Cardinal Beer

As we prepare our April shirt, Americans are beginning their second week of “Social Distancing”, a catchphrase which will undoubtedly top Webster’s 2020 list. During the last week we have all had a lot of time to ponder the situation, and if you are like us, wonder what strategies we can take forward to insure we have beer to drink and beer shirts to wear!

To celebrate Spring, we bring you Cardinal Beer. Two German Americans, Echkardt and Becker, can take credit for this piece of history. They began brewery operations in Detroit, Michigan in 1891 and were quickly established as a leader in the industry, both for their quality products and their fair dealings with the public. Their meager beginnings had E & B producing 10,000 barrels their first year, but by the time nationwide prohibition was enacted in 1913, they were producing 150,000 barrels annually! Not wanting to take a chance during the prohibition years, the brewers dismantled operations and sold the property.  During this time, the founders both died, but each of their sons were positioned to resurrect the company in 1933 when prohibition was repealed. 

In 1935, E & B Brewing built a new operation at its original site, and August Eckhardt took over as the head brewer, a position he was well-suited for, having worked in the business all of his adult life. Upon his passing three years later, the company suffered financial trouble. The board supported a change in direction and hired businessmen rather than beer men, a decision which proved worthwhile, as Eckhardt and Becker lasted into the 1960s when it was acquired by Pfeiffer.

Today, the building still stands in Detroit, as the tallest in Eastern Market. It offers beautiful skyline views of downtown Detroit and houses Red Bull House of Art, one of only three such places in the world. House of Art supplies 8 different local artists every 3 months with the tools and materials they need, offers them studio space and showcases their work in the gallery.