651-53 Williamson St. Built 1848 - Demolished
Now the site of the Fauerbach Condos.
Madison's first brewery in 1848 and run by Peter Sprecher until bought by Peter Fauerbach in 1868.
The Brewery stayed in the family until 1966. The Fauerbach family owned a Pepsi-cola franchise in
Madison. Other properties included the Avenue/Monona Hotel, the Hotel Germania at Blair and Wilson,
and 65 properties that would eventually help them survive 13 years of prohibition.
Frederick Adam Sprecher, brewer, Madison, Wisconsin 1848, brother-in-law to Karl Haertel; the
first to brew beer at the future site of the Fauerbach Brewery.
Carl Hausmann, brewer, Freeport, Illinois (Yellow Creek Brewery), Portage (Haertel Brewery), and
Madison, Wisconsin, was a foreman for Carl Haertel; went to New Lisbon and built the first brewery
there, preceding Peter Fauerbach and Henry Bierbauer; took over the Frederick Sprecher operation in
Madison after Frederick died; partnered with Matthias Breckheimer another Madison brewer, then
bought Edward Voigt’s Capitol Steam Brewery on State and Gorham. Later he renamed it Hausmann
Brewery. Carl and his family were large benefactors to Madison giving land such as Tenney Park,
and the area on Sherman Avenue that used to be the Rodermund Mill, Brewery and Dry Goods Store.
Documented breweries in Madison include: Brunkow and Mueller, Mauz, Hess, White, Voigt, Hausmann,
Breckheimer, Rodermund, Sprecher, and Fauerbach. Of these, only Hausmann and Fauerbach were in
operation when prohibition began in January 1920. Only the Fauerbach Brewery operated after
prohibition ended in April, 1933. In 1966, it closed during a time when so many other local
breweries closed due to the influence of national breweries that sold their products at a loss to
force out the local breweries.
The Fauerbach Brewery survived several “Dry” spells in addition to 13 years of national prohibition, only to fall victim in the end to it’s own industry counterparts and the underlying alcohol taxation system. The Brewery was located right on the no-saloon dry zone, a ½ mile radius from the Capitol. Several attempts to clean up the filthy saloons where men smoked cigars and drank beer where tried before national prohibition.
Refrigeration was still a barrier until 1906. The Fauerbach Brewery had an icehouse on the shore of its location on Lake Monona from 1848 until 1917.
Madison was an ice Mecca before refrigeration equipment was available. Ice was harvested from the abundant city lakes from both sides of the narrow isthmus and transported by rail to customers. The Brewery had it own need for ice and hired a big crew each winter to harvest ice. Once refrigeration was in place, the icehouse was used to store the world famous brewery iceboats and sailboats.
Madison had many small steamboats that took passengers on lake tours and to the picnic grounds in the park across the lake. The launching sites typically had a gazebo to keep passengers out of the sun and a plank pier for loading. The Fauerbach Brewery pier was one of the more popular launch sites as you might imagine. The lakefront of the Fauerbach Brewery provided much entertainment and service to local community over the years: from steamboat rides, to meetings of the Four Lakes Ice Yacht Club, and scuba divers – who occasionally find old steins, bottles, or mugs.
Fauerbach started brewing "CB", Centennial Brew, in 1948.
The Brewery opened the same year Wisconsin became a state, 1848. So when 1948 rolled around,
the company made a big deal out of being 100 along with the state, and CB "a very fine Pilsener
beer" was rolled out to celebrate the dual occasion.