Wisconsin Historical Society

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Main St.

National or State Register of Historic Places
Main St. | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Potosi Brewery
Reference Number:80000138
Location (Address):Main St.
Potosi Brewery
South Main Street, Potosi, Grant County
Builder: Gabriel Hail
Dates of Construction: 1852, 1900

Originally constructed in 1852, the Gabriel Hail Brewery consisted of a small limestone brewing plant. Hail's and his partner John Albrecht's business lasted until 1879. In 1886, the Schumacher family took control of the property and operated the brewery for nearly a century. The brewery complex grew in 1900 and 1902 with the addition of a bottling plant and of several brick stories to the main plant. Other structures were built as the brewery operations expanded. It took on the name Potosi Brewing Company in 1906.

The Potosi Brewery is representative of Wisconsin’s once prevalent local brewing industries. As an operation it was very successful for its size and acted as the city’s largest employer. At its height, the brewery was the fifth largest in Wisconsin and produced 75,000 barrels of beer annually. It distributed its beer through much of Wisconsin and portions of Iowa and Illinois. However, with growing competition from large breweries, the Schumachers ceased brewing operations in 1972.

The brewery buildings stood vacant for many years, suffering from a fire and neglect. In 2004, with restoration of the buildings underway, the American Brewers Association selected the former Potosi Brewery as the home of its national museum. The buildings are open during normal business hours.

Period of Significance:1875-18991900-19241850-1874
Area of Significance:Industry
Applicable Criteria:Event
Historic Use:Industry/Processing/Extraction: Manufacturing Facility
Architectural Style:No Style Listed
Resource Type:Building
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
National Register Listing Date:11/19/1980
State Register Listing Date:01/01/1989
Number of Contributing Buildings:2
Number of Contributing Sites:0
Number of Contributing Structures:0
Number of Contributing Objects:0
Number of Non-Contributing Sites:0
Number of Non-Contributing Structures:0
Number of Non-Contributing Objects:0
National Register and State Register of Historic Places, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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