Beer is one of mankind’s oldest and most beloved beverages. Today, thousands of beer brands are available for the discerning connoisseur, including Pennsylvania’s prized Straub Beer. But, is Straub Beer still made in Pennsylvania?
Straub Beer is still made in Pennsylvania. The Straub Brewery is located in St. Marys, Pennsylvania, about 40 minutes north of Exit 97 off I-80. Straub Brewery is one of the oldest continuously operating breweries in the United States and has been producing beer non-stop since 1872.
So what is the Straub Eternal Tap? Can you tour the Straub Brewery? Is there any sugar in Straub Beer? Discover the answers to these questions and learn more about this unique brewery in the following sections.
Straub Beer: German Beer, Made in America
Human beings have been fermenting beer-like beverages for thousands of years. Alcoholic drinks in ancient times consisted of mixes of honey, grape, and rice found in neolithic pots in what is now China. Beer specifically has a long and colorful history, and nations like Germany have a rich and fascinating relationship with beer.
Fortunately for us, some of those Germans immigrated to Pennsylvania. Bringing their knowledge of traditional brewing techniques with them, many German immigrants found great success in the world of brewing in the United States (and some even found success manufacturing a favorite snack that goes perfectly with beer.) Anyhow perhaps the most famous of these brewers is Peter Straub.
Born in Germany in 1850, Straub spent his early years working as a cooper, or a barrel-maker. So naturally, making barrels put him in close contact with brewers and vintners, and Straub soon began learning how to brew. In 1869, Straub emigrated to the United States, settling in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania. Like many of his German peers, he found work in a brewery, working for a company called Eberhart and Ober Brewing.
By 1872, Peter Straub had become a master brewer, and he found work at a brewery owned by Francis Sorg. Straub courted and eventually married Sorg’s daughter, Sabina, and soon saved enough money to buy the brewery outright. By 1878, Sorg’s Brewery had become Straub Brewery. Today, his legacy continues, as Straub Brewery is still owned and operated by his direct descendants.
Straub Brewery Today
Straub’s original brewery is still in use today. So if you go out and buy a pack of Straub Beer, your beer was brewed in the same brewery and on much of the same equipment that Peter Straub himself used! While many modern beer brands focus on mechanizing processes and optimizing operations to extract huge profits from brewing, Straub is family-run and continues to use traditional brewing methods.
Straub Brewery is located in St. Marys, Pennsylvania, in the Pennsylvania Wilds. The brewery sits adjacent to a taproom that serves fresh Straub Beer and an assortment of pub-style foods, including traditional German favorites like bratwurst and more modern pub food like tacos.
The brewery has been there since at least the early 1870s. Straub himself began working at the brewery in 1872, and at that time, the brewery had already been in operation for a while. Specific details on how old precisely the brewery is are hard to come by, but Straub Beer used 1872 as its date of origin, as that is when Peter Straub began brewing beer on the site.
Straub has been recognized as an American Legacy Brewery. Their 150-year history of brewing, reliance on traditional methods, and fiercely independent nature make them arguably one of America’s most treasured beer brands.
While they have not grown or expanded, the objective of Straub is not eternal growth and expansion: it is to honor the legacy of Peter Straub by keeping the business in the family and continuing to brew excellent and uncompromising beer.
As part of their commitment to honoring Peter Straub’s legacy and producing only the finest beer, Straub limits their production. Straub Beer prefers to focus on quality over quantity, which is reflected in their final product. The company produces about 45,000 barrels of beer annually, which works out to approximately 1,620,000 gallons of beer. That’s about 202,500 pints!
While 202,500 pints might sound like a lot, it is a relatively small quantity compared to larger brewers. For example, Budweiser brews about 2 million barrels a year, which works out to about 9 million pints; Coors brews about 22 million barrels a year. That said, we respectfully argue that a true connoisseur would enjoy the nuances and flavors of Straub’s Beer far more than they would a can of Bud or Coors.
Traditionally, Straub focused on brewing German-style lager beer rather than ale. However, as America has experienced a resurgence of craft brewing and beer culture, Straub has begun experimenting with other kinds of beers. The company still focuses on traditional lagers, but they also brew everything from Dunkel Weizens to India Pale Ales.
Straub Beer has been proudly brewing some of the finest beer in America for 150 years, right here in the wilds of northern Pennsylvania. With everything we’ve learned about Straub Beer, we’re sure they’ll still be brewing excellent beverages 150 years from now, too!
Keystone Answers Fun Fact: Traditional German lagers are fermented at cold temperatures using a “bottom-fermenting” yeast, while ales are fermented at warmer temperatures with “top-fermenting” yeast. Because they ferment at such low temperatures, lagers tend to take much longer to produce than ales.
What is the Straub Eternal Tap?
One of the biggest attractions at the Straub Brewery is the Eternal Tap. The Eternal Tap is where Straub offers visitors over age 21 the opportunity to enjoy a couple of beers on the house. Guests are allowed to wander into the brewery and sample Straub’s 3 Flagship Lagers (Lager, Light, and Amber), or upon occasion, when releasing a new beer style, they might put one of those styles on tap.
While Straub’s flagship beers are traditional lagers, the company brews a wide assortment of interesting beers that rotate seasonally. For example, their popular Hop Blaster IPA is available year-round; springtime might bring a refreshing Kolsch, and autumn may herald a delightful Marzen Lager.
Does Straub Beer Have Sugar?
Straub Beer does not have any added sugar. However, the process of brewing beer does require some sugar. The sugar in beer comes from the grains it is made of. Brewers will take grains such as barley, oats, rye, or wheat and mash them with water. This mash is heated to somewhere between 100 and 170 degrees (depending on the grain), which breaks down the grain and converts it to sugars.
Later, these sugars are consumed by brewers’ yeast, which eats the carbohydrates and digests them into CO2 and alcohol. Different strains of yeast and various brewing techniques lead to a variety of specific carb contents depending on what kind of beer you’re drinking, but most beer does have some carbohydrates. That said, while your Straub Beer contains some carbohydrates, it does not have any added sugar.
Does Straub’s Have Tours?
Straub Brewery does offer tours. The brewery recommends making reservations ahead of time, as capacity is limited to 12 people. The brewery is authentic and original, and touring the Straub Brewery is a fascinating glimpse into the history of one of America’s favorite beverages. The tour lasts about an hour, and the brewery does allow photography.
When you go for your brewery tour, be sure to wear close-toed shoes. The tour is restricted to visitors over the age of 12, and only visitors over age 21 may sample the beers. Also, as the brewery was built in the 1870s, it is not handicap-accessible, so, unfortunately, guests who need wheelchairs or other adaptive equipment are not able to tour the facility.
Does Straub Brewery Serve Food?
Straub Brewery does serve food. The establishment offers a tap room menu that includes wings, bratwurst, pulled pork sandwiches, mac and cheese, tacos, and other pub food.
The Visitor Center & Tap Room is located on the site of the Straub family’s historic home, which was built in 1917. At that time, the Straub family would often welcome family and friends into the home to socialize and share food and drink. Today, they continue that legacy by providing a great place to enjoy an informal evening with friends while sampling a few beers.
Who Owns Straub Beer?
While massive beverage conglomerates have bought many modern craft beer brands, Straub Beer is still owned and operated by the descendants of the brand’s founder, Peter Straub.
Indeed, the family takes great pride in their independence and has no plans to sell out to a mega-corporation such as AB-Inbev. Moreover, the current CEO, Bill Brock, is the great-great grandson of Peter Straub, who founded the brewery in 1872. As a result, the company will likely remain in the family for generations to come.
Being independently owned enables Straub to operate as they please. While humongous beverage companies often focus on maximizing efficiency and profit, Straub is more focused on brewing good beer using traditional techniques. And it’s working: Straub has won dozens of awards.
Straub Beer: Pennsylvania Proud
In a world where everything seems to be made in huge factories overseas, it’s nice to know that there are still many fine products being made right here in the Keystone State.
Among Pennsylvania’s wealth is Straub Beer, which is still made in the original brewery in St. Marys, Pennsylvania. So next time you’re heading to the Pennsylvania Wilds, be sure to make some time for the Straub Brewery and enjoy some of Pennsylvania’s finest beers.