Hear the name “John Beal,” and John Beal Roofing likely comes to mind. From this point forward, though, you might also start to think about beer, too.
That’s because, Beal, a longtime St. Louis beer fan, has entered the business of beer as well, in part to take matters into his own hands when Anheuser-Busch was acquired by In-Bev in 2008.
"The day our St. Louis brewery got sold off to a foreign company crushed my heart. It really bothered me," he told us when we spoke to him yesterday afternoon. "I was the biggest fan they ever had. I realized that three of the other major American brewers were also gone, and I thought, 'This is crazy,' and decided to do something about it."
So, he came up with his own American lagers: American Patriot and American Patriot Light. Because there wasn't a local facility that could brew on the scale Beal wanted in order to be competitive with the major breweries, he embarked on a self-described quest, traveling across the country for about a year and a half to find breweries to partner with to create his dream beer, while also perfecting a recipe for it.
"I knew that I had to have beer that was at least as good as what we'd been drinking, if not better," he says. "And, I knew I had to have a good price point to be competitive."
The primary brewery he ended up partnering with is G. Heileman Brewing Company in La Crosse, Wis., the former maker of Old Style, among other brews. He also has agreements with two other breweries to produce his beers once capacity is reached at Heileman. Beal says he's been working with a variety of people, including some former Anheuser-Busch employees, to get the project off the ground.
The American Patriot beers are available in cans and bottles at area Schnucks, Dierbergs and Shop 'N Save stores, as well as some individual convenience stores, according to Beal, and kegs will be available soon. Beal’s also working on several more recipes for new beers that he hopes to perfect in the near future.
Beal's slogan for American Patriot is "Taking Back America, One Beer At A Time," but he hopes folks who drink his beer will also start buying American products across the board.
"It's a message that I want to put out that you should buy American products from American-owned companies," he says. "I believe America is in trouble, and I think a lot of people do. We can do something about it and we should."
(The St. Louis Post-Dispatch released a story on this six hours prior.)