Cherokee Brewery’s Promotional Beer Stein Created a Buzz!

Cherokee Brewery Salt-Glazed Beer Stein 1890 St. Louis, MO

Cherokee Brewery Salt-Glazed Stoneware Beer Stein 1890

The Cherokee Brewery developed an impressive advertising campaign with a stoneware beer stein for consumers in 1890. This beautiful salt-glazed mug has been part of my collection for years and reveals a story about how this brewery was ahead of its time.  The dark blue and grey beer stein features its trademark Native American Indian shooting with a bow and arrow. This antique relic stands 5” tall and 3” wide at the base. The company name and location, Cherokee Brewery Co. St. Louis, is also incised on the piece.

Cherokee Brewery Trade Card 1885

Cherokee Brewery Trade Card Notes their St. Louis Fair Gold Medal Wins in 1884 and 1885

As part of the Cherokee Brewery’s promotional campaign, consumers purchased the beer mug by mailing in $1.25 and they would get the stein shipped directly to them. The company advertised the campaign in saloons and in print advertisements. They sold thousands of the mugs and gained more notoriety as a result of the promotion. The mug also came in a larger version that was given to saloon owners as a gift for selling Cherokee beer.

There is another collectible beer stein from the Cherokee Brewery that featured “Cherokee Gardens”. These black enameled stoneware mugs were used by patrons at the company’s beer garden located just outside the brewery at Cherokee and Iowa streets in south St. Louis.   These steins are more difficult to find because they were not part of a public advertising campaign.

I think it’s amazing that many of these Cherokee Brewery promotional beer steins are still found in good condition today, more than one hundred years later.  They are considered valuable by Breweriana collectors and represent a successful brewery of its time. 

The Cherokee Brewery Company

Cherokee Brewery Company

The Cherokee Brewery in St. Louis, MO 1866-1899

The Cherokee Brewery Company was established in 1866 by the Meier brothers on Cherokee Street at Iowa Avenue in St. Louis, Missouri. Ferdinand Herold and George Loebs purchased the brewery the next year.  The brewery achieved much success and had a well-known reputation under their ownership. Loeb served as plant manager and after the company was incorporated in 1877, he became company secretary. Herold served as president and treasurer. Leo Rassieur was a business director leading the brewery’s saloon, beer garden and office located nearby on Chestnut Street.

Cherokee Brewery produced bottled lager beer, ale and porter. In 1883, Herold bought Loebs’ share of the business and became president of the company. The next two years, the brewery was awarded the Grand Gold Medal at the Great St. Louis Fair. By 1885, the brewery covered the entire block between Ohio and Iowa and was producing over eighteen thousand barrels.  Like other breweries, the Herold’s sold out to the St. Louis Brewing Association (SLBA) syndicate in 1889. The SLBA closed many breweries over the next couple decades, and the Cherokee Brewery branch closed in 1899.