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Beginnings of beer in St. Louis were ‘much more than Anheuser-Busch’

Cameron Collins is the co-author of the third edition of "St. Louis Brews: The History of Brewing in the Gateway City."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The history of the beer industry in St. Louis is a winding one that goes back generations. Brewers named Lemp, Anheuser, Busch and Griesedieck played an important role on the local and national beer scenes.

While Anheuser-Busch is now a multinational company that’s no longer locally owned, the legacy of the beer that has its roots in St. Louis remains strong.

“The history of beer in St. Louis is much more than Anheuser-Busch,” explained Cameron Collins, co-author of the third edition of “St. Louis Brews: The History of Brewing in the Gateway City.” “They play a big role, but this city has hundreds of breweries with hundreds of stories to tell.”

Indeed, the history of brewing in St. Louis goes back to the mid-1800s.

“I believe it goes back to its rich German heritage going back to the 1840s where St. Louis turned into almost a German enclave overnight, and with them they brought their customers who were thirsty for a new style of beer that we know as lager,” Collins explained. “That gave rise to countless breweries where in the 1870s, Anheuser-Busch rose to the top of that heap.”

Collins joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Tuesday, and they also addressed the present-day craft beer scene.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Alex Heuer, Evie Hemphill and Caitlin Lally give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

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Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.
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