Sometime later this month, Earthbound Brewing will begin operating their business in the old stock house that used to be part of the Cherokee Brewery in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cherokee Brewery began in 1867 under the leadership of Ferdinand Herold and George Loebs. George Loebs has very distinct connections to East Perry County. By the way, Loebs is pronounce “Laybs” here in Perry County.
George arrived in New York City on June 10th, 1861 aboard the ship Feelton. He made his way to St. Louis and became a partner with Ferdinand Harold. The two decided to open a brewery after obtaining some property which basically consisted of one city block on Cherokee St. between Ohio and Iowa Streets. These two are shown in this photo.
They paid $48,000 for this property. This can be seen on this early map of that area of St. Louis which shows the brewery that was built there.
The brewery can be seen on the right side of this drawing. On the bottom of the drawing you can see the steeple of Holy Cross Lutheran Church. Just off the bottom of the drawing would be Concordia Seminary. The brewery was opened under the name of Herold and Loebs Brewery Company. Its name would be changed to Cherokee Brewery Company in 1877.
In 1868, we find George’s first connection to Perry County. He married Maria Magdalena Schmidt who was from Perry County. She was the daughter of Georg Joachim and Marie (Saalfeld) Schmidt (my great great grandparents). I really do not know how Magdalena would have met George Loebs, but my best guess is that Magdalena may have gone to find work in the St. Louis area. A previous post was written about this marriage titled, So Close, Yet So Far. When the Loebs family had children, they were baptized at Holy Cross Lutheran Church. Here is a photo of George and Magdalena.
The Cherokee Brewery achieved great success. This quote can be found in an article printed many years ago:
“Cherokee likewise employed a unique marketing strategy. While the ale, porter, and half-and-half were available only in draft form, its lager was put out strictly in bottles.”
Here is a fascinating lithograph of the Cherokee Brewery showing the extent of its operations when it was at its peak.
In 1883, George Loebs sold out his interest in the Cherokee Brewery to Mr. Herold. It is said that in 1884, this brewery’s production was 18,000 barrels of beer. Here are some beer steins which have become collectors items that came from the Cherokee Brewery.
Here is another photo taken of what was once the Cherokee Brewery.
After selling his share, George and Magdalena moved to Wittenberg, Missouri, where George purchased the Brenner Brewery. This sale took place in 1884. Here is a photo of that brewery.
George would not operate this business very long. In 1885, he sold the entire brewery business, maybe because he knew he was dying. That same year on October 13, 1885, George died.
After his death, Magdalena would build a home in downtown Wittenberg. It is the white frame house on the right in this photo of Wittenberg.
This house is one of the few structures left in Wittenberg today, and I guess you can say that it has one part-time occupant……the only occupant of what used to be the city limits of Wittenberg. You can also see the steeple of the first St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on the left of the photo.
Earthbound Brewing is now renovating this building in St. Louis.
From what I can tell, the present owners are pumping plenty of money into making this building the home of its new brewery and bar. There have been several stories written about this effort. Here are some links to those stories.
This first link takes you to a website which includes a video of a Channel 5 news story done very recently. You really should take the time to view it. I am sorry that you have to view an short advertisement before you can see the video.
The following two are written articles done about the Cherokee Brewery and the new Earthbound Brewing Company. They are fascinating reading.
In a way, the Cherokee Brewery is rising again. I am excited about the prospect, partly due to the fact that I am attached to the Loebs family in two ways. Our resident historian, archivist, and storyteller, Gerard Fiehler can call George Loebs his great great grandfather. I know I am anxiously awaiting the opportunity to travel up to St. Louis with Gerard and belly up to the Earthbound Bar. The word on the street is that they make some good beer.