Schaefer Beer

Schaefer Beer
Manufacturer F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company
Introduced 1842 in New York City, New York
Alcohol by volume 4.6%
Style American-style lager
A case of thirty cans of Schaefer Beer.

Schaefer Beer is a brand of American beer first produced in New York City during 1842 by the F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company.[1] The company relocated to Brooklyn in the early 20th century. It went public in 1968 with a $106 million stock offering.[1]

In order to expand capacity for regional sales and fend off competition from national brands Schaefer began construction of a large modern brewery in Allentown, Pennsylvania that same year. Known as the Lehigh Valley Plant it opened in 1972.[1] In 1974 it was expanded from its original 1,100,000 barrels-per-year capacity to 2,500,000 and then, in 1975, it expanded again to 5,000,000 barrels plus.[2]

In the mid-1970s, Schaefer Beer was one of the top selling beers in the U.S., ranking as high as fifth in both the 1950 and 1970 rankings.[3] Though it was producing more than twice as much beer in 1970 the gap between it and the top national brands was dramatically widening. Recognizing the handwriting on the wall, the Schaefer family sold out to the Stroh Brewery Company in 1981.

Stroh's then took over the Allentown plant in its own bid for national market share. It operated the plant until absorbed by Pabst Brewing Company in 1999. When Pabst opted to become a "virtual brewer" it sold the plant to Diageo just two years later.[4] In 2008 Diageo sold it to the Boston Brewing Company, brewer of Samuel Adams beer.

Pabst retained the license to Schaefer and today outsources a reformulated brew it labels "Schaefer" and sells in niche markets in the United States.[5]

Advertising campaigns

Schaefer Beer advertising at the Double Mountain Brewery taproom in Hood River, Oregon

The advertising slogan for Schaefer beer is "Schaefer is the one beer to have when you're having more than one." An earlier advertising campaign from the 1950s asserted, "What do you hear in the best of circles? Schaefer, all around!" In Spanish, Schaefer's slogan was "Es la mejor, cuando se toma mas de una!" (which translates to "It is the best, when you are having more than one!")

Schaefer beer had major exhibitions at both of New York City's World's Fairs, held in Flushing Meadows Park. During both the 1939 New York World's Fair and the 1964 New York World's Fair, Schaefer sponsored "Schaefer Center", a restaurant that used beer as an ingredient in many dishes.

An illuminated Schaefer beer advertisement once appeared in the outfield of Ebbets Field. If a player reached first base on a hit, the letter "h" would light up and if the official scorer ruled that a player reached first base due to an error, the "e" would light up.

In one of the first examples of naming rights given to a stadium, the beer bore its name to the home of the New England Patriots that opened in 1971; the stadium would be subsequently be renamed Sullivan Stadium, and finally Foxboro Stadium.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Schaefer beer was one of the top selling beers in Puerto Rico and Guam. A large and quite famous Schaefer beer billboard was once displayed at the main entrance to the city of Bayamón. Schaefer still uphold the record for be the beer with most units sales in Puerto Rico, 13 million cases in a year, in the year 1979-80. It became quite famous among Puerto Rican salsa fans and superstars like Frankie Ruiz, Tito Rojas, and Lalo Rodríguez.


  1. 1 2 3 The Shaefer Beer Story /
  2. "F&M Schaefer Brewing Company". Beer History. Retrieved 2015-04-28.
  3. Figures for 1970 indicate a total of 5,749,000 barrels for the F & M Schaefer Brewing Co., good for fifth place but a mere one quarter of #1 Anheuser-Busch, Inc.'s, 22,201,811, a third of #2 Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co.'s 15,129,000, and a quarter of #3 Pabst Brewing Co.'s 10,517,000. Number four Adolph Coors Co. 7,277,076 barrels, only gained ground on the front-runners during the decade
  4. Lehigh Valley Brewery
  5. "History of Schaefer Beer". Schaefer Beer. Retrieved 2012-04-09.
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