The Brewers Association has donated $25,000 to the City of Reading, Pa. to restore the vandalized Frederick Lauer monument, an iconic statue of a brewing legend and the first monument ever constructed in the city.
The Brewers of Pennsylvania—the state’s official brewers guild—led the charge to collect donations to repair the statue of the pioneering brewer and the first president of the U.S. Brewers Association, which has stood over Reading for more than 130 years. The funds provided by the Brewers Association will support the restoration efforts to replace four bronze plaques that were removed by vandals from the side of the monument in April 2015.
“Frederick Lauer has a long and storied history in the brewing movement,” said Bob Pease, CEO and president, Brewers Association. “The American brewing community is hallmarked by support from individual brewers in addressing policy issues and establishing an industry reputation for quality products and corporate responsibility. Serving as the first president of a national association of brewers, Lauer is eternally a member of our community. We felt it was our duty to make sure this statue, which pays homage to Lauer’s legacy, was returned to its rightful state.”
Born in Germany in 1810, Lauer immigrated to the United States at age 12. He learned the brewing process at an early age from his father. By age 16, he was foreman for his family’s brewery, and at 25, he became the brewery’s proprietor. For decades to follow, through innovation, hard work and business savvy, Lauer established himself as a brewing pioneer not only locally, but throughout the country. Lauer is considered by many to be one of the early driving forces in establishing what would eventually become modern day brewing.
“Pennsylvania is home to more than 150 breweries, and Mr. Lauer has had an impact on each and every one in our state and across the country,” said Bill Covaleski, president, Brewers of Pennsylvania and president and brewmaster, Victory Brewing Company. “We’re grateful to the Brewers Association for its generosity and leadership in restoring this landmark.”
Lauer’s commitment to pioneering the brewing industry was matched by his devotion to Reading. As noted by the Berks History Center, Lauer was a key figure in changing Reading from the status of a borough to a city in 1847. He helped to organize the Berks County Agricultural Society and the Board of Trade. Lauer also helped finance the Reading and Columbia Railroad, and he was a member of several charity groups, including the Reading Dispensary, Reading Relief Society and Reading Benevolent Society. His dedication to civic involvement led him to donate part of his seven acre lot so that it could be made into a park for community recreation.
The Frederick Lauer monument restoration project is currently underway and slated for completion by the end of April, just prior to the start of the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America® in Philadelphia. Additional donations for the restoration project can be made via the Brewers of Pennsylvania website. For further support, people are encouraged to use the hashtag #SaveFred.