Sterling Brewing started in 1863 as one of several small breweries in Louisville, a river town busy with traffic during the Civil War. It was started by Henry Schneider, but went through numerous ownership changes over the next 14 years. In 1869 and 1876 the local sheriff sold the brewery to satisfy financial obligations of a bankrupt brewery. Initially it was a small “cave brewery”, but in 1877 John Hartmetz moved to Evansville from Louisville, where he had owned part of what would become the Oertel Brewery. Hartmetz bought the struggling business and it finally began to do well. Legend has it that John and his brother Charles, another great brewer, decided that instead of being competitors in the same town, one would operate his brewery in nearby Evansville while the other would remain in business in Louisville. The decision was left to the fate of a coin toss. John Hartmetz won the opportunity to produce his fine Sterling Ale in Evansville, and Charles continued to run the brewery that would later become known as Oertles, another famous and historic Louisville beer.
Water, malt, hops and yeast. Pure ingredients. Sterling Premium Pils is a European-style pilsner influenced by America, similar to the experience of the immigrants from Europe arriving in their new homeland and recreating their traditional diet with a more local and regional flavor. By using regionally sourced and more readily available ingredients along with those they imported and blended together, they created a new and unique ‘American’ classic, which sadly through the generations has warped into a pale comparison to its roots, and this classic American original having all but become extinct… until now.