Rahr Family History
When Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. opened its doors in 2004, the tag line was “The brand new beer with a 150-year history” and there’s a real story behind that statement:
The Rahr family started making beer in America in 1847 – almost immediately after William and Natalie Rahr immigrated from Rhineland, Germany to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The steadily increasing population of European settlers created a demand for beer of better quality than “the typical kitchen brew” and William – having come from a long line of German brewers – knew he was the person to fill the void (and the beer steins). His Eagle Brewery was the first lager brewery in Wisconsin.
The soil and climate around the Eagle Brewery produced a barley of particular virtue to the brewing of fine beer and William eventually added a malt house that not only supplied the needs of his brewery, but also the needs of neighboring breweries. Eventually, William started shipping his malted barley as far as St. Louis where another German pioneer and enterprising brewer used all he could for his nationally famous brand.
Tragically while on an inspection tour of the brewery in 1880, William fell into a brew kettle and suffered burns from which he never recovered. To honor their father, his sons changed the name of the brewery/malt house to William Rahr's Sons Co.
William’s sons continued guiding the malt house and under their direction the first scientific malt testing laboratory was installed and German patents for the production of roasted and caramel malts and malt-coffee were acquired. (Today, Rahr Malting Co. produces and supplies malt and industry-related brewing supplies to roughly 90% of the breweries in the United States.)
160 years after William Rahr founded the Eagle Brewery, his great-great-grandson and namesake, Frederick William "Fritz" Rahr, Jr., felt the pull to brew and with the blessing of his wife, Erin, opened Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. on the south side of downtown Fort Worth in 2004. Knowing the family history, staff at Rahr & Sons tend to get nervous if Fritz leans over a brew kettle too far.
It is because of this rich history we decided to continue in the paths of my ancestors and open our own brewery - Rahr & Sons Brewing, in the town of Fort Worth, Texas - a town very dear to my heart. We will follow in the traditions of my family and brew majestic lagers and rich ales using age-old recipes in the styles of the Rahr brew masters of the past. We are dedicated to brewing only the finest beers possible - we hope you enjoy drinking them!" - Frederick William Rahr, Jr.