5 Berks breweries collaborate to help restore Lauer statue

'He was a philanthropist for the city'

READING, Pa. - This weekend, five Berks County breweries are hoping customers will raise a pint to support a tribute to Frederick Lauer.

"Frederick Lauer was a brewer in the mid 1800s in Reading, and Reading has a rich brewing history," said Kirby Powell, partner of Maxatawny Township-based Saucony Creek Brewing Company. "He was a philanthropist for the city. He donated a lot of money to start nonprofit organizations and other entities in the city of Reading."

A statue of Lauer was the first statue ever to be erected in Reading City Park, but years and years of decay have taken away his shine, so five breweries tapped an idea to save him.

"It was an effort to try to put a project together that had the potential to raise the necessary money to complete the restoration of the monument," said Kyle Neuheimer, owner of Oakbrook Brewing Company in Reading.

The project will raise money from Lauer's Fellowship Ale, a beer developed by Oakbrook, Saucony Creek, Schaylor Brewing Company in Cumru Township, and Chatty Monks Brewing Company and Broken Chair Brewery, both in West Reading.

"Because of Frederick Lauer's German heritage and his background from Bavaria, we decided to do a true German beer style in a Kolsch," said Neuheimer.

$3.50 from each pint will go toward restoring the statue's foundation and the surrounding area.

"[We want to] make sure that the monument isn't forgotten again and that it continues to remain in good repair and well-maintained," said Neuheimer.

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