(George & John) Muehlebach bought the Main Street Brewery
from George Hierbe in 1869. The brewery was "little more than
a shack at the northwest corner of 18th & Main" with a capacity
of 3000 barrels a year. The brothers eventually built it into
one of the city's more prominent businesses - The George Muehlebach
Brewing Company. It was a family affair with a brother Peter
owning a wine garden at 41st & State Line, the Western Star
House hotel and a saloon between 15th & 16th on Grand Avenue.
Another brother, Francis X. was a cooper, a maker of wooden
casks and tubs.
the brewing company was the second largest in the city behind
F.H. Kump's. In 1880, they razed the old shack and built the
"Beer Castle". The new brew house, constructed of brick and
stone in the Romanesque style, with a mansard-roofed tower
was now the best-outfitted and most attractive brewery in
town, and it's Pilsener brand had become a favorite. The
pilsener beer could hold it's own against the other local
breweries and the imported brands such as Schlitz and Budweiser.
prohibition, the brewery filed for a non-alcoholic trademark
for "Mulo", a maltless cereal beverage - a near beer sold
as a soft drink. This and other soda products kept the company
solvent until 1929. The Muehlebach beer was delivered not
only to taverns and saloons, but to homes, carried by beer
wagon. The company foundered through the depression, almost
shutting the doors completely.
a new brewery at 4th & Oak. In 1940 two new brands were added
to the beer family Special and Kansas City Select, which took
off with a flourish. Even with the shortages of grain, equipment
and manpower throughout the war years, the barrel capacity
needed to be increased. Where in 1938 they were selling 66,000
barrels, by the end of the war, the barrel sales had leapt
lines were also introduced after the war, with popularity
of canned beer discovered during the war.
the brand became popular with the advertising trends of the
50s. But in 1956, the Muehlebach brewery was sold to Schlitz,
the sponsor of the Kansas City Athletics, which unfortunately
did not focus on it's local market, and ultimately caused
the demise of the oldest brewing tradition in Kansas City.
from Hometown Beer