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19th Century Early Milwaukee Lager Brewery

Early American Brewers

“Milwaukee's first brewery opened in 1840 by Welsh settlers who named it Milwaukee Brewery. After a similar independent brewery was opened by a German immigrant, it was renamed Lake Brewery—although some accounts refer to the brewery as Owens Brewery after the brewery's primary owner. Other breweries established during this early period include Eagle Brewery, Empire Brewery, and Gipfel Union Brewery. Between 1840 and 1860, about 35 breweries were established in the Milwaukee area. The Milwaukee River was an important waterway for these early thriving businesses as well as ice that helped maintain proper temperatures for Lager. By 1860, there were 30 breweries operating in the city of Milwaukee which had a population of 45,000 people.” wiki

Milwaukee has a rich history in brewing for that it has been touted “Brew City”, “Beer Capital of the world”. Some of the historic breweries that made Milwaukee famous are Miller, Blatz, Schlitz and Pabst.

We cannot confirm if this image is of Welsh or German Pioneers Brewing in Milwaukee. What we can confirm is that it is very early Milwaukee Brewing history, 19th century. The company signage flanking the double doors behind the gang of brewers says: Milwaukee Lager Beer Perhaps of the first brewery in Milwaukee, Owens clan?

Kindly share with us if know more to the history of this image.

(Included courtesy: Archival framed for protection)

  • Title: Milwaukee Lager Beer (Brewers Group Photo)
  • Date: Late 1800’s (19th Century)
  • Geography: Milwaukee
  • Culture: American
  • Medium: Photo black & white
  • Dimensions: 12.5X10
  • Classification:Work & Industry: Brewery
  • Condition: The photo is mounted on cardboard the corners of which have been broken off or chipped.
  • Commonality: Rare

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