German Heritage, American Style Aug 17, 2011 -- GERMANY.INFO
Milwaukee Brewers' Shaun Marcum pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park. (© picture-alliance/landov)
Over the weekend, the Milwaukee Brewers hosted a German Heritage Day on August 14 at Miller Park and swept the Pirates while wearing commemorative German-language jerseys. The "Bierbrauer" grabbed a 2-1 win in 10 innings over the "Piraten".
The Brewers added the German Heritage Day in 2011 to honor Milwaukee's many German influences. In 1839, more than 1,000 Old Lutherans from Germany settled in Milwaukee, as well as in Buffalo and St. Louis. German immigration continued to increase Milwaukee's population over the next decades and sometime during the 1850s, Milwaukee became somewhat synonymous with beer. There were over two dozen breweries in Milwaukee in 1856 and most of them were German-owned and operated. At one point, Milwaukee was home to four of the largest breweries in the world - Miller, Pabst, Blatz, and Schlitz - and for many years Milwaukee produced more beer than any other city in the world.
Milwaukee-based and German-founded Miller Brewing Co., now the joint venture MillerCoors, is still a key employer in Milwaukee and Miller Park is home to the Brewers. The Miller Brewing Company was founded in 1855 by Frederick Miller, a German who immigrated to America and Milwaukee in 1854. Miller, having worked at a brewery in Hohenzollern in Germany, purchased the Plank Road Brewery in Milwaukee in 1855 and then incorporated the business in 1888 as the Frederick Miller Brewing Co.
German heritage carries on in many of Milwaukee's neighborhoods, restaurants, schools, breweries and even their sports teams. German heritage, however, is celebrated not only in Wisconsin, but across the entire country. Throughout the US, some 43 million Americans claim German ancestry.