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Encyclopedia Dubuque

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DUBUQUE BREWING AND MALTING COMPANY

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Photo courtesy: Colin Lamb
Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
c. 1912. Photographer unknown, “[Bottling room of the Dubuque Brewing and Malting Company],” Loras College Digital Collections, accessed April 11, 2014, https://digitalcollections.loras.edu/items/show/191.
c. 1912. Photographer unknown, “[Two men filling kegs at the Dubuque Brewing and Malting Company],” Loras College Digital Collections, accessed April 11, 2014, https://digitalcollections.loras.edu/items/show/186.
c. 1912. Photographer unknown, “[Men posing near a conveyor belt at the Dubuque Brewing and Malting Company],” Loras College Digital Collections, accessed April 11, 2014, https://digitalcollections.loras.edu/items/show/187.
c.1912. Photographer unknown, “[Workmen in the engine room of the Dubuque Brewing and Malting Company],” Loras College Digital Collections, accessed April 11, 2014, https://digitalcollections.loras.edu/items/show/189.
c.1912. Photographer unknown, “[Three men in a brewing room of the Dubuque Brewing and Malting Company],” Loras College Digital Collections, accessed April 11, 2014, https://digitalcollections.loras.edu/items/show/185.
c.1912. Photographer unknown, “[Five men packing crates at the Dubuque Brewing and Malting Company],” Loras College Digital Collections, accessed April 11, 2014, https://digitalcollections.loras.edu/items/show/182.
c.1912.Photographer unknown, “[Women with bottles of "Vimalt the Health Tonic"],” Loras College Digital Collections, accessed April 12, 2014, https://digitalcollections.loras.edu/items/show/184.
c.1912. Photographer unknown, “[Dubuque Brewing & Malting Company bottling room],” Loras College Digital Collections, accessed April 12, 2014, https://digitalcollections.loras.edu/items/show/176.
Trade Token. Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Invitation to the grand opening of the Dubuque Brewing and Malting Company. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Dubuque Brewing and Malting circa 1909
Founders. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

DUBUQUE BREWING AND MALTING COMPANY. The organization of the Dubuque Brewing and Malting Company resulted from the prohibitory law in Iowa. There were an estimated fifty heirs of the four original brewers. Many of these people wanted to sell their interests, but were unable to do so because the Clark law and other enactments made brewery property practically unsaleable. (1) To enable the sale of these interests, the men owning the largest interests established the Dubuque Malting Company which took over the property of the heirs and paid them a rental. (2)

If the prohibition laws continued, the Dubuque Malting Company would continue the manufacture and sale of brewers' supplies and all kinds of grain products. If the law were repealed, which it eventually was, the managers intended to quickly increase the capacity of the business into brewing and "reach out of the trade of the entire state." (3)

Joining together were the A. HEEB BREWING COMPANY, NORTHERN BREWING COMPANY, IOWA BREWERY, and the WESTERN BREWERY. Initially the new company used as its office the Heeb Brewery at 2127 Couler (Central). (4) The site selected for the new brewery was 30th and Jackson and the firm of FRIDOLIN HEER & SON was hired to draw up the plans. (5) The site consisted of approximately 6.5 acres. One of the unique characteristics of the plant was the absence of beer cellars or caves. A refrigeration plant costing between $50,000 and $60,000 made them obsolete. The entire building and its equipment was expected to cost between $250,000 to $275,000 (6) Construction began in 1895; the brewery opened for business on May 7, 1896. (7)

There were concerns in the community when the merger was announced. Citizens believed one or more of the breweries would be closed. Those were sure the merger would lead to higher prices. Neither took place. Prices remained the same and the four breweries were simply numbered 1, 2, 3, and 4. Branch 1, Heeb's Brewery, became the headquarters with the former barroom renovated into an office. Superintendent Titus SCHMID had two testing rooms each using a different process. One was located in Branch 1 while the other was located in Branch 2, the former Iowa Brewery. Because of its location, Branch 4, the former Western Brewery, was used primarily to supply the country trade. Ensuring delivery were ten available teams of horses. (8)

On the opening day, an estimated 20,000 visitors inspected the plant. (9) The supply of 15,000 souvenirs the company had purchased for the event was exhausted by 2:00 p.m. (10) A report of the day stated that "toothsome edibles and the best brew in the country were as free as daylight and air." (11) Music was provided during the day by the Juvenile Band in the refreshment house and the Original Italian Orchestra in the souvenir area. (12) At 3:00 p.m. Alphons Mattews, the master of ceremonies, introduced the president of the company, Nicholas GLAB who welcomed those in attendance. (13)

The resulting company covered ten acres with modern buildings and machinery costing $500,000. (14) The annual production capacity was 300,000 barrels of beer. Water was supplied from an artesian well on the premises; hops for the beer were imported from Bavaria. The refrigerating plant had a capacity of 200 tons of ice daily. (15) The company prided itself in handling telephone orders with delivery within an hour. During the summer, deliveries to homes were made between 7:00-9:00 p.m. (16)

Following the examples of other breweries, Dubuque Brewing and Malting Company constructed saloons in the area to sell its product. (17)

In 1910, Dubuque Brewing and Malting Company, the company's name had been changed in 1903, was the largest manufacturer in Iowa. Outside of St. Louis and Milwaukee there were no businesses of its type that compared in size. (18) The plant, then considered the most modern of its type in the country, was estimated to have 224,500 square feet of floor space.

Transportation of beer was handled by trucks, refrigerated railroad cars, and wagons. "Big electric trucks" operated in Dubuque for city delivery. (19) The first of their kind ever used in Iowa, the trucks operated with a twenty horse-power motor and 110-volt storage batteries that ran thirty miles on one charge. (20) The trucks weighed 9,800 pounds and could carry a load of 10,000 pounds at a speed of six miles per hour on level ground and could manage ten percent grades with a full load. (21) The company also owned a fleet of refrigerated railroad cars designed for their use. A herd of thirty horses was maintained by the company to pull wagons. (22)

Although the brewery was operated twenty-four hours daily, visitors were welcome at any time. A guide was provided to explain the operation of each of the departments. (23)

The brewery acquired a great deal of property. Many saloon operators simply rented from the brewery until laws were passed stating that breweries could not own and control other business property. To get around this law, the Dubuque Realty Company was formed. This business was nothing more than a holding company for the brewery which could continue to profit from the rented property. (24)

Laws were also passed that breweries in Iowa could only sell to licensed businesses. This law was evaded with the establishment, by Dubuque Brewing and Malting Company, of the East Dubuque Supply Company. Beer was sold to the supply company which then brought the beer back across the river for sale to anyone wishing to purchase it. (25)

Reverse glass counter sign. Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Token

On December 31, 1915 PROHIBITION closed the brewery. (26) Legends persist that Alphonse CAPONE used the facilities and shipped out illegal beer in milk cans.

      There was an outfit working in the old Dubuque Brewing
      and Malting Company building on Jackson. It was deserted,
      but we kept seeing trucks with egg crates pulling in. The
      Chicago gangsters had set up a multi-million dollar
      operation--a train would even back in to deliver sugar.
             Finally the feds came in. (27)
                            Max Eggelston

CORN BELT PACKING COMPANY, a local meat packing firm, was incorporated in 1917. (28) The company quickly moved into the former brewery and began extensive modifications. On October 12, 1919 the first hog was killed and the plant was formally opened. (29) In 1921 the plant employed 250 workers, but was not in business long. In 1924 the building became the property of the Citizens' Investment Company of Dubuque. (30)

Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
In 1933 the brewery was purchased by the Wisconsin Trades Corporation, a syndicate of Milwaukee investors and renamed the Julien Dubuque Brewing Company. (31) As time passed, it was revealed that there were actually three groups of investors: Milwaukee and Waupun, Wisconsin; Chicago; and Springfield, Illinois. (32) Joseph Marko, a member of the syndicate and engineer in charge of construction and M.L. Blumenthal, the head of the syndicate, initially stated their belief that the brewery would be in operation by January 1, 1934 with a product to market by April, 1934. (33) A building permit was taken out by the group for $95,000 to use in remodeling and an estimated one hundred local workers were employed (34) The rehabilitated plant was expected to have a daily capacity of 1,000 barrels. (35) Profit on a barrel of beer was expected to be from $1.00 to $2.00 (36) Although the syndicate owned the building until 1937, it never reopened.

In 1937 hopes were raised that the building would have a new owner. Officials of the Chamber of Commerce announced that the newly organized U. S. Sugar and Syrup Refineries Inc. had purchased the building for a corn products refining plant. Cited as attractions for the business was the close proximity to corn, railroads and river transportation. (37) Officials of the company came to Dubuque in 1938 to inspect the building further. (38)

In 1940 the building was purchased by the H & W MOTOR EXPRESS and DUBUQUE PACKING COMPANY for $10,000. (39) The packing company agreed to restrictions placed on the use of the building so that it would not become a nuisance to the people living in the area. The building was used for ham storage. H & W used the premises for their home office.

In 1941 H & W had the frame viaduct that connected the bottling department with the distribution building torn down. Extending across East 30th east of Washington Street, the viaduct, officials claimed, posed a fire and traffic hazard. (40)

In 1977 the home of the former Dubuque Brewing and Malting Company was recommended for placement on the NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES. (41) The two corporate owners, H & W and the Dubuque Packing Company, protested the designation. A spokesman for Dubuque Pack stated that the designation might restrict the building's owners from "improving the property for use to the best advantage." (42) The Division of Historic Preservation of the Iowa State Historical Department removed the buildings from the Iowa register.

The city council hastily established a conservation district in November 2005 after learning the owners sought a demolition permit. (43) The original plan was to sell the bricks and steel at a profit, but historic preservationists pursued an avenue to prevent the structure's loss. As part of a conservation district, the Historic Preservation Commission got first review of demolition permits. The 30th Street section was sold to Auto and Truck Parks Inc. while the H & W parts were sold to 3M Development. (44)

In the fall of 2008 the city considered including the building in a new urban renewal district. The concept developed because the DUBUQUE STAMPING AND MANUFACTURING COMPANY was planning a multi-million dollar expansion project. The city could create tax incentives that would make it less expensive for a developer to expand, or restore a building here.

In 2010 the building became subject to the city's Demolition by Neglect enforcement ordinance. The building's condition made the cost of repairs exorbitant. The owners requested the conservation district be removed to provide them an opportunity to demolish the most deteriorated parts of the structure. They also contacted DUBUQUE MAIN STREET, LTD. for help in finding grants and funding sources. Potential funding included tax-increment financing, federal and state historic tax credits and new-market tax credits.

In 2016 building owner Jim Krueger was given until August 8th to give the city an "executed contract" for the building's stabilization or demolition. Krueger was cited in June for not having the building inspected by a structural engineer. According to court documents, the building then posed a "threat of imminent danger to the general public and surrounding property owners." A heavy rain in July caused part of the building's roof to collapse and a block of East 30th Street was closed in the interest of public safety. (45) On August 10, 2016 a report by IIW Engineers found the middle section of the building where the roof collapsed to be beyond salvage and needed to be demolished at an estimated cost of $715,000. (46)

On September 8, 2016 Jim Krueger announced that he had arranged a buyer for the property who would convert it into an apartment complex. (47) From outside the city, this person planned on investing between $26-30 million. (48) City and Gronen Properties officials, however, said that the sale was by no means final. John Gronen, owner of Gronen Properties said that he had a purchase agreement in place for several months for the portion owned by Krueger. LK Development & Storage LLC owned the portion of the property north of the section owned by Krueger. (49)

By November 16, 2016 another court deadline had be exceeded with no action. Krueger maintained he had a purchase agreement with SLE Investments LC. (50)


Employees of the Dubuque Brewing and Malting Company advertising VIMALT tonic about 1912. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

---

Source:

1. "Dubuque Malting Company," Dubuque Daily Herald, April 12, 1892, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=_OG5zn83XeQC&dat=18920412&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. "Dubuque Once Great Brewing Center; In 1892 Four Breweries Did Rushing Business Here; One Covered Ten Acres," Telegraph Herald and Times Journal, Apr. 2, 1933, p. 3. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=-_1QAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Or4MAAAAIBAJ&pg=2911,6272068&dq=dubuque+brewing+and+malting+company&hl=en

5. Ibid.

6. "A Great Enterprise," Dubuque Daily Herald, August 22, 1894, p. 4

7. "Dubuque One Great Brewing Center..."

8. "Is a Big Concern," Dubuque Daily Herald, May 15, 1892, p. 8. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=_OG5zn83XeQC&dat=18920515&printsec=frontpage&hl=en

9. "Thousands Were There," Dubuque Sunday Herald, May 8, 1896, p. 8. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ugNBAAAAIBAJ&sjid=L6gMAAAAIBAJ&pg=1463,2878762&dq=dubuque+brewing+and+malting+company&hl=en

10. Ibid.

11. Ibid.

12. Ibid.

13. Ibid.

14. "Burgeoning Brewing," Telegraph Herald, July 14, 1977, p. 7. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=SNFBAAAAIBAJ&sjid=OKoMAAAAIBAJ&pg=6514,1733007&dq=a+heeb+brewing+company&hl=en

115. "Dubuque's Malting Company's Plant Unexcelled in Country, Telegraph Herald, February 28, 1910, p. 1. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=NClCAAAAIBAJ&sjid=gKoMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3200,3769609&dq=dubuque+brewing+and+malting+company&hl=en

16. "Is a Big Concern"

17. "City and Country." The Carroll Herald, Dec. 6, 1905, p. 6. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=SoYoAAAAIBAJ&sjid=xwUGAAAAIBAJ&pg=5847,742781&dq=northern+brewing+company+dubuque&hl=en

18. "Dubuque Once Great Brewing Center; In 1892 Four Breweries Did Rushing Business Here; One Covered Ten Acres," Telegraph Herald and Times Journal, Apr. 2, 1933, p. 3. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=-_1QAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Or4MAAAAIBAJ&pg=2911,6272068&dq=dubuque+brewing+and+malting+company&hl=en

19. Dubuque's Malting Company's Plant..."

20. Ibid.

21. Ibid.

22. Ibid.

23. Ibid.

24. "Dubuque Once Great Brewing Center..."

25. Ibid.

26. Ibid.

27. Johnson, Elaine. "Expert Fisherman Recalls Good Old Days in Dubuque," Telegraph Herald, Aug. 26, 1979, p. 11. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=5e9BAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XKoMAAAAIBAJ&pg=6845,3565704&dq=dubuque+brewing+and+malting+company&hl=en

28. "Dubuque Industries Served by Central Station Power #3--Corn Belt Packing Company," Telegraph Herald, Oct. 10, 1921, p. 5. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=E5ZSAAAAIBAJ&sjid=vdAMAAAAIBAJ&pg=6154,1246168&dq=dubuque+brewing+and+malting+company&hl=en

29. Ibid.

30. "Syndicate From Milwaukee Buys Corn Belt Plant," Telegraph Herald, July 9, 1933, p. 19. Online. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=TB9RAAAAIBAJ&sjid=FL8MAAAAIBAJ&pg=6216,4194866&dq=dubuque+brewing+and+malting+company&hl=en

31. "Company Incorporates with $500,000 Capital Stock," Telegraph Herald, July 8, 1934, p. 12. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Lc5BAAAAIBAJ&sjid=2akMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3436,1217824&dq=dubuque+brewing+and+malting+company&hl=en

32. "New Support Is Sought for Local Brewery," Telegraph Herald and Times-Journal, Oct. 21, 1934, p. 3. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=2-hBAAAAIBAJ&sjid=8KkMAAAAIBAJ&pg=7111,488320&dq=dubuque+brewing+and+malting+company&hl=en

33. "Work Underway at Dubuque Brewing and Malting Company," Telegraph Herald, July 30, 1933, p. 30. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Wx9RAAAAIBAJ&sjid=FL8MAAAAIBAJ&pg=1450,6512408&dq=dubuque+brewing+and+malting+company&hl=en

34. "Local Brewing Company Will Spend Big Sum," Telegraph Herald, Aug. 20, 1933, p. 1. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=MmlFAAAAIBAJ&sjid=QrwMAAAAIBAJ&pg=1335,4934417&dq=dubuque+brewing+and+malting+company&hl=en

35. "Julien Dubuque Brewing Company," Telegraph Herald, July 15, 1934, p. 7. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=M85BAAAAIBAJ&sjid=2akMAAAAIBAJ&pg=5317,2047706&dq=dubuque+brewing+and+malting+company&hl=en

36. "Brewing Firm Gets Support From Local Men," Telegraph Herald and Times-Journal, October, 3, 1934, p. 4. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=GNZBAAAAIBAJ&sjid=4qkMAAAAIBAJ&pg=2046,5502465&dq=dubuque+brewing+and+malting+company&hl=en

37. "New Industry Buys Brewery Building Here," Telegraph Herald, Dec. 12, 1937, p. 1. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=VeRBAAAAIBAJ&sjid=EKoMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3780,3732847&dq=dubuque+brewing+and+malting+company&hl=en

38. "Refinery Officials Check Plant Here," Telegraph Herald, Jan. 16, 1938, p. 18. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=LZJSAAAAIBAJ&sjid=NaoMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3827,1002122&dq=dubuque+brewing+and+malting+company&hl=en

39. "County Gets $10,000 Check for Building," Telegraph Herald, Nov. 26, 1940, p. 8. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=FpJSAAAAIBAJ&sjid=IMsMAAAAIBAJ&pg=2449,4224719&dq=dubuque+brewing+and+malting+company&hl=en

40. "Old North End Landmark Removed As Hazard," Telegraph Herald, Aug. 10, 1941, p. 8. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=2XRFAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ibwMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3248,1947561&dq=dubuque+brewing+and+malting+company&hl=en

41. "Washington Park and Two Buildings Receive Historic Nominations," Telegraph Herald, July 23, 1976, p. 8. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=pQZRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=v8AMAAAAIBAJ&pg=5232,3575782&dq=dubuque+brewing+and+malting+company&hl=en

42. "Owners Want Historical Tag Lifted," Telegraph Herald, Dec. 29, 1977. p. 1. Online: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=AO9BAAAAIBAJ&sjid=PaoMAAAAIBAJ&pg=6971,4295228&dq=dubuque+brewing+and+malting+company&hl=en

43. Kundert, Rob. "A Battle Brews Over Potential Demolition," Telegraph Herald, Nov. 21, 2005, P. 1A. Online: http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=DQ&p_theme=dq&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=10E08A9A45CE09C8&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM

44. "Time Line in a Bottle," Telegraph Herald, Undated article

45. Jacobson, Ben. "City Offers Ultimatum on Old Brewery," Telegraph Herald, August 4, 2016, p. 1A

46. Barton, Thomas J. "Owner Says Crumbling Landmark is Being Sold," Telegraph Herald, November 16, 2016, p 2.

47. Montgomery, Jeff. "Complex Future for Former H & W Building?" Telegraph Herald, August 10, 2016, p. 2A

48. Barton, Thomas J. "Landmark to Gain New Lease on Life?" Telegraph Herald, September 10, 2016, p. 1A

49. Ibid.

50. Barton, "Owner Says..."

Information booklet accompanying Bob Reding's display of Dubuque memorabilia from 2007-2010 at the Old Jail

What is the Future of Dubuque's Iconic North End Brewing and Malting Complex?--http://www.preservationiowa.org/news/newsItem.php?id=106

Image courtesy: Cathy's Treasures
Employees pose for a picture. Photo courtesy: Don Davidshofer
Early deliveries depended upon teams of horses. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Advertising light for Dubuque Brewing and Malting Company. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Dubuque Brewing and Malting Company railroad car
Brewing room. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding.
Corner sign notched to fit at the corner of a building. Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Antique bottle openers. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Early delivery method. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Harnesses used by the delivery teams. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Dubuque Brewing and Malting Company barrel room. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Bottles used by the brewery. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Dubuque Brewing and Malting Company machinery. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Ink blotter. Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Dmtray.jpg
Letterhead circa 1940. Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Newspaper. Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Etched glasses
Upon the death of an employee, the company gave the family this certificate into which a photograph could be added.
Match safe. Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Bottom of a bottle marked for the company
Letterhead. Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Export.png
Keg Token-front
Keg Token-reverse
Token advertising $1.00 refund for 1/4 keg return.
Leather memo book
Ceramic porcelain bottle stopper-- This stopper once was held by a Lightning wire assembly on top of a blob top or crown top bottle which was typical for beer bottles made from the late 1880s through the invention of the crown cap and the crown top style of bottle. Beer bottles with ceramic stoppers like this were meant to be filled, a paper label applied to the unembossed side, possibly a neck label would also be applied, and the stopper set in place. The bottle was placed into a wooden case for delivery to a home or tavern.
Victorian embossed roses mat.
Reverse
Front
Bottle opener
Bottle opener
Shipping case.
Photo courtesy: Potosi Brewing Company
Ink blotter. Potosi Brewing Company
Reverse on glass sign. Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Wooden sign. Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Vimalt booklet advertisement cover. Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Two of the inside pages of the advertisement. Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Order Card (face). Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Order Card (back). Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Photo courtesy: Jim Massey
Banquet2.jpg