The building owes its unique stature to the brewing practices of the late 19th century. With a total of four stories, it is over 70 feet tall, yet only 20 feet deep. The breweries of the day relied on gravity (thankfully, we have electric pumps today) to move water, wort and beer through the production process. The fourth-floor cupola likely contained a large water tank serving the brewery’s needs. The fire-brewing (probably wood-fired) took place on the third floor as evidenced by the chimney flues still visible today. Fermentation and packaging likely occurred on the 2nd and 1st floor as the production followed its way down.
The building’s location may also seem a bit of an oddity at first – especially given its isolation in the late 1800’s. Two factors contributed most to its location. First, the artesian wells on the property ensured a pure supply of water for the brewing process (We, today utilize a pure artesian spring as a source of our water). Secondly, ice was harvested from Mud Lake (viewed behind the building) during the winter months and utilized throughout the year to cool the building and the finished beer.
Since closing in 1915, the brewery building has served as retail shops, as warehousing and perhaps even as a goat barn. It wasn’t until 2012, under the new ownership and complete renovation, that beer once again flowed within the walls of the “Old Brewery”.
Please come visit and witness a part of great Northern Michigan history.