Frankenmuth is one of many names for the brewery, one of which is Cass River Brewery. Known for having a dachshund better known as a Weiner dog as its symbol. Which has been featured on beer labels since the 1930’s. Frankie was one of the brewery’s earlier owner’s dogs. That owner, John Geyer, had many Weiner dogs, with Frankie being the top dog out of the pack.
Established in 1862, by John Matthias Falliers and his cousins Martin Heubish and William Knaust. John M Falliers was the first man in Frankenmuth to brew beer. Coming from Bavaria origins he had a tin shop with his wife, and upon seeing the thirst of the settlers he came up with the idea to set up a brewery in the year 1857. This gave the people of Frankenmuth beer. The name Frankenmuth was its final name and it was decided in the 1980’s. During the prohibition the Geyer brothers John and Fred produced a malt extract which was used as a base for a home brewed grog, this was until the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt, a repeal was formed for the Volstead Act, and the Geyer Brothers began producing beer legally.
- had a reputation for being the safest brewery for 13 years
- has 36 different types of beers on rotation
- 1908 the Geyer sons took over
- 1960’s it was the second oldest brewery in Michigan
- closed in 1996 due to a tornado
- reopened in 2003 as a brewpub and restaurant
Brewing Science and Industrialization
There is a lot of science behind brewing beer, for Frankenmuth Breweries process consists of both science and inspiration says Steve brew master. The beer contains barley which is used as the main starch of the beer, the first process is turning the starch into sugars which is done by heating water to around 172 degrees. Grain is then added to cool bringing the temperature to 150-152 degrees. the sugar is then strained from the grain and later the hops are added. The rest of the ingredients are yeast.(Frankenmuth brewery craft beer, 2015). Frankenmuth brewing follows a strict process that only varies on the type of beer that they are making weather it be their ales which takes 18-22 days to brew from start to finish or their lagers which takes 30-45 days.
Industrialization helped the brewery speed up and mass produce beer as it of course made it easier to store; having a 800 gallon keg of beer which is connected to many pipelines making it easier to distribute to customers.
There are many different types of beer that the brewery produces, each going through circulation depending on the season. Steve Buscka the brew master is open to experimenting when it comes to making beer. July 1st 2015, they tried to make a maple porter which had real maple syrup. “you are only limited by your imagination”- Steve Buscka. The main beer types that they make as stated in brewing science and industrialization are ales and lagers.
The WWI and WWII Era
War time was just before the Prohibition so the consumption of alcohol was declining. But beer was still a stable drink among army men.(worldwar,2022) At the start of the prohibition the Greyer brothers started to brew a malt beverage say it like a non-alcoholic beer although more like a home brewed grog.
In 1939 around the start of what is now know as WWII when tensions were high and economy was low, Frankenmuth Brewery purchased a struggling brewery called Kentucky Brewery. But sadly due to many shortages and wartime they had to permanently close down the brewery in 1942 (History of beer in Michigan 2013) three years before the war ended.
In the 1970s Frankenmuth went from one of the fastest growing breweries in the country to one which was falling drastically in sales. It was later sold. In 1983 Heileman had a major expansion of the brewery which costed upwards of $9 million, this expansion increased capacity 50% and later in the same year production reached one million barrels, which was never seen before. Around 2014 a new brew master Steve Buscka started working for the brewery which he then helped it with many new achievements
Marketing and Branding
As known the Frankenmuth brand is represented by a dachshund, dogs are known to be caring animals that will defend their owner. Having a dog as their symbol shows that they are a caring brewery and can entice people as dogs are welcoming.
As seen in the image above after a few short years of being reopened Steve Buszka made some changes to the IPA beer which allowed it to receive first place in the world in 2015. Not only did the IPA receive gold but in previous years in other classes Frankenmuth brewery has had many beers place in the top three. Even if it was just American beers it would be an accomplishment but for it to be at the world expo shows the craftsmanship that has gone into all the beers.
History of Beer in Michigan’s Little Bavaria. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.frankenmuth.org/blog/history-of-beer/#:~:text=John Matthias Falliers was the,The Frankenmuth Brewery” in 1857.
Oldest Brewery in Michigan. (2021, September 14). Retrieved from https://frankenmuthbrewery.com/
History of frankenmuth brewery: Pure brews america. YouTube. (2018, November 16). Retrieved March 13, 2022, from https://youtu.be/95OCY-AmbIU
Frankenmuth Brewery Craft Beer • A mixture of science & art. review. (n.d.). Retrieved March 13, 2022, from https://www.review-mag.com/article/frankenmuth-brewery-craft-beer-a-mixture-of-science-art
Inscription on the Liberty Memorial Tower in Downtown Kansas City, M. (2022, January 19). Beer and WWI. National WWI Museum and Memorial. Retrieved March 13, 2022, from https://www.theworldwar.org/learn/wwi/beer
Frankenmuth Brewery’s Batch 69 IPA Awarded Gold Medal at World Expo of Beer. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.expertclick.com/NewsRelease/Frankenmuth-Brewerys-Batch-69-IPA-Awarded-Gold-Medal-at-World-Expo-of-Beer,202269385.aspx