Schmitt Brothers Barbershop Brew: A Four-Part Harmony that Went Down in History

September 28, 2023
Schmitt Brothers Barbershop Brew Cans
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Get to know our team – Schmitt family at Roastar

Ever casually chat with a coworker only to discover they come from a line of world-class singers? Nick Schmitt, one of our Inside Sales Reps, is the grandson of the youngest member of the Schmitt Brothers Barbershop Quartet! The 1951 world champions in the largest contest organized for their genre, the Schmitt Brothers put their hometown of Two Rivers, WI, on the map with their vocal talents. In July, Two Rivers immortalized them with a beautiful new stage in their central park, as well as a local craft beer that Roastar helped bring to life!

Stage 2

Now that the stage has its dedication and the Schmitt Brothers’ Barbershop Brew is all gone (in just one day), we sat down with Nick to get all the details.

Adrian Adamiec: To get things started, can you tell us a bit more about yourself and what you do at Roastar?

Nick Schmitt: Yeah! I’m in inside sales here, which is a mix of account management and customer service. I mostly work with our existing customers, but part of my job is bringing in new customers and talking about the products we offer – one of those being our beverage labels! That’s how I got linked up with Cool City Brewing and started the label project with them.


AA: So Cool City Brewing was a new Roastar client?

NS: Yup, they were just a brewery that I’d heard of, so I reached out to them. They’re very new; they opened just a few months ago. They’re still getting established, so I reached out to them to see where their packaging was at and if they needed any coffee bags or beer labels.

AA: Very cool! Well, to start back at the very beginning, can you tell us a bit more about your grandpa and his brothers? We’d love to hear their story and how their success impacted their hometown!

NS: Yeah! So, my grandpa was from a family of 17 children –

AA: Oh my gosh!

NS: So they had a super large family with lots of brothers and sisters to “choose from.” Four of them, my grandpa being one, started singing super young. My grandpa was actually the youngest member of the quartet; he was maybe six years old when they won their first radio contest for singing! I think the prize was five dollars, which was huge because it was 1940! Then in 1951, when The Schmitt Brothers were more established, they won an international barbershop quartet competition, becoming the SPEBSQSA World Champions! When they stepped off the train back to their hometown of Two Rivers, WI, there was a huge celebration in the city’s Central Park. That’s where the stage that’s dedicated to them stands today.


AA: Right! Do you know how that project got underway? Was it related to an anniversary, or did someone suggest the idea and it went over well since it related to the town’s history?

NS: My dad took some of the credit (laughs). My dad and three of his brothers – my dad is also from a large family of twelve children – took the initiative. One of his brothers, my uncle, was the mayor of Green Bay Wisconsin for 20 years, so he’s great at getting things in motion. Between the four of them, they met with Two Rivers’ city council and mayor.

AA: Awesome! As that was happening, did it kind of happily coincide with you talking to Cool City Brewing?

NS: Yeah! So the stage’s construction was just starting, but they finished the project really fast. Cool City Brewing is directly across the street from the stage. When I talked to them they mentioned that they were considering a special beer run to coincide with the stage’s dedication – which blew my mind and turned it into a not-so-standard sales pitch! It all worked out really well that they were new, the stage was new, and they wanted to do something to make their mark.


AA: So I’m curious about their experience because they were working with Roastar for the first time; did they give you a bunch of feedback, or how did that process go?

NS: Admittedly I handled a lot of the project, and they made the beer, which was really good. My family ordered the labels and Cool City applied them to the cans and filled them up. Because of that, there wasn’t a ton of feedback for us, but they said everything went really well. They liked the labels and the beer sold out in just one day!


AA: Wow! I was also wondering if they’re interested in some future Roastar projects down the road.

NS: Definitely, we’ve talked about stickers. They make coffee too, so coffee packaging – and, of course, beer labels!

AA: I looked up the labels and found some pictures – they looked great! I’m sad I didn’t get to try the beer, but maybe Cool City will do a reissue on an upcoming anniversary.

NS: Definitely – Perhaps it will make a return next year!

Take a step back in time! Enjoy the stylings of the Schmitt Brother's quartet with small-town Wisconsin roots who became world-renowned for their craft!

posted September 28, 2023