Brasserie Schell: Preserving the tasteful heritage of the new Ulm for 160 years – WCCO
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Few towns in Minnesota can say they have a 27-foot-tall statue watching them.
Hermann the German is hard to miss, but he’s only part of New Ulm’s â€œtastefulâ€ heritage.
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Ted Marti is a fifth generation owner of Schell’s Brewery. His great-great-great-grandfather August Schell, a German immigrant, started it all in 1860 after realizing that there was more money in beer than in flour. Schells and Martis have owned the business since then.
Thanks to Prohibition – when they could only make root beer and cola – until Marti himself decided to buy Grain Belt and then introduced a beer called “Nordeast”. He says the success of beer was like the “perfect storm”.
“When do you present a beer and people follow the beer truck to liquor stores because they can’t find it?” Said Ted Marti.
Today, people can follow Schell’s story at the Brewery Museum, connected to the brand new brewery. Part of Marti’s job is to track down old Schell’s or Grain Belt signs and bring them home. It’s like walking through the past with a beer in your hand.
From the fifth generation to the sixth. Marti’s son, Franz, wears several hats; from monitoring daily operations to planning their Oktoberfest celebration. At one point, he was even tasked with looking after the brewery’s peacocks, Bonnie and Clyde. Colorful birds have been the brewery’s mascots since its inception.
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Franz saw his father and those who came before him turn Schell’s into a company that now produces 145,000 barrels a year, with over 30 different kinds of beer.
Machines do what human hands once did, and keeping up with them is both difficult and rewarding.
â€œIt’s definitely a labor of love. There is a lot of blood, sweat and tears, â€said Franz Marti. “I wouldn’t have done it any other way.”
They hailed their first century and a half. And now Schell’s is preparing for whatever the future holds.
â€œWe’re not going anywhere,â€ Ted Marti said. â€œWe’re used to good times and bad times, you know. “A lot of roadblocks have stood in the way, and we are managing.”
Oktoberfest returns to Schell’s this fall to recognize and celebrate over 160 years. It takes place this Saturday. In addition to beer, visitors also get a pretzel and a kid.
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Click here for more information on Oktoberfest, Schell’s history and their tours.