Surprise support for Stubborn German

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Waterloo Mason Larry Schroeder (left) announces that rent for Main Street tenant Stubborn German Brewing is paid for the rest of 2020 as the Rahn family, from left, Evan, Chris, Drew and Tammy reacts with surprise. 

The owners of Stubborn German Brewing Company in downtown Waterloo received an early Christmas present Thursday night when members of the Waterloo Masonic Lodge #737 made an announcement at the business that rent had been taken care of through the end of 2020.

Speaking to Chris and Tammy Rahn and their two children on the patio of Stubborn German, Waterloo Mason Larry Schroeder  let them know that an anonymous donor had sent in enough money to pay rent expenses for this October, November and part of December. 

“Stubborn German has already paid their rent for September, so we can’t help you out with September,” Schroeder said outside of the Main Street brewery with a smile, adding that the local Masons voted recently to donate the remainder of rent for December not covered by the anonymous donor. 

“Merry Christmas early from the members of the Waterloo Masonic Lodge… You don’t have to pay rent until the first of the year,” he concluded.

“Thank you so much,” said Tammy. “That is so much money for us right now. I did not expect this. I thought you had a little picture for us or something,” when the Masons contacted the Rahns to say they wanted to make an announcement. 

The Masons, who own the building that Stubborn German operates from at 119 S. Main Street, had returned three rent checks to the Rahns in July to help offset hardships brought about by COVID-19 business restrictions. The Masons meet in the upper level of the building.

St. Louis television news channel KMOV aired a story about the Masons’ earlier generosity, inspiring donors to send money to the organization in order to help out more.

Schroeder said the Masons received a check with a note saying “Thank you for all the good hard work you do, keep it up. Please take this check and apply it to Stubborn German’s rent.”

“There are people from all over the world who saw your story,” Masonic Lodge #737 President Matthew Naumann said, adding that he heard from someone from New Zealand who commented about the rent check return.

Tammy said she has heard from many people who were glad to hear about the Masons’ help, but were not surprised because “that’s what (the Masons) do.”

“We are one big happy fraternity,” Schroeder said. “We’re worldwide and it doesn’t matter where we go. We’re a family wherever you go and if someone, somewhere reaches out and asks ‘can you help out,’ you got members of the lodge here and we help out.”

Schroeder added that the Rahns are great tenants and that’s “as good as gold.” 

“I am still in shock and don’t know what to say. Times are tough for all small businesses out there, and this helps us greatly,” Tammy said about the donation. “Thank you (customers) for the support during this, and a special thank you to the Masons and the anonymous donor.”

Stubborn German is open for limited indoor and outdoor service. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 4:30-10 p.m., Friday from 3-11 p.m., Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

For a video of the announcement, click here.

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