Local History Index
Index to Wisconsin
Brewery and Related Articles
History2 > 1873-1881
Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. : A Chronological
edited and written by Michael R.
Reilly, copyright 1995
Published by U.S. Email Advertising Co., Hartland,
Date of Last Revision
In the early 1840's, the equivalent of our neighborhood
taverns - although on a less reputable social footing - were the "rum holes"
which dotted the banks of the Milwaukee River in 1843, when 138 were counted. These dirty
and unsightly dives got their name from one of the liquids dispensed, and from their being
dug back into the hillside. They were boarded up in front and had crude bars, over which
was served rum, low grade home-brew, essig whisky heimer and challet. The last named was a
potent mess containing fermented wild berries, watercress, rum and limestone. "Essig
whiskey heimer" was a drink concocted by the first German settlers in Milwaukee
around the spring of 1839. Since no beer was available, they mixed whiskey and vinegar
with a little limestone thrown in to put a "head" on it; it was noted that its
devastating effects prompted the founding of the first brewery here. The rum holes had
"back rooms" - subterranean tunnels - where the owner could store his beer. Some
of these passages were provided with cots and straw ticks where men, women, and children
who had just gotten off the boat - 200 or 300 immigrants were arriving daily - could lodge
temporarily. Despite its bad name, the rum hole became quite an institution in its day,
serving as a social center, bank for short term credit, travelers' aid society, forum and
lovers' rendezvous. The rum holes eventually died a natural death, as they were replaced
by more modern taverns and hotels. 7-67
Most new colonists left Europe around early March for the 6 to 8 week
ocean voyage to usually New York, from there the typical immigrant traveled by steamship
up the Hudson River to Albany through the Erie Canal to Lake Erie (canal boats were
generally overcrowded and the worst part of the journey) then took a lake steamer to a
Wisconsin port, Milwaukee.
|| In 1848, Georg August Krug (went by the name August,
born 1814 in Miltenberg, Germany) arrives in Milwaukee from Germany and opens up a
restaurant on 4th and Chestnut Streets (now Juneau) across from the Gipfel Union Brewery, when this was
the heart of the west side of Kilbourntown. His wife, Anna Maria, was originally left
behind in Germany while August got himself set-up; several years later he sent for her and
she helped in the restaurant by waiting on tables.
[See 1850 Census note below]
|| (Questions- After arriving in the
U.S., and where (New York), how did Krug travel to Milwaukee (see
above), how long did it take ? Why did he leave
Germany? A failed German democratic revolution in
1848 forced many well-educated, politically-active Germans to flee to the United States.
The 1848 Revolution attempted to bring "unity, justice, and liberty" to
Germany. Is there a record of Krug
buying his lot and when/how much; to build a butcher shop around the same time cost about
$138 . Was Krug employed by anyone here before he built or leased the restaurant?)
Krug's Brewery (?- Not Exactly in center of
| In Milwaukee during 1849, the neighborhood surrounding August
Krug's restaurant was rapidly being transformed into a "Little Germany" as
immigrants poured in. The demand for beer increased so much that Krug started a small
brewery in the basement of the restaurant. Krug did most of the work himself, besides
running the restaurant. In the cold months, he turned out 1 1/2 barrels a day. In the
summer, brewing operations shut down because of the warm temperatures. This event marked
the meager beginnings of a beer empire. About 150 barrels of beer were produced that first
year and could only be made in the winter, due to the lack of refrigerated storage
facilities. At this time, beer was stored in wooden kegs or clay "pottery"
bottles (at this time there is no evidence that the Krug Brewery sold any of its beer in
clay pottery bottles).
Note to readers: In the book "The
History of Wisconsin Volume I: From Exploration to Statehood by Alice E. Smith 1973, on
page 531, she states that Krug began his brewery in 1849 in the restaurant he started
nine years before. Krug first filled his naturalization papers in New York
during May of 1848. But did he? Wasn't there a minimum of seven years of
residency required before applying?
1850 Federal Census, entry 569-612, August 1, 1850, Milwaukee
Ward 2, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, August Krug (Kruz) age 34, brewer;
wife, Anna, age 28, both from Bavaria.
Note: For their listing there's also a blacksmith, a laborer, and an 18 yr. old
girl no occupation, but no indication they work for the Krugs. Possibly just
living in same house, dwelling not necessarily where he brews his beer, or has
his tavern/inn. No streets are given in census. His occupation as
"Brewer" could mean he's brewing his own beer, at this location
(perhaps downstairs), or at another. He could be working for someone else;
though that was never established after his arrival in Milwaukee. Source:
Ancestry.com, 1850 Federal Census, p 67 of 115.]
The first listing in the Milwaukee City Directory
for August Krug is the
1851-52 [the 1850-51 copy was not available]. The
listing is "August Krug, brewery and saloon at 48 Chesnut"
[Note: The spelling "Chesnut" remained until the 1857-58 City
Directory; no 1856-57 directory available]. There is a "George Krug also
listed in 1851-52 at 48 Chesnut; this is most likely his father [Read below]
The Krug brewery from a September 30, 1936 Milwaukee Journal
It was no accident, of where the early city breweries
located; located adjacent to a bluff or hillside where vast brick-lined vaults and caves
had to be dug to provide the consistent cool temperatures essential to brewing and
preserving. The vaults were lined with the white or cream-colored bricks that made
Milwaukee known as the "Cream City of the Lakes".
It was at this time (1850) that 20 year old Joseph
Schlitz came to Milwaukee from Mainz (Mayence), Germany and was hired by Krug as his
bookkeeper. Joseph Schlitz, born May 15, 1831. Equipped as he was with a fair education, a
four year course in bookkeeping (his father, John, was a wine speculator) and some
practical business experience, he became a valuable asset to the brewery and a close
friend of Krug. Also during this year, August Uihlein, age 8, accompanied by his
grandfather, Georg Krug, a 68 year old innkeeper from Miltenberg, came to Milwaukee to see
his uncle August Krug.
|(Why August Uihlein came to America - The
Tauber River in Germany had flooded that year, filling the inn's basement (The family had
for years owned and operated the Gasthaus Zur Krone in Wertheim.). Another hotel had
opened, increasing the competition. The family's quarters were crowded with four lively
sons on hand and Mrs. Uihlein was preparing to add her first daughter, Anna, to the
household. Krug offered to take his oldest grandson with him to America. During the trip
from Wertheim-on-the-Main, their ship, the S.S. Helene Schlomann, caught fire in
mid-Atlantic. Grandfather Krug and August (Uihlein) held on to a wooden box until rescued
by sailors of the American bark, Devonshire.)
Upon his arrival in Milwaukee, Georg presented
his son, August Krug, with $800 in gold to invest in the brewery. Krug constructed storage
facilities on 3rd and Walnut streets with his father's funds (these were vaults dug into
earth banks). His brewery was located on Chestnut between 4th and 5th Streets. The storage
vaults had a capacity of 150 barrels; the brewery sold 250 that year. To Krug goes the
credit for building the first underground brewer's vault which was tunneled into the hill.
The oxen or horse drawn wagons that delivered the brew could often be seen backed up to
the door of one of these hillside vaults, being piled high with the cave chilled kegs.
It's unknown as to how long August Krug's
father, Georg Anton Krug, stayed in the Milwaukee area; the 1854-55 Directory
doesn't list anyone other than "August Krug, brewery and beer hall on
Chesnut between Fourth and Fifth Sts. No other Krugs are listed until
the 1857-58 Directory; August is "A. Krugg, brewer, 48 Chestnut" [notice
spelling change], and an "August Krug, carpenter, h. Main, between Ogden
and E. Knapp". This is the only time you see this entry.
A panoramic view of the city of
Milwaukee, Wisconsin originally lithographed by D. W. Moody in 1854.
The drivers of the lumbering old beer wagons, then a common sight on
Milwaukee streets, were powerful men with a fabulous capacity for brew. As they drove from
saloon to saloon, with the wagon piled high with oaken barrels and carrying a few extras
on tenterhooks on the sides, they favored each customer with their trade, downing at least
one seidel of beer at each stop. It is said that each had an allowance of $3 a day to
spend for beer on his rounds, which meant quite a quantity at 5 cents a schooner. The beer
wagon was a spectacle to delight small boys, who stood gaping as the muscular driver
tossed the heavy barrels about like so many bags of cornhusks. They waved to him
admiringly as he mounted his high seat and clucked at the powerful Percherons, who pulled
the rig - resplendent in their brass studded harness. The typical driver was a pink faced,
fat bellied, hearty voiced Fritz, wearing a heavy leather apron and rubber boots. He
looked vigorous enough, but it is said that his chances of living beyond 50 were slim.
Franz Falk comes to Milwaukee in October, 1848. He had learned
coopership and brewing in Miltenberg, Germany. He was employed by August Krug for 6 months
then left for the brewery of C.T. Melms as its foreman. 5-338
Franz leaves C.T. Melms later and establishes the Falk
brewery. (A note - It was beer that brought Franz Falk to Milwaukee. The founding
grandfather of the Falk
Corporation was born in 1823 in Miltenberg-on-the-Main, a small city in northern
Bavaria that, like so many other Bavarian towns, was known for its beer. He sought
employment in a Miltenberg brewery, and there he learned the skills that would later earn
him a fortune. In 1848, when he was twenty-four, Franz Falk decided to test those skills
in the New World. Franz departed for the United States, reaching New York in mid-summer. From
your editor - Since August Krug's family was also centered in Miltenberg, it's no surprise
that Falk worked with him. It's quite likely that the two of them traveled together and
upon their arrival in Milwaukee worked together to start the restaurant/brewery. Though,
if August Krug filed Naturalization papers in New York in May of 1848, this may be
When young August Uihlein came to Milwaukee, he was placed in the care
of Peter Engelmann, an able
schoolmaster and principal at the newly
established German-English School (founded in 1851 by Christian Preusser, a jeweler
7-141); was located on Spring Street, (now West Wisconsin Ave.) and Third Street, later the
location of the Schlitz Hotel and the Palm Garden. When the Academy opened with its 40
students, the tuition was 50 cents a month. Mr. and Mrs. Krug having no children of their
own "adopted" young August, a nephew, whose mother, Mrs. Benedikt Josef Uihlein
was born Katherina Krug. Also during this time he learned the art of brewing beer from his
uncle Krug by working odd jobs in the brewery; scouring beer barrels, fastening bungs
securely and stoking boilers for greater efficiency.
Note : all brewers in Milwaukee in 1850 made nothing but top brewed
fermentation beers; Phillip Best introduced the bottom brewed which used yeast from
Germany, imported by the brewer Wagner, who operated a brewery at 12th and Galena but was
apprehensive about using it. 5-224 (Note - this would be an
incorrect statement if Herman Reuthlisberger really brewed lager beer in his brewery
started in the spring of 1841.)
The natural preference of the German born for beer was not alone
responsible for the impressive growth of the brewing industry here. The passage of the
state "blue liquor law" in 1850, placing a $1 tax on a gallon of whiskey and the
same on a barrel of beer - which held 31 times as much - made the whiskey business
unprofitable here, and gave brewing a strong boost. 7-84
1850 population of Milwaukee approx. 20,000; a ten fold increase from
Joseph Hausmann, born in Achern, Baden in 1828, came to U.S. in 1852;
went to Milwaukee in 1853 and worked for August Krug until 1854 when he became the foreman
of the Haertel Brewery in Portage, WI.. 5-337
August Krug is fined the sum of $5 and court costs amounting to upwards
of $80 for the assault and battery done to one John M. Schreck on July 13, 1853. Schreck
had been a patron in the saloon that Krug kept that day at which time Schreck loudly
proclaimed his dislike for certain secret societies. He called all the members
"nuisances", Krug being one of them. Krug, not so gently, forced the man down in
his seat and told him to be quite, in the process scratching him on the neck. MS 7/18/1853
A warrant was issued against August Krug for assault and battery upon
Henry Zinn on the 18th of September. MS 9/20/1854 3/1.
August Krug, in the face of stiff competition, planned becoming a rival
of V. Blatz, producing nearly three times as much as the latter before another year had
passed. Time passed, and the demands for lager beer grew throughout the country- business
expanded accordingly, amounting to $1,500 in 1855.
During 1855, August Krug returned to Germany and
visited his sister Katherina in Wertheim. 23-1
In 1855 or 1856, August Uihlein is sent to a Jesuit college in St. Louis in
accordance with his grandfather's wishes.
Mrs. Anna Marie Krug
| August Krug's brewery continued to prosper as production and
demand rose steadily each year. But after only seven years in the business, Krug died on
December 30, 1856, and Joseph Schlitz took over the management of the brewery, in the
interests of Mrs. Krug, at the age of 25; wisely investing his savings in the business,
becoming the widow's partner. August Uihlein returned from St. Louis with the death of his
uncle Krug and went to work at the brewery.
Schlitz married Krug's widow two years later and changed the name of the brewery to his
own, the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company, though it didn't appear in the city directories
until 1859-1860. In 1858, the storage capacity increased to 2,000 barrels.
The 1857-58 Milwaukee City Directory first
lists a Philipp Hartig [Anna Maria's brother] as a brewer and boarding at the
Menomonee Hotel operated by one A. King, proprietor. Joseph Schlitz is listed as
a book-keeper at the A. Krug brewery.
Also in 1858, August Uihlein, at age 16, convinced
Schlitz to hire him as a bookkeeper after only 60 days training in the subject in St.
Louis. August proposed to take a company inventory and revamp the brewery's accounting
system from single to double-entry bookkeeping. While holding down a full-time job (age
17) at the Second Ward Savings Bank (now First Wisconsin) for no salary, he utilized this
training to work on the brewery's accounting books in the evening. For his efforts at the
Second Ward Savings Bank, he received a gold pen from Valentine Blatz after a year of
The 1858-59 Directory shows Philip Hartig
working and living at the [Krug] saloon at 48 Chestnut. Joseph Schlitz is listed
as the book-keeper for Krug's Brewery, and boards at the same 48 Chestnut
location. This Directory is the first and last to list Anna Krug as the widow of
August; her home is 48 Chestnut. In the wills of Joseph and Anna Maria Schlitz,
a Charles Schmidt is listed as a beneficiary; in this Directory he is listed as
working in the saloon on Chestnut. Later he [Charles] is working at the Second
Ward Bank as a Clerk.
He (Schlitz) purchased the small Rheude & Co. Brewery located on Third
and Walnut streets, and later the Pfeifer Brewery, known as the Green Bay Brewery, also located near Walnut
Street. Active in civic affairs, he was one of the founders (secretary) of the Brewers'
Fire Insurance Co. of America, a member of the United States Brewers' Association,
secretary of the Milwaukee Brewers' Association, and vice-president of the Second Ward
(Editor's Note - Somewhere in my
archives or I read it somewhere, Joseph Schlitz sold the original Krug restaurant/brewery
about this time - could it have become the Simon J. Meister Brewery?)
<---The broadside announcement
to the left is early evidence of how swiftly Joseph Schlitz moved to
expand the his new brewery's influence. Frederick Jaegerhuber who had
owned this saloon at Mill and Main Sts. in Waukesha, sold his interest
in it to Joseph Schlitz. Schlitz in turn, thru his agent, C.W. Bennett,
sold some of the saloon contents and remodeled it to sell his brew.
Source: Michael Harter's Saloon: A Man's Place, by Douglas T. Hennig,
page 12, Landmark, issue Winter, 1986.
1859-60 Directory lists no Krug or Hartig and the Rheude & Co. brewery has
no listing. Joseph Schlitz isn't listed under the commercial heading
"Brewers", but is as a brewer at Chestnut between Fourth and Fifth,
The 1860 Census page 76, 584-630, lists the
following for Joseph Schlitz:
Joseph Schlitz, age 30, occ. brewmaster, property
value - $50,000; born Hesse Darmstadt
Nanna (Anna Maria) Schlitz, age 36, female, born Bavaria.
Philip Hartig, age 32, occ. beer hall, property
value - $1,500; born Bavaria
George Orth, age 20, occ. bar keeper, born
August Uihlein, age 19, book keeper, born Baden
Xaver (?) Rosenwirth, age 28, occ. brewer, born
Maria Patzer, age 26, occ. servant, born Austria
Catherine Fiicert (?), age 26, occ. servant, born
The hop louse chose this period of time to move into the hops fields of
Eastern growers. It completely ruined the hops crop in no time. Wisconsin farmers quickly
realized the significance and began to grow hops in earnest. With an ample supply at hand
the Milwaukee brewers were well able to supply beer to the thirsty Easterners. During the
time 1860 - 1865, Milwaukee brewers nearly doubled their production. 11-101 This period of
prosperity didn't last very long for that same hop louse made its way to Wisconsin fields
August Uihlein joined the Uhrig Brewery on October 10, 1860 in St.
Louis as a bookkeeper, collector, and shipping clerk for $20 a month and board. He was
soon advanced to $40 a month - $39 a month more than Schlitz had paid him. Two years later
in 1862, before his 20th birthday, he was promoted to the position of general manager.
[Note - The 1859-60 Milwaukee City Directory lists a Joseph Uhrig, brewery, St.
Louis, Mo., with a home in Milwaukee on Lisbon plank road. This was the site of
the Uhrig family summer home for many years. Some added notes about the Uhrig
family: Another Uhrig, Edward August Uhrig (1862-1922) was born in Germany and
married Rosa Kehr on March 6, 1883. They had one child who survived into
adulthood, Alexander Bernhard Uhrig. In the book "Oconomowoc: Barons to
Bootleggers" by Barbara and David Barquist, 1999, pages 21-24,
it's written that the family had considerable wealth, stayed at the Gifford
Resort on Oconomowoc Lake (early Town of Summit, Wis.) They later built a summer
home on Okauchee Lake. Alexander married a nurse he met while hospitalized,
Corrine Dreyfuss; they had one child, Alice Beatrice Uhrig in 1927. Due to
financial losses in the 1929 Crash and other personal problems, Alexander hung
himself. A little more than 3 months after her mother died in 1977, Alice
committed suicide. Alice's only husband, who she divorced, also committed
suicide after the couple parted at a much earlier date. Unfortunately, there is
nothing to indicate that any of this family had interests in the St. Louis
The 1860-61 Directory lists an "A.
Uehlein, book-keeper, boarding at J. Schlitz, 38 Chestnut" [wrong address
In 1860, the Phillip Best Brewing Co. of Milwaukee was paying its
workers an average of $25 a month; alleged to compare favorably with wages paid by other
July, 1860, The Milwaukee Brewing Association is established; the city
has over 200 saloons.
In 1862, Henry Uihlein then 18, August's brother (he was the second
oldest), came from Germany to join him in St. Louis. He had served an apprenticeship with
a Bavarian brewer while in Germany. But he soon left to become the general manager of the
Kunz Brewery in Leavenworth, Kansas. [The Leavenworth
County Historical Society & Museum lists a H. Uhlein in the 1870-71 City
Directory as a brewer at 4th and Walnut in Leavenworth, Kansas. This is the only
listing for Henry.]
- Philipp Hartig returns as working at a
saloon at 46 Chestnut with a home near Vliet and Fourth. Under the Commercial
advertising heading "Breweries", "J. Schlitz, 46 Chestnut"
is first listed. There is a mystery listing for a "Mrs., Auguste Krug,
Seventh & Poplar" - no known relationship.
- "grog-sellers" in the area peddling their "grog-work".
Some of these individuals were known to cause trouble for local citizens. Source:
John Flanagan, of Mapleton, obit June 16, 1862 from the Oconomowoc Free Press.
On July 1,1862 the Internal Revenue Act was passed which specified a
tax of $1 a barrel on all beer and a license fee for individual brewers. The creation of
the Internal Revenue System at this time was an important event; up to this point the
Federal government had been able to pay its way without internal taxation through proceeds
from customs duties and the selling of public lands. As a direct result of its passage, a
group of Eastern state brewers banded together in a group first called the Lager-beer
Brewers' Association or the National Brewers' Association or Congress at its first
convention held on November 12 , 1862. At its fourth convention it was changed to the
United States Brewers' Association.
1863 - Philipp Hartig is working at a saloon
at 58 Chestnut, the listed location of Joseph Schlitz, brewer. [Was
this a multiple typo, were addresses changing, or perhaps the establishment
itself was branching out?]
the year that Anna Maria's nephew, William Hartig, is reported to have come to
Milwaukee on his own at age 12.
Joseph Schlitz is elected secretary of the 3rd U.S.B.A. congress held
October 28, 29 1863 in Cincinnati.
a third brother, arrived in America in June, 1864. At this time, the Brewery employed six
to eight employees. 23-2.
September 8, 1864, Joseph Schlitz is appointed Secretary of the Fourth
Congress of the Brewers in the United States while they are assembled at City Hall in
Milwaukee. MS 9/14/1864 1/5.
1865 - Street address changes again for the
brewery and Joseph Schlitz, now 420 Chestnut. No Hartigs are listed from now
until 1869-70 Directory.
Lager beer became even more popular with the outbreak of the Civil War
and by 1865, the Jos. Schlitz' sales amounted to 4,400 barrels a year. Meanwhile, the
lager cooling and storage cellars of the Rheude & Co. brewery (Anton Rheude and John
J. Meister, proprietors; merged with Schlitz) on 3rd and Walnut Streets were used by
Schlitz for aging his beer. Incidentally, this was to become the permanent
location of the brewery in the early 1870's. (Question
- Were Rheude or Meister business partners of Jos. Schlitz? After Schlitz died, Robert
Wells mentions in his three article that it took a while for the Uihlein brothers to gain
total control of the brewery - not just because their Aunt Anna acquired it.)
The Zinn Malt and Grain Co. purchased the site of the original
JSBCo. brewery and erected a malting plant there, or used the original building(s).
A.C. Zinn later merged his business with the Asmuth Malt and Grain Co. into the Milwaukee
Malt and Grain Co. (later purchased by the American Malting Co.). 5-597
The Second Ward Savings Bank was known as the "brewers bank"
in 1866 which was controlled by the brewers, Joseph Schlitz, Blatz, Phillip Best, and
William H. Javobs. Later the interests of Best were taken over by his sons-in-law , Capt.
Fred Pabst and Emil Schandein-while the Schlitz holdings were later acquired by August
Uihlein, and August Uihlein owned the greater number of shares, and his word was law, even
when Henry became president.
The 1866-67 City Directory lists Joseph
Schlitz, brewer, 418 & 420 Chestnut.
In 1866, the Farmer's Brewery of Beaver Dam is purchased by
Binzel who had served his apprenticeship with Joseph Schlitz and Val Blatz from 1857 -
By February of 1867, August was relatively well off and for the first
time in 17 years went back to Germany to visit his family. When he returned, he brought
his 15 year old brother, Alfred, with him to St. Louis. Alfred soon joined Henry at the
Kunz Brewery in Leavenworth, Kansas. [The Leavenworth
County Historical Society & Museum lists a Alfred Uihlein in the 1868-69
City Directory, boarding with C. Kunz (Charles). The only listing for Alfred.
The Historical Society has a fairly extensive file on Kansas breweries and the
name Uihlein does not appear in it except in reference to Cindy Higgin's book
which erroneously lists August Uihlein as setting up a brewery in a cave;
something which Charles or his Uncle Joseph Kunz did do according to the
Society. According to the Society the first brewery established in Leavenworth
was in 1855 but no City Directories existed until 1859. In addition, there is no
reference to a George or Anton or August Krug from 1859-90. ]
It is reported that the Schlitz Brewery produced 5,578 barrels of beer
in 1867, thus ranked as the number 4 brewery in Milwaukee. Blatz is number one, Phillip
best & Co. is number 2, and C.T. Melms is third. MS 1/21/1868 1/5.
During 1868 ( or late 1867) August Uihlein returned to work at the
Schlitz Brewery. The 1868-69 City Directory lists him as "Augustus Uhlein,
book-keeper, boarding at 420 Chestnut.
The monthly German-language publication, The American Brewer (Der
Amerikanische Bierbrauer) began in January 1868.
Joseph and his wife, Anna, were still living in the brewery building on
the north side of Chestnut Ave. about a half block west of 4th. It was a malty sort of
neighborhood, with Phillip Best brewery up the hill to the west and Charles Gipfel Union Brewery immediately
across the street from Schlitz. (from Milw Journal 4/23/1972). 9-1
In 1869, the city directory indicates that Uihlein was living in a
boarding house a few doors east of the brewery. Either this year or in 1870 August
Uihlein's brothers Henry and Alfred were hired by Schlitz. The brewery was selling about
6,800 barrels of beer a year at this time. Alfred, being the youngest, had to get up at 4
am to walk down to the brewery lighting his way with a lantern. 9-1
The 1869-70 City Directory reveals that
Philip Hartig has gotten out of the brewery/saloon positions and is now a Lumber
dealer, residing at 284 Mineral. Anna Maria's nephew, William Hartig, first
appears in the Directory as a brewer at Joseph Schlitz and living at 420
Joseph Schlitz is elected Secretary of the Brewers' Protective
Insurance Co.. MS 3/17/1869 1/3.
Milwaukee Sentinel reports City breweries 1868 beer production. MS
With the completion of the transcontinental
railroad in 1869, enterprising brewers had a new means of transporting beer. They could
quickly ship it by rail, storing it in depots along the tracks where it was picked up by
distributors. Brewers began staking out exclusive saloon franchises along the railroad
tracks leading west. Prohibition advocates pointed to these "tied-houses" as
evidence of corruption in the industry. Controversy over the "tied-house," a
retail establishment financially controlled by a brewer, gave rise to the popular
expression, "I own you lock, stock and barrel." In a "tied-house"
arrangement, a brewer advanced money for saloon construction (lock), and then provided the
fixtures (stock), and an initial inventory of beer (barrel).
In Deliver Us From Evil: An Interpretation of
American Prohibition, historian Norman Clark concludes that "there was an almost
frenzied rush down each new mile of railroad track to stake out new territory [for
It is reported that brewer Schlitz will open a new saloon on
the first of next month. It will occupy the store adjoining the old Menomonee (?). MS
Schlitz erects a new brewery building at the rear of the present one at
Third Street; its dimensions are 40 by 100 feet. MS 7/23/1870 1/6.
Schlitz builds a new large stone malt house on the corner of Third and
Walnut Streets. MS 7/29/1870 1/3.
Builds a large addition to the brewery. MS 9/17/1870 1/2
Between 1870 and 1871, Joseph Schlitz erected the greater part of the
present brewery at the corner of 3rd and Walnut Streets.
The famous slogan, "The beer that made Milwaukee famous", can
be traced to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. In the fall of that dry year, 17,000
buildings, most of the cities breweries, and its' water works were destroyed. Joseph
Schlitz (as well as most other Milwaukee breweries ) sent huge shipments of his Schlitz
beer to the parched Chicagoans.
Edward Uihlein joined the brewery at this time and took
charge of the efforts to pump beer into Chicago by floating shiploads down Lake Michigan.
The grateful Chicagoans spread the word, and Schlitz came to be known throughout the
country and the world. By the end of the year, the brewery had produced 12,381 barrels.
After the Great Fire, August Uihlein hurried to Chicago and established
a depot for the distribution of beer; also a brewery called the Schlitz Brewing Co. headed
Edward G. Uihlein (hired by Schlitz effective 1/1/1872 - John Notz Jr.), who by this
time realized that making beer had a better future than making axle grease. In the early
seventies he introduced a branch system of management and distribution; pioneering in this
Additional comments from John Notz Jr. - I have seen the large picture of a wooden
slatted car that bears both the SLZ logo and that of The Milwaukee Road in another
context: a paper that a nephew of mine, Andrew Goltra wrote for a high school course. It
provided evidence for me that SLZ used The Milwaukee Road, rather than The NorthWestern.
I believe that it was on tracks of The Milwaukee Road over which it effected
deliveries to the original main SLZ warehouse/icehouse on North Union Street,
immediately next to where there is now the overpass over the North Branch of the Chicago
River of the Erie/Ohio Streets entrances/exits of the Edens Expressway. Later, there
was another substantial SLZ warehouse/icehouse on the Southwest Side. The lore
within the Edward Uihlein Family (and I have seen no confirming evidence thereof) is that
it was Edward Uihlein's idea to have SLZ use
1872 saw the Best, Blatz, and Schlitz breweries using 14,000 tons of
ice a year.
It was reported that the beer in one of Schlitz' wagons ran away with
the team on Chestnut street on April 1st, and the driver dragged the horses a distance of
one block. Everybody looked on but nobody was hurt. MS 4/2/1872 4/3.
Henry Jante is putting down the foundation for a new malt house to be
built in connection with the Third Street Brewery of Mr. Joseph Schlitz. MS 5/30/1872 4/1.
In the vote of a silver tankard to the most popular Brewer in
Milwaukee, at St. Gall's Fair, Schlitz leads the Messers. Best & Co. and Blatz, but
friends of the latter are rallying and may turn the tide of sentiment. MS 8/21/1872 4/3.
A saloon keeper complains that he gets but 26 or 27 quarts of beer to a
keg, instead of 32, and wants to know "how is that?". The brewers are called
upon to rise and explain. MS 8/21/1872 4/3.
1872 saw German leaders, among them Valentin Blatz and Joseph Schlitz,
form the Wisconsin Association for the Protection of Personal Liberty, to call upon
liberty loving Wisconsin citizens to vote for candidates to repeal the Graham liquor law
which imposed a $2,000 bond on liquor licensees and would make them liable for damages
caused directly or indirectly by intoxication of customers, and imposed heavy fines on
those convicted of drunkenness. This was brought on by Republican reformers working on
|| Unused advertising envelope for "Simon
Sanders & Co" of Trinidad Colo.., advertising for Schlitz on
front, Back has illustrated advertising for "Mihalovitchs Blackbery
Juice". Obviously used before the business became the "Joseph
Schlitz Brewing Co. in 1873. See next page.
(Note: We are not affiliated
with the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co. or endorsed by them. Any Schlitz trademarks displayed,
or brands mentioned are the sole ownership of the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co.)
History2 > 1873-1881