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Breweries in Minnesota: Overview

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Land of Amber Waters: The History of Brewing in Minnesota by Doug Hoverson.
MNHS call number:  TP573.U5 H68 2007

Grain Belt Brewing Company Records1890-1976.
Includes records of Grain Belt Breweries, predecessor Minneapolis Brewing Company, and Golden Grain Juice Company. 
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Yoerg Brewing Company Records, 1858-1953
​Accounting records, sales records, federal liquor tax records, annual financial statements, and sample forms and miscellaneous correspondence.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Minnesota On Tap: The State’s Fine Beer and Brewing Magazine.
MNHS call number: HD9397.U53 M65 1995


Some of the first beer produced in Minnesota was by the John Orth Brewery on the first of November, 1850.  In 1890, the John Orth Brewing Company was consolidated with the Minneapolis Brewing and Malting Company.  When it was organized in 1890, the Minneapolis Brewing and Malting Company consisted of four breweries – the Orth plant, The Heinrich Brewing Association, the Noerenburg Brewery, and the Germania Brewing Association.  In 1893 the consolidated business was reorganized and incorporated under the name of the Minneapolis Brewing Company.

Other early breweries in Minnesota in the late 1800s include the William Bierbauer Brewery in Mankato (circa 1850), Gluek Brewing Company in Minneapolis (est. 1857), Yoerg Brewing Company (est. 1858), August Schell Brewing Company in New Ulm (est. 1860), Theodor Hamm Brewing Company in St. Paul (est. 1865), and Jacob Schmidt Brewing Company in St. Paul (est. 1884).

Today there are more than forty operating brewpubs and breweries in Minnesota, and new breweries and distilleries continue to open in Minnesota at a rate not seen since prior to Prohibition.

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Heather Linehan

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