Straub Brewery in Nearby St. Marys
Contributed by Jim Burke
A number of old beer bottles have been found in the area with the inscription “C. C. HANKS – WEEDVILLE, PA., indicating that their was once a brewery in Weedville, or C. C. Hanks bottled a beer and labeled it with the inscription Weedville. It also, appears the Weedville beer bottle was made prior to 1930, and was capped with a cork. The Mt. Zion Historical Society would be most interested in hearing from anyone with knowledge about C.C. Hanks and Weedville beer.
Straubs is a family owned brewery that lays claim to a long traditional history of the local area. Straubs gives public tours of the Brewery Monday through Friday between 9am and noon. Information on the tours may be obtained by contacting Straubs Brewery.
The Story of the Straub Brewery begins in Felldorf, Wurtemberg, Germany, where Peter Straub was born on June 28, 1850, to Anton & Anna M. (Eger) Straub. While growing-up Peter learned the trade of coopering as a craftsman skilled in making and repairing wooden barrels. At that time coopering and brewing were allied trades.
In 1869, at the age 19, Peter immigrated to the United States. Peter first settled in what is now Pittsburgh’s North Side, where he worked, coincidently, at the John N. Straub Brewery & Co. That Brewery then consolidated with the Eberthart & Ober Brewery in 1883 and in 1899 joined with others to become the Pittsburgh Brewing Co.
From there he moved north, working in various breweries in Brookville, Centerville, now Kersey, and others until he settled in St. Marys, where he was employed at the Benzinger Spring Brewery, owned and operated by his future father-in-law, Francis Zavier Sorg.
On Nov. 23, 1875 Peter married Sabina Sorg a union that was blessed with 10 children and more than 300 descendants over a century later. Peter began purchasing the Brewery from Francis Xavier Sorg, assuming full ownership and remained at the helm until his death on December 17, 1913. At this time, Peter’s sons ran the business and renamed it the Peter Straub Sons Brewery.
In 1947 the brewery was officially incorporated, becoming the Straub Brewery, Inc. Today, the Straub Brewery remains one of the country’s only Breweries to still be owned and operated by its founder’s family in the 6th generation. The Straub Beer recipe is virtually unchanged since Peter perfected it more than 130 years ago.