Brewery History

Sprecher Brewing Co. was founded in 1985 by RANDAL SPRECHER, formerly a brewing supervisor at Pabst Brewing Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From 1985 to 1994, the brewery was located at 730 W. Oregon Street in Milwaukee's Walker's Point area. Through the first ten years the company grew steadily as more and more people found out about Sprecher's high quality beers and sodas. Finally, the company had outgrown its original facility and began looking for a new location to continue its growth.

In 1994, Sprecher purchased its current building, located at 701 W. Glendale Ave., a former elevator car factory. The new, larger brewery enabled the company to continue growing, and allowed more people to enjoy all of Sprecher's fine products.

The history of brewing in Wisconsin began thirteen years before it became a state and a year before it even became a territory. By the late 1890's nearly every community in Wisconsin had at least one operating brewery.

In the 1880's Milwaukee was the home of more than 80 breweries. 100 years later, the number of operating breweries in the area can today be counted on one hand, and only one can still be considered a giant.

In 1919 the passage of Prohibition virtually sounded the death toll for all but the most diverse breweries. A few struggled through by producing near beer (.05 alcoholic content or less), soft drinks and even vinegar. Beer making didn't resume until 1933, when the 18th Amendment was repealed. But even then, people were still reeling from the effects of the Great Depression, which of itself had devastated both the coffers and hopes of many of the earlier breweries.

Like the biggest selling wines, many mass market beers are made to appeal to as broad of an audience as possible. This means they have to be produced at a highly competitive price and that they must offend no one. Much of the distinctive qualities of the traditional regional type brews is lost.

Sprecher and other micro-breweries have revived both the distinctive quality of regional beer and old world brewing methods as well. The term "Micro-Brewery" refers to the relative size of the brewery when compared to gigantic beer production facilities of mass marketed national brands. Where these "Mega-Giants" produce from 20 million on up to 90 million barrels a year each, a "Micro-Brewery" is a considerably small operation, brewing less than 15,000 barrels a year. Although some have grown to 50,000 to 100,000 barrels a year.

Quite a difference when you consider a barrel is equivalent to 31 gallons. In that respect, the smaller Micro-Breweries such as Sprecher can focus more on its specialty "Craft Beers" with an eye on the highest quality and tradition of European style brewing.

At the Sprecher Brewing Co. we are proud to participate in Milwaukee's great brewing tradition and we're grateful for the opportunity to present our best to you.