The brewery - as it once was

The brewmasters house

I received E-Mail that said:

I wanted to let you know about a "castle" in Marquette, Michigan, that was once part of a brewery. The brewery was torn down some years ago, but there are a couple of buildings still standing. The one that resembles a castle (which I believe was the brewery headquarters, though don't quote me on that) is now an office building with a sandstone exterior, and stands at the corner of Meeske Avenue and W. Washington St. across U.S. 41 from the Holiday Inn. Another remant of the brewery can be found a block north at Jilbert's Dairy (corner of Meeske and W. Ridge St., famous for its ice cream and local distribution of dairy products. The old stone structure of the brewery now houses equipment for bottling milk and other dairy operations. There is an ice cream shop located in the "barn" section which was constructed in the 1980s.

Later, I received E-Mail that said:

The original brewery opened in 1873 as the "Franklin Brewery," with a beer garden (complete with shade trees, flowers, benches and tables, summer houses, a brass band and inclement-weather building) opening two years later. Over those few years, the brewery was capable of producing 15,000 barrels per year, but competition from Milwaukee limited it to only 5,000, and the brewery closed in 1878.

Local businessman Peter White persuaded Milwaukee brewer Charles Meeske to relocate his business to Marquette, and Meeske agreed to lease the site for three years. In 1886 they changed the name to the "Upper Peninsula Brewing Company." Several stone buildings were added over the years, and production reached an all-time high in the early 20th century at approximately 40,000 barrels per year. In 1910, the brewery constructed a new brownstone building across the street from the bottle works: the home of the new label was "Castle Beer." The new theme was "Castle on the Rhine," and all of the old buildings were replaced with the stone structures. The "Castle Brew" appeared on the market in 1913, and was known as "The Beer That Made Marquette Famous." However, in 1919 Prohibition was enacted and the brewery was forced to close. All that remains today is the brewmaster's house, which is currently used as an office building and is listed on the historical registry.

(Information and photos derived from Marquette Then and Now: Fascinating Vignettes of Marquette's Progress to the Present, by Sonny Longtine and Laverne Chappell, North Shore Publications, 1999, p. 27-29).

Since the brewery building is no longer in existance, I may take this back off the webpage at a later date, enjoy it while it is here.

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A special thanks to Amy Jentoft for sending in the information and photos.