Since 1885, a statue has stood in Reading, Pennsylvania, to commemorate craft brewing pioneer Frederick Lauer. He was born in Germany in 1810, and after his family immigrated to Pennsylvania, he learned the brewing process and became the foreman and accountant of his family’s brewery by the age of 16. His early exposure to the industry encouraged him to lead legal change in numerous ways in the years to come.
Despite his legacy, the Lauer statue was unfortunately vandalized in 2014, and several plaques were removed from its base. With this act against a long-standing monument, the Brewers of Pennsylvania took action with the #SaveFred campaign, which led the charge in raising over $25,000 to completely restore the statue. With generous donations from the Brewers Association, this landmark now stands as a destination to respect one of our state’s most memorable craft brewing pioneers.
Frederick Lauer was involved with the craft beer industry at a young age, which led to many of his respectable views on legal changes down the road. He fought for the first tax on malt beverages with conviction because of its benefit to the economy and as a motivation to push out brewers who valued profits over quality and cleanliness. Because of his status and reputation in the industry, Lauer became the first president of the national Brewers Association in 1870.
The restoration of the monument was completed in late April, prior to the Craft Brewers Conference, which brought thousand of brewers from across the country to the Philadelphia region. Just in time for their visit, the Frederick Lauer statue once again stands as a bold monument to rational change in the craft beer industry.
The Brewers of Pennsylvania is a nonprofit trade association that brings together leaders of Pennsylvania-based breweries in order to promote and protect the brewing industry in the state. Established in 2011, the Brewers of Pennsylvania serves the consuming public of Pennsylvania by encouraging brand diversity in the market. We believe in the nobility of brewing and hold dear the great traditions and history of Pennsylvania brewing.
Bottom two photos: © David J. Reimer Sr.