Straub By: Chris Wise
Founded by Peter Straub in 1872, Straub Brewery has been producing delicious lagers with virtually the same process since its foundation over 140 years ago. Peter Straub began as a cask craftsman in Germany before moving to Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, in 1869 at the young age of 19, immediately going to work at the local brewery, Eberhardt and Ober Brewing Company. In 1872, Peter Straub settled in St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania, which would become the home of his brewery for years to come.
The standard Straub Brewery date of 1872 reflects when Staub moved to St. Mary’s and soon after began courting the daughter of local brewery owner, Francis Sorg. Straub married Sorg’s oldest daughter Sabina on November 23, 1875, and they would go on to have 10 children together. Family remains important to the Straubs, as many are still either directly or indirectly involved in the brewery after all these years and the company remains under family ownership to this day.
Early on, Peter introduced his sons to the world of brewing. Straub used wooden kegs for his beer. He always placed a red band around his barrels to ensure that people would know they were drinking his beer and so that he would get them back. As a lasting trademark tribute to Peter, the brewery continues to place a bright red band around each of its barrels. Red has become a trademark color for the brewery.
Following Peter’s death on December 17, 1913, his sons assumed control of the brewery, renaming it the Peter Straub Sons Brewery. During this time, the brewery produced Straub beer as well as other beer, such as the pilsner-style Straub Fine Beer and Straub Bock Beer. In 1920, the Straub Brothers Brewery purchased one-half of the St. Marys Beverage Company, also called the St. Marys Brewery, where St. Marys Beer was produced. During Prohibition, which lasted from January 29, 1920, until December 5, 1933, the brewery produced nonalcoholic near beer. On July 19, 1940 they purchased the remaining common stock and outstanding bonds of the St. Marys Beverage Company.
Since that time, Straub has continued brewing their original line of great beers, while expanding their portfolio and pushing the envelope with their new recipes.
While many beer drinkers will be familiar with an IPA(India Pale Ale), few will have seen an IPL(India Pale Lager), which doesn’t have quite the bitter kick that many IPA’s boast. Brewed with Canadian two-row, Munich and Caramel malts, Bravo, Cascade and Columbus hops are all dry hopped for 5 days before North American Lager yeast is added. The result is a deep-golden Lager with a lingering, white foam head. Aromas of citrus, orange peel, grapefruit and floral notes hit the nose first, while it starts with a smooth-yet-bitter taste and a lingering, refreshing grapefruit finish. Coming in at 5.6% ABV and 64 IBUs, this is an interesting take on pale beers, and definitely an exciting new recipe from Straub which combines traditional IPA malts with Straub’s lager brewing legacy.
This pale bock was brewed with imported German Pilsner and Vienna malts along with domestic Munich and Caramel malts. By balancing the malty sweetness with Liberty and Mt. Hood hops grown in the Pacific Norhtwest and bred from German Hallertau stock, this traditional German Maibock is a delicious showing of the style. Being hit first by floral notes and grainy sweet-malt aromatics, this Maibock offers a medium body with a creamy, smooth start with a spicy finish. A great way to celebrate spring, this Maibock comes in at 6.9% ABV and 35 IBUs.
The recipe that started it all, this traditional pale lager is brewed in the American-style using domestic malted barley and corn to produce a refreshing and extremely session able beer. Available in both green and brown bottles depending on your location, this American classic is the Straub mainstay that helped them build a brewing legacy and survive over 140 years. Available in Light at 3.2% ABV, the traditional recipe comes in at 4.1% ABV.
Amber Lager is the most recent addition to Straub’s line of year round offerings, along with Straub Lager and Straub Lager Light, and is another well-balanced offering. Slighty sweet flavors are balanced nicely with Pacific Northwest hops, and give this lager a beautiful copper color. With a nice malty character and gentle hints of caramel, this lager is 4.1% ABV.
While Straub offered a Groundhog Special Brew for a number of years, for a number of years it was simply the tradtitional Straub Light with a nifty new label. However, last year Straub introduced the world to their first Altbier at Groundhogapalooza, a traditional German-style beer brewed with German Pilsner, Vienna, Munich, and Black Hops, Sraub’s first recipe without their traditional flaked corn found in their other recipes. The perfect warmer against the winter cold, this altbier is copper in color with a pronounced malt flavor. Groundhog is brewed with imported German hops for a firm, bitter edge, and fermented with authentic German Ale yeast. Boasting 40 IBU’s and 5.4% ABV, this is the drink to reach for when it looks like six more weeks of winter outside.
The first recipe brewed by Straub after the original Lager and Amber beers, this recipe is a throwback to the heritage that helped build Straub’s legacy. Straub brewed this pre-prohibition era recipe for the first time in decades 2 years ago for their fall Legacy Sampler Pack, and received such warm support for it they are bringing it back for the summer Sunshine Sampler Pack this summer.
This all malt Pilsner is being rolled out in the 2014 summer Sunshine Sampler Pack, and boast a nice, clean finish that fans of Pilsner’s will love. Straub Pilsner will also be available in select locations on draught.
This traditional German-style Wheat Beer will be a refreshing summer option for fans of Straub or Weizen-beers. A true Hefeweizen, this new recipe will be available in the 2014 Sunshine Sample coming in May of 2014.
The brewers at Straub are looking forward to fulfilling the countless requests for a German-style Oktoberfest Beer. Coming out in September of 2014, check Staubbeer.com for specific details in August.
Straub offers two sampler packs yearly: Sunshine Sampler in May and June offering their: IPL, 1872 Lager, Pilsner, and Straubweizen; Legacy Sampler in November and December offering their: IPL, 1872 Lager, Straubator Doppelbock, and Munich Lager.