Recommended Posts


At one point, the Stroh family was one of the richest in America.

Dolan started with the founding father - Bernard Stroh, who emigrated from Germany to Detroit in 1850. All he had in his pocket was a $150 and a beer recipe. He took that and started selling brews door to door out of a wheelbarrow and eventually that led to a bigger company - Stroh?s Beer.

The company had built up a loyal clientele in the Midwest. In 1980, fourth generation family member Peter Stroh became CEO and went on an acquisition spree. He purchased F&M Schaefer in 1981 and Joseph Schlitz Brewing in 1982. The deals made Stroh?s the third largest brewery in the country.

At the time, Forbes put together a list of the great family fortunes, and the Stroh family came in as one of the richest families in the country. Based on the value of the brewery, they were worth as much as $700 million in 1988. Dolan reports that just by matching the S&P 500, the family would currently be worth about $9 billion.

Dolan says now in hindsight, family members told her when they acquired Schlitz, ?it was like a minnow swallowing a whale.? Stroh's had one plant; Schlitz had 6. The sheer volume of the deal overwhelmed the Stroh?s company. It had taken on too many different brands and too much debt and lacked the marketing muscle to compete on a national level with rivals Anheuser Busch and Miller.

Peter Stroh made more disastrous purchases, changed marketing strategies and even tried to diversify. Nothing worked and eventually Stroh's was sold to Pabst for $350 million. He took a bet on biotechnology and one on Detroit real estate, rather than fix the core beer business. The company lost millions more.

By 1999, there was so much concern that the company would even be able to make interest payments on its debt, that it sold itself for scraps.Miller Brewing bought some of the brands, while Pabst came in and bought the rest at around $350 million.  Most of that went into debt service and employee pension fund liabilities.The rest when into a fund for the family that gave out checks until 2008 when it ran out.

Peter?s brother Eric worked in the brewery and then quit after a fight with the CEO. Eric Stroh's daughter, Frances, told Dolan, ?Her father liked to spend money on antiques, guns, guitars, cameras.

It?s a cautionary tale on how to squander a great American fortune. Based on the story, we asked Dolan what she took away from the riches to rags story. Dolan replied, ?When I inherit a beer company, I will be very careful about expanding it.?


more & video

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Rich Woods
      Verizon launches 5G in four more cities
      by Rich Woods

      Today, Verizon announced that it's launching its 5G Ultra Wideband network in four more cities, as it continues to expand. You'll now be able to use the service in parts of Washington D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, and Indianapolis. This adds on top of the five cities where Verizon's 5G is already available, including Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, Providence, and St. Paul.

      Verizon says that you can get 5G in public places where there tend to be a lot of people; in other words, it's in spots where 4G LTE networks can get congested. For example, you'll get 5G in the National Mall in Washington, D.C. None of this technology works indoors, since Verizon is using millimeter wave bands, rather than sub-6GHz bands.

      Here are the details of where you'll get 5G in the four new cities:

      Verizon currently has a wide selection of 5G devices to choose from as well, or at least as wide of a selection as it gets right now. The company is selling the LG V50 ThinQ, Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, and you can use a Moto Z3 or Moto Z4 with a 5G Moto Mod. There's also the Inseego MiFi M1000 if you want to pick up a hotspot.

    • By zikalify
      Huawei remains sole Chinese business on Forbes Most Valuable Brands list
      by Paul Hill

      Forbes recently released its Most Valuable Brands of 2018 list and Huawei, for the second year running, has managed to stay in the top 100 as the sole Chinese brand. In 2017 it was ranked 88th with a value of $7.3 billion, this year it has jumped to 79th with a value of $8.4 billion. While Huawei is China’s only brand, the U.S., Germany, Japan, and France all boast multiple brands in the list.

      In a blog post, Huawei said:

      It’ll certainly be interesting to see whether Huawei pushes further up the rankings next year or whether any other Chinese tech firms manage to break into the top 100. In April, we reported that the U.S. was investigating Huawei over violations of U.S.-led sanctions against Iran. Luckily for Huawei, it has been working on an independent operating system since 2012, so if it does get sanction and has trouble using Android, it has an option to fall back on.

      Source: Huawei

    • By PGHammer
      Because of concerns over gluten (dietary, allergens, and other reasons), I started looking at products you would never expect to be gluten-free that actually exist.  Being as the United States has long been considered the third home of beer (after Germany and Australia, of course), I started looking at rumored gluten-free beers when I actually started seeing the darn things at the most EXPECTED place for such critters - Whole Foods Markets.
      Whole Foods makes sense because they are - and have been - the Amazon of organic food (and of foodies in general) - and that was BEFORE Jeff Bezos acquired them.  Their beer brands are (and have remained very regional - Virginia (outside the Beltway) is very organically-aimed - that is where you are MOST likely to find gluten-free beverages, including beers; this same part of Virginia is also home to the microwineries of Virginia (along both State route 7 and US routes 11 and 15) before the wineries, it was known more for ciders - and still is, especially along US 11 from Front Royal to the VA/WV border.  Still, beer uses hops, yeasts and grains in its "construction"; therefore, a gluten-free beer sounds like a contradiction in terms.  One that I am hoping to try next week (I have to visit my lead GI surgeon and may combine it with a Whole Foods stop) is a Whole Foods exclusive - New Planet IPA, which purports to be a a gluten-free such.  The reason I'm curious is one of my favorite foods is a spinach salad, based around baby spinach leaves, pasta (typically spaghetti), and fruits, other vegetables (such as sliced cucumbers and onions), along with nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, or even pecans) and a Feta (organic or non); for the non-vegans, you can add poultry (such as skinned chicken breast, grilled and diced).  Since this IPA has been suggested as a good pair with Feta, would it pair with this sort of salad?  Call it opening my eyes - AND my horizons.
      I have nothing against microbreweries - in fact, I prefer Blue Moon or Samuel Adams when eating out, depending on what I am eating - why NOT open the horizons still more, if I can actually find a beer that lets me do so without trainwrecking my taste buds?
    • By zikalify
      Facebook is sharing Americans' data with researchers to study income inequality
      by Paul Hill

      Facebook is now sharing the data of American users with a team of researchers led by Stanford economist Raj Chetty, who are aiming to find out more about economic inequality in the United States. According to estimates, about three-fifths of American adults use Facebook, so the researchers hope they can better explain how one percent of the population holds 40 percent of the country’s wealth.

      While the study certainly seems like a better use of user data than targeting ads, privacy concerns are still raised. According to a source close to Chetty’s study, the data that is used has been stripped of any details that could be used to identify users, and that those involved with the study had to undergo background checks. Additionally, user data can only be accessed from “secure facilities”.

      While the exact aim of the study is not entirely clear, Cecilia Muñoz, who led the Domestic Policy Council in the Obama White House, believes such studies are huge. She said:

      One of the reasons that Facebook may be allowing Chetty and his researchers access to the data is because of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s growing interest in economic mobility. Last July, Zuckerberg made a Facebook post highlighting the benefits of Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend, a sort of basic income programme. In that post he said:

      Despite the privacy concerns that come with Facebook's willingness to share user data, it’ll still be interesting to find out the results of the study, which is based on such a wealth of data.

      Source: Politico

    • By techbeck
      A mystery is brewing in Georgia after thieves stole two trailers containing nearly 3,300 cases of beer early Tuesday.
      SweetWater Brewing Co. said the trailers had been loaded for an early morning pickup when they were taken from the company's plant north of downtown. The two trailers carried 3,272 cases altogether -- or more than 78,500 bottles -- of SweetWater's Summer Variety Pack, company spokeswoman.
      Both trailers were located with the help of GPS later Tuesday. However, the beer was gone. 
      By Tuesday afternoon, about one-fourth of the stolen beer was found at a warehouse in Clayton County just south of Atlanta, spokeswoman Tucker Berta Sarkisian said. But Sweetwater marketing director Steve Farace told the Associated Press "we can no longer trust that that beer would be up to the quality standards that we as a brewery maintain, so unfortunately we have to destroy it all."
      "For a small company like us to lose that much beer, it really hurts," Farace added.
      Someone is having a party....