Schaefer Brewing Company: “Beer at its best”

It was the oldest brewery in New York City, operating in various locations from 1842 to 1976 first in Manhattan (Chelsea, then Park Avenue and 51st Street) and then in Brooklyn.

Was Schaefer ever the beer of the pearls-and-corsage set? This 1935 New Yorker ad makes it seem so.


The Schaefer factory in South Williamsburg (right) opened in 1916. schaeferfactory

Schaefer was the nation’s best-selling beer for most of the 20th century. The Brooklyn factory shut down in 1976 and the site is now occupied by Schaefer Landing, the luxury housing complex.

Hmm, wonder how apartments are selling in this economy and without the Water Taxi service promised to potential residents.

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15 Responses to “Schaefer Brewing Company: “Beer at its best””

  1. CelestialCharms Says:

    I have such vivid memories of family members drinking cans of Schaefer and Piel’s beer. My great-aunt worked for many years in the Brooklyn Schaefer Brewery. I still have a silver can opener with the Schaefer name on it, handed down like a family heirloom :-).

  2. petey Says:

    i remember a few cans of rheingold kept in the back of the fridge for visitors (my father was dry, my mother almost, so it wasn’t for us!)

  3. wildnewyork Says:

    Schaefer was the beer of choice for my Brooklyn-born father as well. Must be a native New Yorker preference.

  4. bowsprite Says:

    ah! this was my dad’s favorite beer! I know the jingles for this and for Rheingold’s! oof. they’ll be going through my head all night, now…

  5. Peter P Randall Says:

    Subject: Breakfast beer of Cancer Survivors:
    Hi .. Pete Randall here … just to let you know … I’m now 1 day home from cancer surgery – follwoing a 10+ day stay at the Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvannia … an major full frontal, and left full maxiofacial (bone to skin) cancer tumor removal … with an accomapnying 50+ pound weight loss. My cancer surgery team has mandated that I consume a minimum of six beers a day … no joke … as a source of hi carb protein … oh the joy – yours is one of the beers recommended by cancer surgeons to their patients as a way of regaining strength, weight, and carbs between major tumor removal surgery, the tramatic weight loss of extended CC/ICU, and the post-op period between surgery and radiation/chemo. I don’t think you would want to use this in any advertising — it is a freebee from me to you… one beer drinker (with a perscription for a six pack a day from my doctors) to another. Thank You Jesus. Now I know ther is a God!!! and as Ben Franklin is alledged to have said during colonial days: “Beer is the the sign that GOD loves us, and wants us to be happy!!!!” Amen to that.

  6. jim palmer Says:

    don send me a few beers

  7. Fran Says:

    My Dad worked for Schaefer at the Brooklyn Navy Yard for many years. I have a lot of Schaefer goodies, foam scrapers, glasses, trays, etc.

    • Elle Says:

      my dad worked at schaefer as well until the brewery closed. we lived in Williamburg until I left home!! Can’t believe how it has changed!! Anyway, nice thinking about the old times!

  8. Bart Solenthaler Says:

    Old Schaefer coasters here.

    Our Hand Has Never Lost Its Skill

  9. Madeline Martinez Says:

    Can anyone tell me if any of your relatives that had worked for this company can remember one of there security officer by the name Aurelio Vera he is my father and since then haven’t seen him, my name is Madeline Martinez and I’ve been looking for him for many years if any information please let me know by e-mail really appreciated any information, I now live in Houston Tx.

  10. Inky Beer Factoid: December 30 | Inky Beer Says:

    […] […]

  11. Leslie E. Squires Says:

    My wife bought a new 1969 Shelby GT-500 and she used to take it to Lime Rock Speedway in Conn. One day Schaefer Beer was shooting commercial at the speedway and they wanted fast cars in it. The locals put a halt to it because of the noise. I guess it was a week day and noise was prohibited. Only street legal cars could be used. She was in the commercial. I’ve never seen it. I was wondering if anyone had a copy of it.

  12. The forgotten men waiting on a Bowery breadline | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] bars they’ve lined up next to are advertising Ehret’s and Schaefer beer, both once manufactured in Manhattan (Schaefer eventually relocated to […]

  13. An 1877 Park Avenue mansion funded by beer | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] sudden population surge fueled a demand for beer that led to the opening of several huge breweries in Manhattan and […]

  14. The forgotten men waiting on a Bowery breadline | Real Estate Marketplace Says:

    […] bars they’ve lined up next to are advertising Ehret’s and Schaefer beer, both once manufactured in Manhattan (Schaefer eventually relocated to […]

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