Behind The Dead Elephant

Railway City Brewing Co.'s Dead Elephant Ale is our tribute to Jumbo the Elephant, who was tragically killed in a railroad accident in the late 1800’s in St.Thomas. Jumbo is featured throughout St.Thomas from the life size statue at the city’s west entrance, to the large wall murals adorning our downtown buildings.
Jumbo was the prize attraction of the P.T. Barnum Circus that performed throughout North America. During the early days, many circuses traveled by train, and thus many traveled to St.Thomas as part of their route. Many stories have been told about how Jumbo saved a small elephant from being hit by the oncoming unscheduled train, however, most accurate stories reflect a simple accident.


P.T. Barnum was a master marketer and many refer to the term of "jumbo sized" items relating back to Jumbo the Elephant. In fact, the name Jumbo was given to him by his London zookeepers which was a variation of one of two Swahili words: jambo (which means “hello”) or jumbe (which means “chief”). Therefore, Jumbo’s name established the common word “jumbo” as meaning large in size.

We hope that when you raise your glass of Dead Elephant Ale, you will enjoy everything that Jumbo was and became. Life should be celebrated in every way and if possible "Live Life Large" and enjoy it Jumbo sized!