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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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Photo courtesy: Bob Reding
1935 advertisement. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

FAMILY BEER STORE. The Family Beer Store was opened by Albert J. Huekels after PROHIBITION. It was the first beer store in Iowa. My father, Theodore J. Huekels, use to make deliveries with a little red wagon. (1)

The 1939 through 1972 Dubuque City Directory listed the address as 1575 Central. The store was purchased by Herb and Emil Althaus, brothers, in 1952.

The 1974 through 1985 Dubuque City Directory listed 25 Ruby.

Dennis Althaus purchased the Family Beer Store from his father and uncle in 1971. He added to the family business by opening Family Beer & Liquor in East Dubuque, Illinois in 1980 adding liquor and wine to his stock which originally was just beer and soft drinks.

The addition to the business was partially due to the state of Iowa passing the "Bottle Bill" in 1978. This required a five-cent deposit on all carbonated and alcoholic beverages sold in Iowa. The Iowa store was closed in 2001.



1) Lutgen, Janelle. e-mail, May 25, 2013

"Families in Business," Telegraph Herald, July 30, 2010