Johann Adam Lemp

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Johann Adam Lemp (born May 20, 1793 in Grüningen ; † August 23, 1862 in St. Louis ) was a German brewer and founder of the Western Brewery in St. Louis, which later became known as the William J. Lemp Brewing Company .


Johann Adam Lemp was born in Grüningen, Hesse, today part of the municipality of Pohlheim . His parents were Wilhelm Christoph Lemp, cooper and church elder in Grüningen, and Johannetta Catharina Lemp, b. Gilbert. As a young man, Lemp learned the brewing trade in Grüningen and Eschwege . He emigrated to the USA in 1836 . After spending two years in Cincinnati , he moved to St. Louis, Missouri . There he opened a shop on the corner of what is now Delmar Street and 6th Street, in which he sold vinegar and home- brewed lager , among other things . Since ales and porters were primarily brewed in St. Louis at that time , other German immigrants began to buy his beer. Lemp took this as an opportunity to found its own brewery.

In 1840 he founded the Western Brewery with an attached pub near the property on which the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is now located. The company started with a production volume of around 100 barrels of beer per year. To cool and store the beer, he used a part of the network of caves below St. Louis, not far from his brewery.

Lemp ran the brewery until his death in 1862, when his son William took over the business. At that time, around 12,000 barrels of beer were being produced each year. He is buried in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis.

At the turn of the century, the William J. Lemp Brewing Company was the third largest brewery in the United States.


Johann Adam Lemp married Louise Bauer, b. Bauer (* 1809; † 1893). The couple had a son: William Jacob Lemp (* 1836; † 1904).


  • Charlotte Rother, Hubert Rother: Lost Caves of St. Louis: A History of the City's Forgotten Caves
  • Nikola Stumpf: From the Upper Hessian province across the pond. The origins of the brewer Johann Adam Lemp (1793-1862) from St. Louis / Missouri . In: Mitteilungen des Oberhessischer Geschichtsverein 101 (2016), pp. 205–223
  • Stephen P. Walker: Lemp: The Haunting History

Individual evidence

  1. On Lemp's grave stone in St. Louis, May 20 is noted as his birthday, while other sources give May 25.
  2. In various sources it is pointed out that Lemp preferred the nickname Adam.

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