1849
London-brewed Porter is flowing into Oshkosh More.

Two breweries are established in Oshkosh:
  • The Jacob Konrad Brewery on Lake Street More.
  • The Oshkosh Brewery of Joseph Schussler on Bay Shore Drive More.
1850s
Hop farms are springing up in and around Oshkosh.
  • A history of hops in Oshkosh is here.
  • A look at hop farming in Allenville is here (with an update here).
  • A hoppy history of Delhi, now a ghost town, just west of Oshkosh is here.

 1852
George Loescher’s Oshkosh Brewery goes into operation at what is now 1253 and 1283 Bay Shore Drive More. There are more stories about Loescher’s Oshkosh Brewery here and here.

 1853
Oshkosh incorporates. We’re now a city!
    1854
    Anton Andrea purchases the Jacob Konrad Brewery. It comes to be known as the Lake Brewery. Its lineage will thread through the entire history of commercial brewing in Oshkosh More.

    Strong Ale from Scotland is flowing into Oshkosh More.

    1856
    The Fifth Ward Brewery is launched More.

    1858
    Oshkosh's love affair with bock beer is underway More
      1860
      The population of Oshkosh is 6,086.
      The city has 12 taverns and three breweries:
      • George Loescher runs the Oshkosh Brewery at the south west corner of River and Eveline Streets.
      • The Lake Brewery, owned by Anton Andrea, is located near the shore of Lake Winnebago in the general proximity of the area currently addressed as 74 Lake Street.
      • Christian Kaehler is making beer at the Fifth Ward Brewery, sometimes called the Bush Brewery, near what is now the south east corner of Algoma Boulevard and Vine Street.

      1865
      Civil War Veteran Charles Rahr and his brother August found The City Brewery.  Located at the foot of Rahr Avenue near the Shore of Lake Winnebago, the brewery would come to be known as the Rahr Brewing Company of Oshkosh More.

      1866
      August Horn and Leonhardt Schwalm open the Brooklyn Brewery along what is now the 1600 Block of Doty Street.

      Franz Wahle, co-founder of the Stevens Point Brewery moves to Oshkosh. He builds a new brewery at the foot of Doty street. This brewery will eventually become the Union Brewery operated by John Glatz and Christian Elser (see 1869 entry for more).

      Oshkosh is the second largest city in Wisconsin with a population of about 11,000. Only Milwaukee is larger. Oshkosh has 40 groceries, 30 Saloons and five breweries.

      1867
      Hops have become a hot commodity in Oshkosh More.

      1869
      Oshkosh adds a sixth brewery as the Union Brewery of John Glatz and Christian Elser begins producing beer More.

      1870s
      Leonard Schiffmann brews Weissbier in Oshkosh More.

      1875
      Lorenz Kuenzl opens the The Gambrinus Brewery near what is now the intersection of Harney Avenue and Eveline Street.

      1878
      The Union Brewery of Glatz and Elser becomes Oshkosh's leading beer producer. Here are the production numbers for 1878.
      1. Union Brewery: 1,530 barrels
      2. Horn and Schwalm’s Brooklyn Brewery: 1,366 barrels
      3. Lorenz Kuenzl’s Gambrinus Brewery: 470 barrels
      4. Rahr’s City Brewery: 340 barrels
      5. Christian Kaehler’s Fifth Ward Bush Brewery: 140 barrels
      1879
      Horn and Schwalm's Brooklyn Brewery burns to the ground. A new, larger brewery is built in its place. The new brewhouse is made of brick and can produce more lager beer than any other brewery in Oshkosh.

      Leonard Schiffmann establishes a short-lived white beer (wheat beer) brewery at what would now be the 1800 block of Doty Street. Schiffmann had previously been a saloon keeper on Main Street and was also an early bottler of beer in Oshkosh. See one of his clay beer bottles (probably from the 1870s) here.

      1880s
      Kulmbacher-style beer is popular in Oshkosh More.

      1884
      Construction of the building that will become the Schlitz Beer Hall operated by Charles Maulick is complete. These days, it's known as Oblio’s. The whole story can be found here.

      1886
      English-brewed bitter beer finds an appreciative audience in Oshkosh More.

      1888
      An Oshkosh brewer's tragic death. Theodore Schwalm of Horn & Schwalm's Brooklyn Brewery passes More.

      1890
      Oshkosh is known for its rough and rowdy saloon. An example of one such place is here.

      1891
      The competition from Milwaukee intensifies. Schlitz Brewing builds a bottling plant and distribution center just north of where Commerce Street now joins Ceape Avenue.

      There are four family-owned breweries in Oshkosh: Lorenz Kuenzl's Gambrinus Brewery, Horn & Schwalm's Brooklyn Brewery, John Glatz & Son's Union Brewery, and Charles Rahr's City Brewery.

      1894
      In attempt to stave off competition from Milwaukee’s brewers, Oshkosh’s three largest breweries merge to form the Oshkosh Brewing Company. More.

      1896
      Pabst Brewing builds a new beer distribution plant in Oshkosh at 136 Jackson Street. The following year, the mammoth Milwaukee brewery constructs a new Oshkosh saloon named the Pabst Exchange at 600 Ohio Avenue. Both buildings are still intact More.

      1900
      The Main St. saloon now known as Barley & Hops is built More.

      1902
      The Oshkosh Brewing Company builds the saloon that would become Witzke’s More.

      1904
      The end of an era: August Horn, founder of the Horn and Schwalm Brewery and the first president of the Oshkosh Brewing Company passes away More.
      August Horn was a colorful character and we have stories about him here, here and here.

      1906
      See the Geek! The Oshkosh beer geek, that is. The 1906 model can be found here.

      1907
      Tom Ryan is selling England's strong Burton Ale at his Clipper Club saloon on Main Street More.

      1908
      The Oshkosh Brewing Company announces that “People who drink plenty of beer are always strong and healthy.” See it here.

      1911
      Plans are announced to establish a new brewery in Oshkosh. Peoples Brewing Company is on its way to becoming a reality More.

      The Oshkosh Brewing Company begins construction of what would become one of the most admired brewhouses in the Midwest More.
      The Oshkosh Brewing Company
      1913
      The Peoples Brewing Company of Oshkosh is open for business More.

      1914
      The Milwaukee breweries are losing the fight in Oshkosh. The Oshkosh Brewing Company takes over the Pabst Exchange at Sixth & Ohio More.

      1915
      The Rahr Brewing Company builds a new bottling plant on Rahr Ave More.

      1919
      On the Eve of Prohibition, the people of Oshkosh attempt to drink the city dry More.

      Prohibition begins. The three remaining Oshkosh breweries limp along as best they can: The Oshkosh Brewing Company makes root beer, near beer and malt extract. Peoples Brewing and Rahr Brewing make soft drinks More.

      The Oshkosh Brewing Company disseminates an enormous lie, claiming it has solved the problem of Prohibition More.

      1920
      Homebrewing explodes in Oshkosh. A look at the Oshkosh homebrewers of the Prohibition era here.

      1925
      During the depths of Prohibition, Felix Gertsch becomes the first American-born brewmaster at the Oshkosh Brewing Company More.

      1926
      Thomas A Getchius, member of the Winnebago County Board of Supervisors, introduces a resolution condemning Prohibition and encouraging the liberalization of the dry law to allow for beer. The measure passes 29 to 11. Getchius was a fun guy. Learn more about him here.

      1928
      Chief Oshkosh "Beer" is born. The legendary brew starts out as a near beer More.

      1929
      Bureau of Prohibition officials report that Oshkosh is a thoroughly “wet” city. Wildcat breweries abound and as many as 120 speakeasies serve a population of 33,000 people.

      1933
      April: Beer becomes legal, once again... as long as it’s no stronger than 3.2%  More.

      December: The full repeal of Prohibition arrives. Oshkosh celebrates More.

      Peoples Brewing begins production of Würtzer Brew, which will come to be known simply as Peoples Beer More.

      Oshkosh is a brewing anomaly. Of the approximately 1,400 American breweries that existed before Prohibition only about half remain. In Oshkosh, however, all three of the city’s breweries survive.

      1934
      Oshkosh’s Lee Beverage begins distributing beer More.

      1937
      Peoples Brewery begins production of Old Derby Ale, the first commercially brewed ale to come from Oshkosh in almost 50 years More.

      1939
      The total capacity of the Oshkosh breweries is now a staggering 130,000 barrels of beer a year. Most of that beer is sold locally.
      • Oshkosh Brewing Company: 75,000 barrel capacity
      • Peoples Brewing: 30,000 barrel capacity
      • Rahr’s Brewing: 25,000 barrel capacity

      1940
      The Magnet becomes Wisconsin's First Beer Bar More.
      1949; Oregon Street near W. 8th Avenue
      1952
      Charles Rahr III becomes the the 4th generation of Rahr brewers at the Rahr Brewing Company of Oshkosh More.

      1956
      The Oshkosh Brewing Company celebrates its 90th birthday More.

      A video tour of the Oshkosh Brewing Company is made. View it Here.

      The Rahr Brewing Company of Oshkosh goes out of business More.

      Some Oshkoshers are drinking India Pale Ale More.

      1957
      The first wet-hopped beer comes to Oshkosh More.

      1961
      David V. Uihlein, from the Milwaukee family that controls Schlitz, becomes president of the Oshkosh Brewing Company. For the first time the company is not being directed by a member of one of the brewery's founding families More.

      1966
      The Old Town Pub and Restaurant, a distant harbinger of Oshkosh’s modern beer culture, opens on Main Street More.

      1969
      Controlling interest of the Oshkosh Brewing Company is purchased by a group of six Oshkosh residents lead by Harold Kriz and Roger Zillges. Kriz becomes president. Zillges is named vice president.

      1970
      Peoples Brewing of Oshkosh becomes the first black-owned brewery in America More.

      Oshkosh Welcomes Theodore Mack, the new President of Peoples Brewing More.

      1971
      The Oshkosh Brewing Company stops making beer. More.

      Peoples Brewing purchases the surviving brands of the recently defunct Oshkosh Brewing Company and begins producing Chief Oshkosh beer.

      1972
      Peoples Brewing Company of Oshkosh grinds to a halt More.

      1973
      For the first time in more than 120 years, Oshkosh is without a brewery. The city is awash in bland, pale lager. The dark ages for beer in Oshkosh begin.

      1974
      Demolition crews begin tearing down Peoples Brewing Company More.

      1976
      The former site of the Union Brewery becomes Glatz Park More.

      1986
      After 15 years of neglect, the once magnificent brewery of the Oshkosh Brewing Company is torn down More.

      1988
      Oblio's begins serving American Craft beer on draught.

      1991
      A revival is underway.

      The Society of Oshkosh Brewers becomes Oshkosh’s first homebrewing club.

      Production of Chief Oshkosh Red Lager begins More.
      Chief Oshkosh Red Lager is the first American craft beer to be packaged in cans More.

      1994
      Jeff Fulbright makes a last ditch effort to save Chief Oshkosh Red Lager and the Mid-Coast Brewing Company More.

      1995
      Fratellos’ Fox River Brewing Company opens at 1501 Arboretum Drive in Oshkosh. The first Brewmaster is Al Bunde.

      1996
      The first Brews n' Blues Festival is held in Oshkosh’s Riverside Park More.

      2001
      Fox River Brewing is awarded three medals by the North American Brewers Association. They receive a Gold for their River Bend Belgian Abbey; Bronze for Caber Tossing Scottish Ale; and Silver for Winnebago Wheat.

      2004
      O’marro’s Public House Opens More.

      2005
      The first Hops & Props Festival is held at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh.

      2009
      The iconic emblem of the Oshkosh Brewing Company goes on permanent display at the Oshkosh Public Museum More.

      2010
      The Oshkosh Beer Blog is launched by someone without enough sense to know better.

      Fox River Brewing Wins Silver at World Beer Cup. Kevin Bowen is the brewmaster More.

      2012
      Fox River Brewing wins its second World Beer Cup Award for its Brandy Barrel Abbey Normal. The brewmaster id Kevin Bowen.

      The Breweries of Oshkosh, Their Rise and Fall is released More.

      Casks & Caskets, Wisconsin’s first all homebrew beer tasting, takes place in Oshkosh More.

      2013
      Harold Kriz, the last president of the Oshkosh Brewing Company, passes More.