. Thanks!!!

  46. Betsy Meineker Chandler

    I have inherited my dad’s Schaefer gold charm bracelet. I just purchased 2 of the charms that he did not have. He was Dick Meineker and he was a salesman for the Albany branch. Does anyone know how many total charms there were? I now have 9. Thanks in advance.

    • Dee Cupole

      My husband received the charm bracelet and 5 charms as sales incentives in the 60’s- 4 steins and the first charm with the company logo. I did not know there were more. Sorry I can not help you but I would like to know how many charms were made. Thanks

  47. Pat Kerrigan

    My uncle Bernie Coogan worked as a salesman in Greenpoint Brooklyn. Does anyone remember him? I remember he loved working there. I just recently came upon a picture of him and I am guessing Rudy Schaefer.

    Pat Kerrigan

    • Mike Canny

      I remember a Barney Coogan as a salesmen, I worked at Schaefer from July 1953 to Aug 1978 (25 yrs) The last 15 yrs. I worked as a company cashier

      • Ignatius ( Iggy ) Abruzzo

        Hi mike I recall you when you worked as a cash dept.

      • Millie Aldamuy

        Hi Mike, by any chance do you remember “Philip Vega”? He worked at Schaefer too, back in the early 70’s.
        Millie Aldamuy

  48. Lynn Waldron

    Does anyone remember George Waldron who was production manager from the end of WW II until about 1952. He designed and installed the new (then) high speed bottling and canning machinery, etc. Our dinner table conversation all those years was the innovations in the production and marketing of beverages. Schaefer sponsored the Dodgers and its advertising mascot was Suds, the parti-color cocker spaniel.

  49. I worked with son-in-law, Dick Grinnell at New England Mutual in NYC/ He was quite a guy!

  50. Dave Tomanek

    Love this blog and all things Schaefer Beer. Does anyone know anything about the “Stein & Quaff Club” at the Kent facility? All Google could tell me was that there were Schaefer membership cards and stoneware lidded steins marked Schaefer Beer, one of which I just purchased on ebay at a bargain price because it was listed as “Shaefer” without the c.

  51. David Tomanek

    Can anyone tell me anything at all about the Stein & Quaff Club at the Kent facility?

    All google has is that there were Schaefer membership cards and stoneware lidded steins marked Schaefer Beer 1842, one of which I just scored on ebay at a bargain price because it was listed as Shaefer without the c.

  52. Pat Aiken

    My father (age 92) still has the “zip tab” tie clasp he received in the early-mid 1960’s when Schaefer first came out with zip-top cans. (Dad worked in the Continental Can Co. plant which was adjacent to, and exclusively served, the Schaefer brewery in Albany, NY.)

  53. Peter Bakos

    My uncle was Albert Keller, President and General Manager of the Ritz Hotel Corp. He was married to the sister of my father, Julius Bakos (known as Bill). Rudolph Schaefer and Col. Rupert were close friends of uncle Albert. His son, also Albert was a madcap kid, the model for Rudolph Bemelmans. When Col. Rupert would come for a visit, Albert Jr would put Schaefer beer in the cooler, and when Rudolph Schaefer would visit, junior would put the Knickerbocker beer in the cooler. My father had very good memories of the Schaefer family and spoke of them with fondness.

  54. Marie Donlon

    I wrote to you back in Feb. about the picture of the Historic Royal Orb Inn, and you said that you would send me some info on it, and I still haven’t received any info. I hope that you can still send me the info. I would appreciate it very much . Thank you.

  55. Looking for any and all information regarding the Stein & Quaff Club that existed at the Kent facility back in the day.Recently acquired one of their Steins and am curious about the Club, who it was for, memebership, years of operation, etc…

  56. Karl

    Back in the 1960’s Schaefer had a TV commercial that featured a beautifully built scale model of the old brewery that I think was in Brooklyn, are there any photos of this beautiful model still around ? if so could they please be posted ? thank you. Karl

  57. carol slater

    my grand father’s friend Les Hendricks worked at the brewery in Albany does anyone remember him

  58. Debbie

    My father in law had a book signed by Fritz Sheafer it was a first addition of Uncle Tom’s cabin and was curious if anyone know information about a Fredrick Lehne that was book keeper for them.

  59. Robert Anderson

    My father, Frederick Anderson worked as a delivery driver for Schaefer’s Brewery from 1934 until he passed away in 1967. His Godfather, Eddie Manning got him the job right after Prohibition ended. During WW II Eddie drove one of the two teams of horse driven wagons that Schaefer used during the war. I remember my father working double shifts during the war because of the manpower shortage. I also remember the family hardships caused by the 1949 “Beer Strike”. During the mid 50’s my father was able to get me part time summer work as a helper on a delivery truck to help me pay my way through college. I developed tremendous respect for my father after working on the delivery truck and discovering how physically demanding delivering kegs of beer was. I can honestly say that because of the stability of his job at Schaefer’s, our family lived a good life and that my father’s dream, that my brother and I have an easier life than he did, came true.

  60. William A. Hollett

    I just found this site by sheer luck. My uncle Lester G. Hollett was the first captain on the replica of the Schooner Yacht America that Schaefer had built at Goudy and Stevens in Boothbay Maine. I have a 16 mm film of the construction and sailing of her. I remember as a young boy watching them build her on a vacation to Maine. Found memories for sure.

  61. Millie Aldamuy

    My father ( Philip Vega ) used to work for the company, back in 1974. Does anybody remember him, or does anybody know someone that worked with him? :-)

    I’m also wondering if anybody has a Group photo, or photos with the company’s Employees? “Especially with truck drivers?”

    Thanks, Good Day to All!
    Millie
    Jssgkids6@aol.com

    • Mike Canny

      Millie, I don’t remember the name Phillip Vega but if I saw an old picture good chance I would of knew him. I was 43 when I left Schaefers right before they closed. My dad worked there for 30 years

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