August Krug, Brewer

August Krug


April 15, 1815


Dec. 30, 1856

There are so many beer barons, beer masters, and brewers buried in the Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee, a city made famous by its name brand beers, that the cemetery has a map, titled The Story of Beer, to guide visitors to the various historic monuments, mausoleums, and gravestones on the beer trail.

Many people have quenched their thirst to some of the name brand beers of the beer barons who brewed beers that have become household names—Pabst, Schlitz, Miller, and Blatz.  But one of the little known brewers on the guide map is August Krug.  He, like many of brewers, was a German immigrant.  Krug was born in Bavaria, the son of a brew master, and immigrated to the United States in 1848 to open a small restaurant/saloon in Milwaukee.  He added a small brewery—what we would call a microbrewery today.  Output was small, but the beer he brewed had a following.   In 1850, Krug had a windfall when his father came to visit bringing with him Krug’s nephew, August Uihlein, and eight hundred dollars which he invested in the fledgling brewery.  With his father’s investment, Krug was able to hire more staff, including Joseph Schlitz who he hired on as a bookkeeper.

The legacy of note left by Krug was the underground cellar he built to keep his beer at a constant and cool temperature.  Krug tunneled into the side of a hill to create what is credited as the city’s first underground “cooler.”

Krug’s tenure was short tenure—only seven years. In 1856, Krug had a bad fall and died a couple days after.  Within two years, Krug’s widow, Anna Maria, was remarried to Joseph Schlitz, no longer the bookkeeper.  Soon the name of the brewery was renamed and the Schlitz Brewing Company was founded.

August Krug is buried at the Forest Home Cemetery at Milwaukee.  His marker is a simple light brown unpolished limestone column with a matching cap and plinth, and a light gray granite base—no adornment, no epitaph, no family members buried near him.

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