Today may be the birthday of Gustave Amos (1840-1910), but the exact month and day is unknown. He was a Protestant Lutheran originally from Wasselonne, in northeastern France. He founded the Brasserie Amos in 1868, which was located in Metz, which is part of the Moselle, which is in the Lorraine area of Eastern France. His father, Jean Amos, owned and operated a candle factory, then a soap factory, but it was his Uncle Edouard, who was a local brewer, that introduced Gustave to brewing when he was very young. The Amos brewery kept growing and doing very well, but in 1910, Gustave was killed in accident when he was struck by a cab right outside the front door of the brewery. His son, Gustave Amos, Jr. continued to run the brewery and it stayed in the family until his great-grandson, Gérard Frantz, sold the brewery in 1988 to the German group Karlsberg (called Karlsbräu outside Germany to avoid confusion with Carlsberg) in Homborg. They closed the brewery in 1993.
This brief biograpy of Gustave is from L’Histoire sous un autre Angle, translated by Google:
Gustave Amos, the founder of the brewery, comes from a large family in Wasselonne. Born in 1840, he is the grandson of Frédéric Georges Amos who settled in Wasselonne during the revolutionary period, around 1795. Coming from a patrician family of reformed Württemberg which dates back to the beginning of the 16th century, Frédéric Georges will become the ancestor of a line of industrialists, officers, engineers and doctors. Nowadays, two streets in Wasselonne recall this illustrious family. If two streets in Wasselonne honor the Amos family, Canada has preferred to give the name of this family to one of its towns.
This account of the brewery’s early history comes from Le Blog des Bibliothèques Médiathèques de Metz in a post entitled “Last Sips of Amos:”
Contrary to what the collective imagination retains, the beer industry made its appearance in the Metz region before the annexation of the department by Germany. Indeed, the Amos brewery opened its doors in 1868! It was founded by Gustave Amos, a young brewer from Wasselonne (Bas-Rhin), in line with the family business. An excellent master brewer and remarkable businessman, Gustave Amos quickly succeeded in raising his brewery to the forefront of Moselle beer producers, even though the city of Metz had more than fifteen active breweries. First located in the city center, the company moved to the Sablon district shortly after the War of 1870.
During the entire period of the Annexation, Gustave Amos made a point of surpassing the Germanic breweries which had established themselves in the Metz region. At that time, the Amos brewery became the meeting place for the Metz bourgeoisie of French origin in Metz. An anecdote reported by the Bière et brasseries de Moselle website tells us thatin 1895, a 72-year-old former notable from Metz, exiled to Pont-à-Mousson, cycled daily to Metz to join the regulars’ table, between 5 and 7 p.m. Thus, the “native” inhabitants of Lorraine could freely taste a local beer with the nose and beard of the Occupant! Faced with the success encountered, Gustave Amos transformed his company into a Société Anonyme in 1908, allowing his children to succeed him and the family business to remain independent. Great good for him, because barely two years later, he died hit by a cab in front of his brewery. Gustave-fils therefore took over the management of the Amos company. Although competition from German breweries was fierce, on the eve of the First World War, Amos was the third largest Moselle brewery, with an annual production of 70,000 hectoliters. This strong activity can in part be explained by the presence of a large garrison stationed in the city; in addition, the German immigrant population consumed a lot of beer … and this despite the controversy reported inLa Gazette lorraine , the official French-speaking press of the occupier, according to which brasseries of French origin served beer in glasses of smaller capacity than German mugs!
Gustave moved to Metz in 1868. He rented for three years, then bought from Jean-Baptiste Reinert, the brewery located at the corner of the rue Hollandre- Piquemal and d’Heltz, opposite the Belle-Isle hospital. The places quickly became too small and, in 1874, the brewery moved to Sablon.