The Gateway Arch is a memorial to the pioneer spirit. Fittingly, it also occupies land that once housed the first Lemp Brewery, and founder Johann Adam Lemp was definitely a pioneer. Born in Germany, he entered the beer business and was successful in Gruningen and Eschwege before immigrating to America. He settled in St. Louis and started a grocery store, then switched to brewing beer and vinegar at a new site, the current home of the Arch, in 1840. He also ran a beer-only pub that was attached to the brewery (ah, those were the days!). Eventually (the date is disputed), he started producing lager. Lemp was definitely the first lager manufacturer in St. Louis, and perhaps America. Demand for this novel beer grew, and he was forced to find a larger site for the lagering process, a problem soon solved when he discovered a natural limestone cave at Cherokee and DeMenil — and for these reasons, he's hailed as St. Louis' first beer baron. Adam Lemp's life is dramatized by Adam Barnes in the one-act play, "Adam Lemp: Pioneer Brewer and German Immigrant," at 2 p.m. at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-746-4599 or www.mohistory.org). Admission is free.
Tue., April 28, 2009