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Originally introduced by the Lemp Brewery, Falstaff Beer was just one of several different brands offered by the largest brewery in St. Louis prior to Prohibition. The Lemps chose the Shakespearean character for the name of their new beer due to Sir John Falstaff's reputation as a jolly, fun-loving knight. When the Lemp Brewery closed, William J. Lemp Jr. sold the Falstaff brand to his friend and fellow brewer, Joe Griesedieck in 1920; it would be one of the last business decisions Lemp would make before committing suicide in the family's mansion in 1922. Following the end of Prohibition, the Griesedieck family began to expand their new Falstaff Brewing Company aggressively, competing with Anheuser-Busch Brewery in the decades of the mid-twentieth century. The older, small breweries Falstaff purchased ultimately proved too inefficient to compete with Anheuser-Busch. The four plants in St. Louis, out a total of ten plants in the Falstaff Company, closed one by one, the last in 1977.