It’s Labor Day weekend and thoughts turn to the end of the summer and cookouts. And beer. Labor Day weekend accounts for a significant portion of the $100 billion U.S. annual beer sales.
There are thousands of beer choices in 2022. Craft beer breweries are everywhere. But when all is said and done, by this coming Tuesday, the best selling beers will be Anheuser-Busch and Coors brands. Two companies that began as family-owned businesses in the mid-1850s and eventually morphed into brewing conglomerates.
Anheuser-Busch and MolsonCoors are the two largest brewers in the United States. Hardly surprising, it’s been that way for generations of beer drinkers.
It wasn’t quite that way in 1980. Anheuser-Busch was number one but Coors – still not quite a national brand – was fourth. Between them was another family owned brewery started before the Civil War – Stroh’s. You may have never heard of Stroh’s but for 130 years it was a household – well, at least a beer-drinker-in-the-Midwest household – name.
Like Coors and Budweiser, Stroh’s was founded by an immigrant in the mid-1850s. Like them, Stroh’s started as a family business. Like them, the Stroh’s passed the business down for four generations.