Brewing Technology in a Modern Age

The barrel-cleaning machine shown in the top left of the page shows the extent to which brewing had been mechanized. The book focused mainly on Hell Gate Brewery, which had been founded by Ehret in 1866 and was at one point one of the largest breweries in the country. However, the technology the book illustrates was being used in many breweries at the time.


Ehret, George, 1835-. Twenty-five years of brewing: with an illustrated history of American beer, dedicated to the friends of George Ehret. New York: Gast Lithograph & Engraving Co., 1891.

The Pabst Brewery in Milwaukee was awarded the Gold Medal for Brewing Excellence at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. At that time, it was the largest brewing company in the world. As you can see, horses were still used to bring beer to local distributors.


 "Calumet Pabst Brewery and delivery wagons (no. 27)." David V. Tinder Collection of Michigan Photography, County File, Houghton County 1880-1935; University of Michigan Library (William L. Clements Library)


The inscription on the back of this photo reads, "Old brewery gang West branch." West Branch is the county seat of Ogemaw County, Michigan. There were several short-lived breweries in West Branch in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. West Branch Brewery operated  from 1905-1910.


 "West Branch Brewery (no. 3.4)." David V. Tinder Collection of Michigan Photography, County File, Ogemaw County 1880s-1910; William L. Clements Library (University of Michigan Libraries)

Geobel’s Brewing Company, in Detroit, started in 1873. It was renown in Detroit and beyond, gaining popularity with a new production technique in the 1960s. They had figured out how to introduce a bacteria to the yeast that allowed the beer to be bottled without pasteurization. The effect was that the beer tasted more like draft beer, and sales jumped. Unfortunately, the bacteria spread all over the brewery and the technique was abandoned. The brewery never fully recovered.


"Goebel's Brewing Co. delivery wagons (no. 42.2)." David V. Tinder Collection, Wayne County, 1865-1985; University of Michigan Library (William L. Clements Library)

Beer’s Place in Prohibition

After Prohibition