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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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Dubuque City Directory, 1857-1858. Photo courtesy: Bob Reding

IOWA BREWERY. This local brewery located at 2327 and 2329 Couler Avenue was founded in 1855 by Titus SCHMID, Franz SCHERR, and F. Beck using the firm name of SCHMID BREWERY.

Renamed SCHMID BROTHERS AND COMPANY and later the Iowa Brewery, it was the first in Dubuque to bottle beer. At peak production, the brewery produced 7,000 barrels annually with its dozen employees earning weekly wages of about seventy dollars.

1891 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map. Image courtesy: http://www.cityofdubuque.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/2926

The firm operated until October, 1868 when, it members having died, Mrs. B. Scherr purchased a half interest from the survivors and held it one year. At that time, Kiene & Rhomberg became interested and M. Blumenauer conducted the business. Between 1869 and 1878 Joseph H. RHOMBERG was one of the owners.

In 1877 William MEUSER and the heirs of Titus SCHMID purchased the property. The brewery was improved and capacity was raised to 15,000 barrels annually. The company employed twelve workmen, earning a total of $620 per week. In 1887 the Schmid family bought out the Meuser interest and ran the brewery for five years.

In 1892 this company joined with others to form the DUBUQUE BREWING AND MALTING COMPANY. This company closed down in 1896. In 1904 the old Iowa Brewery buildings were reactivated by the DUBUQUE WEISS BEER COMPANY. This company failed in 1912.

The property was then purchased by the ARTESIAN BOTTLING COMPANY. In 1945 a fire destroyed all the buildings except for the old beer hall.

The beer hall originally served as a home for Titus Schmid and his family including his wife and six children. The upper level was the family's quarters while the lower level served as a beer hall and offices.

In 1900 the sons of Titus Schmid and their families moved out of the family home. The DEMKIER BROTHERS BROOM WORKS occupied the lower level with the owners again living on the second floor. From 1912 through the 1930s the lower level hosted a series of taverns while the second level was rented out. Schmid's Hall operated by Gus Meyer occupied the lower level from 1912 to 1918. From 1937 until the early 1960s, William Vander Meullen operated the ARCADE HALL AND TAVERN.

Prior to Fagan's Shoe Repair & Hobbies locating there in 1988 the lower level saw Gordon's Beer Store, Scottie's Tap & Beer, and The Brewery.



Carlson, Randy. The Breweries of Iowa. Arrow Printing: Bemidji, Minnesota, p. 31-32

Gibson, Mike. Yesterday and Today. The Golden View. February 2012

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