Michigan Breweries History: The Stroh Brewery Company
Leaving the chaos of the 1848 German Revolution, Bernhard Stroh
emigrated from Kirn, Germany, to South America. He soon decided to try his
fortune in another German settlement, and in 1850 he arrived in Detroit
Trained as a brewer, Stroh opened a brewery on Catherine Street that same year.
He developed a market for a new light lager beer among the larger German
immigrant population. Pushing a cart through the city, he sold his beer
from door to door. At his death in 1882 the Lion Brewery had become a
thriving business to pass on to his sons, Julius and Bernhard Jr. They
expanded the company and in 1902 changed the name to the Stroh Brewery
In 1996, the Stroh family owned the fourth largest beer company
in the United States. By 2000, they were making all their money in real estate,
having dismembered and sold the brewing company off to various competitors.
After its disolution in 2000, some Stroh brands
were discontinued, while others were purchased by other breweries. The Pabst Brewing
Company acquired the most Stroh/Heilman brands. They currently produce Colt 45 malt
liquor, Lone Star, Schaefer, Schlitz, Schmidt's, Old Milwaukee, Old Style, Stroh's,
and St. Ides malt liquor. The Miller Brewing Company got Mickey's Malt Liquor
and Henry Weinhard's. Most other Stroh/Heilman brands disappeared after 2000.
These lost brands include: Altes®, Black Label®, Blatz, Champale® Crazy Horse
malt liquor, Goebel, Heilman, Kingsbury, Pfeiffer, Red Bull malt liquor,
"Red, White, & Blue", and Silver Thunder malt liquor.