Breweries of Wisconsin
Publication Year: 2005
The story of the Dairy State’s other major industry—beer! From the immigrants who started brewing here during territorial days to the modern industrial giants, this is the history, the folklore, the architecture, the advertising, and the characters that made Wisconsin the nation’s brewing leader. Updated with the latest trends on the Wisconsin brewing scene.
"Apps adeptly combines diligent scholarship with fascinating anecdotes, vividly portraying brewmasters, beer barons, saloonkeepers, and corporate raiders. All this plus color reproductions of popular beer labels and a detailed recipe for home brew."—Wisconsin Magazine of History
"In a highly readable style Apps links together ethnic influence, agriculture, geography, natural resources, meteorology, changing technology, and transportation to explore some of the mystique, romance and folklore associated with beer from antiquity to the present day in Wisconsin."—The Brewers Bulletin
Published by: University of Wisconsin Press
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Preface to the Second Edition
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Since the late 1980s, when I finished researching the first edition of this history, the brewing industry nationally and in Wisconsin has changed dramatically. In the 1960s, 1970s, and into the 1980s, a handful of big, national breweries grew increasingly larger and most of the smaller...
Preface to the First Edition
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Wisconsin's brewery history began thirteen years before Wisconsin became a state and a year before it became a territory. By the late 1890s, when dairy cows began grazing in Wisconsin fields and dairy barns began gracing the rural countryside, nearly every Wisconsin community...
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The history of breweries in our land is a story of people. It is the story of their hopes and surprises, their visions of great promise and disappointments. It is about business and agriculture, about buildings with steam pouring from the roofs and semitrailers groaning away from...
Part 1: Beer Around the World
1. Americans and Beer: The History of a Love Affair
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WHERE does brewing have its roots?
Brewing wasn't developed in a systematic manner in one place, by one people, at one given time, nor was it developed at a steady pace. Like many ideas, processes, and inventions whose...
2. Wisconsin Breweries: The Saga Begins
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WHAT was it about Wisconsin that appealed to the early brewers?
A great number of immigrants who settled in Wisconsin in the mid-nineteenth century came directly from Germany, or from other areas of Europe where beer had been a part of the lifestyle. ...
3. Brewing and Agriculture
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SOME immigrants to Wisconsin brought Old World brewing secrets along with other treasured possessions, and one essential brewing secret was the knowledge of how different grains affected the taste of beer. This information was based on centuries of experimentation, and...
4. How Beer Is Brewed
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STANDING outside an operating brewery, one can only imagine what is going on inside. There are clues, certainly, from the sound of rattling bottles inside the bottling house and the enticing smell of cooking grain in the air. Nearby, pallet upon pallet of folded, brightly colored six-pack cartons...
5. A Beer by Any Other Name
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AROMA, flavor, body, color. Bubbles tickling the palate. This is what people think about when selecting their favorite beers, and Wisconsin beers have always satisfied a wide variety of tastes. ...
Part 2: Turbulent Time
6. From Temperance to Prohibition
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ACROSS the United States, the "Noble Experiment" of Prohibition began on July 1, 1919. Proclaimers and supporters of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which made the manufacture and sale of liquor illegal, were confident that conditions in the country would begin...
7. The Noble Experiment
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IN 1913 the Anti-Saloon League, now aware of its awesome power, began working toward a national campaign for a prohibition amendment to the Constitution. A poem that appeared in the River Falls Journal around this time is an example of such prohibitionist zeal. ...
8. The Beer Barrel: Then and Now
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THE old beer barrel-once a major part of the romantic image associated with breweries and beer-now plays only a minor role in the packaging of the product, but even today many people envision a barrel when they think of beer. ...
9. Spreading the Word [Includes Image Plates]
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PACKAGING and advertising are critical to the success of modern brewers. However, just as there was a time when beer came only in barrels, there were many years early on when brewers did not advertise at all. The prevailing attitude during most of the eighteenth and nineteenth...
Part 3: In the Time of Giants
10. Blatz and Schlitz: Two Old-Line Milwaukee Brewers
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AT Juneau and Broadway streets in downtown Milwaukee is the site of the Val Blatz Brewery, a vacant and graying complex; here a huge brick building, prominently labeled "Refrigerator," still stands. Valentine Blatz once took much pride in this building—it was a symbol that his brewery...
11. Miller: Marketing Perfection
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AFTER the decline and ultimate fall of Schlitz, the Miller Brewing Company became Wisconsin's largest beer producer, a position it still holds today.
Upon entering the Miller Valley on the west side of Milwaukee, it becomes immediately apparent that the Miller operation is immense. ...
12. Pabst: A Beer Drinker's Brewery
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THE colorful history of the Pabst Brewing Company dates to the early 1800s in Mettenheim, Germany, where Jacob Best, Sr., owned a brewery and winery. Jacob trained each of his four sons—Jacob, Jr., Phillip, Charles, and Lorenz—in the art of beer making. ...
13. Heileman: King of Labels
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HEILEMAN'S official history began in 1872, when its namesake, Gottlieb Heileman, stepped up from partner to sole owner of a La Crosse brewery; however, the personal story behind the brewery's success began in 1852, when eighteen-year-old Gottlieb arrived in America. ...
14. Leinenkugel: Small, Quality Conscious
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IN the northern Wisconsin tourist town of Chippewa Falls, tucked against the side of a hill at the end of town, stands the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewery. There is no fanfare or hoopla here; on the side of the building there is simply the Leinenkugel logo of an Indian's head on a sign that reads...
15. Point Special: A Regional Success Story
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FEW people outside of Stevens Point had ever heard of Point beer before an article by syndicated columnist Mike Royko appeared in the July 10, 1973, Chicago Daily News. ...
16. Huber: A Broader Tradition in Selling Quality
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The Monroe Brewery was the first brewery built on the Huber site, which is just off the courthouse square in downtown Monroe. John Knipschilt opened this brewery in 1856 and operated it for a time. Around 1905, after several ownership changes, the brewery became known...
17. Walter: A German Family in Wisconsin
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THE Walter Brewing Company had its roots in the city of Stuttgart, Germany, where Johannes (John) Walter began his brewery training at fourteen years of age. In 1874 John and his brothers George, Martin, and Christian immigrated to the United States and within a few years established...
18. Capital Brewery: New on the Scene
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FORMER part-owner and general manager of Madison's Class A baseball team, the Muskies, Ed Janus is a kind of Renaissance man. For many years, Janus held a deep love for the brewing industry and hoped one day that his dream of running a brewery might come to pass. ...
Part 4: A Changing Brewery Scene
19. Giants Stumble
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IN the late 1980s, Miller, Pabst, Heileman, Huber, Stevens Point, Leinenkugel, and Hibernia (Walter) were the only historic breweries that still operated in Wisconsin. Microbreweries were just coming on the scene. Sprecher (Milwaukee, 1985), Capital (Middleton, 1986), and Lakefront...
20. New Breweries in Wisconsin
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WHILE the big national brewers such as Miller and Anheuser-Busch were squabbling with each other over which one could make and sell the most beer, something unusual was happening in the hinterlands-and in the big cities as well. Starting in the 1980s the brewing industry across the country rediscovered itself. ...
Appendix A: Monuments to the Past
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Appendix B: Brewery Failures since 1950
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Appendix C: Home-Brewed Beer
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Appendix D: Wisconsin Breweries, 1835 to 1985
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Appendix E: Wisconsin Breweries, 1985 to 2004
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Index [Includes Back Cover]
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Publication Year: 2005
Edition: Second Edition