Pockets of Schaefer People

For a time Schaefer was the biggest brewery in the United States and it was one of the biggest for a long time. Though not the brand it once was (popularity-wise), there are still pockets of Schaefer people scattered all over the country. I know of a few but would love to find out about more. I’m guessing they’re hiding off-line so if you know of any old-school Schaefer crews out there let me know. In addition to the groups below I’m sure, based on Schaefer’s regional history, there’s still a strong Schaefer following in the Northeast U.S. I also know, at one point, Schaefer was incredibly popular in Puerto Rico – especially during the big salsa (dance, not condiment) movement in the 80’s. Will salsa for Schaefer!

Pabst could give us the demographic sales rundown but most of the fun is finding this stuff on our own. Pabst hardly markets their namesake/flagship brand and they certainly don’t market Schaefer. With the Pabst company being sold, now is the time for the pockets of Schaefer People to unite and spread the suds! – uh, I mean love.

SCHAEFER RACING: RING OF HONOR Great music, great beer, great racing…
One great group of Shaefer folk is based in Nashville, TN. They established the Schaefer Racing Ring of Honor, which is really based around drinking Schaefer suds at NASCAR races/venues all over the county. I became friends with @toomuchcountry on Twitter based on his Schaefer prowess and soon realized how big-time these guys were. He’s got a great blog too where he’s started a Schaefer Sellers Google map. Let him know where you buy your Schaefer and he’ll add it to the map! One of the guys kept bothering the Pabst company until they agreed to have shirts printed for the Schaefer Racing Ring of Honor. I was lucky enough to get one of the shirts (pictured). Besides cans, 30-pack cardboard and 40 oz. labels, these shirts have got to be some of the first marketing collateral officially printed for the Schaefer brand in a very long time. HUGE THANK YOU to @toomuchcountry and the rest of the Schaefer Ring for my shirt! And by the way – I am a NASCAR fan too though my kids keep me from hittin’ the races like I once did.

As opposed to the official Schaefer Beer Army – nice! Per the official unofficial Facebook page, the Schaefer Beer Army’s mission is to “Bring back Schaefer bottles so that all future generations have a chance to experience and enjoy one of America’s Greatest Treasures. Schaefer in a bottle!” A noble cause indeed. I currently hold the rank of Platoon Commander (2nd Infantry). The group has 122 members, 100 of which are officers – a high-ranking crew! I joined just a few months ago and there were somewhere around 60 members so there’s some good growth there. Self-billed as “northern rednecks” I’m pretty sure the Commander and Chief is stationed somewhere in Connecticut. The First Lady is even a member. Awesome group – tons of Facebook fun!

I came across Team Schaefer on the Wikipedia page for Schaefer Beer where the group is billed as “The company’s preservation society…”┬áThere’s just that mention there and, after Googling, I found their Facebook page. I am the 20th member of the group. Not sure how active this group is but it is definitely a Schaefer Beer-related crew.

PLEASE hit me up with more Schaefer-centric groups from around the country/world. I know there’s a big network out there, we just have to tap into it…

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Welcome, Schaefer People!

Rudolph J. Schaefer, Jr. ran The F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company from 1927, through Prohibition and the Great Depression, until 1968. He published The Schaefer Story in 1980, 2 years before his death. The Schaefer Story is a 99 page dialogue detailing the history of the Schaefer family and brewery. It is the reason this blog exists.

Chapter IV of this blog is the full, first-hand Schaefer beer story told by RJS, Jr. It’s “Chapter IV” here because that’s what it was in the original text.

Rudolph was my great-grandfather. We all knew him as “Pie” do to someone – my dad I believe – not being able to pronounce “grampa” as a baby. I was only 10 when he died but my memories of him are vivid and warm. He was a great story teller and would gather all of his great-grandkids around to tell them about giants who lived on his property in Mamaroneck, NY. We all believed him because there was truth in everything he said and they were his stories, from his giant imagination.

His story telling shines through in the Chapter IV text just as his imaginative mind shows in the incredibly forward-thinking work he did with marketing, public relations and advertising during his tenure at the helm of the Schaefer success story, which happened to be a brewery. For those who feel marketing is “fluff,” or anything short of a major component of business, I would contend that Pie’s marketing acumen not only aided but was directly responsible for the success of The F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company.

Please enjoy this blog responsibly.

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