SUBSCRIBE NOW Just 99¢ for your first month

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

A look back at breweries

For the first time in more than 70 years, Alexandria will be home to a brewery. Copper Trail Brewing Co., owned by Alexandria residents Dave Gibbons and Adam Graf, is set to open sometime next month. According to records at Douglas County Histori...

The Alexandria Brewing Company was established in 1934 and remained open until 1943. (Photo courtesy of the (Douglas County Historical Society)
The Alexandria Brewing Company was established in 1934 and remained open until 1943. (Photo courtesy of the (Douglas County Historical Society)
We are part of The Trust Project.

For the first time in more than 70 years, Alexandria will be home to a brewery.

Copper Trail Brewing Co., owned by Alexandria residents Dave Gibbons and Adam Graf, is set to open sometime next month.

According to records at Douglas County Historical Society, the last known brewery in this area, the Alexandria Brewing Company, closed its doors in 1943.

An ad for the Alexandria Brewing Company, found in the files at the historical society, promoted a new beer at the brewery - Gopher Beer. According to the ad, Gopher Beer was a purer and richer beer with a better flavor that was invigorating. "For more summer pep and energy, drink Gopher Beer."

Here's a look back at the history of breweries in Douglas County:

ADVERTISEMENT

1869: Carl Volk owned and operated a brewery. It was shut down in 1890.

1876: Rudolph Wegener owned and operated a brewery. It was first known as the Alexandria Brewery and then it was changed to the Rud. Wegener Brewing Co. It shut down in 1902.

1878: A.C. and Fred Aberle purchased the site of the old stockade, which was located on Third Avenue and H Street (now known as Hawthorne).

1883: The Aberles built a two-story brewery and called it Aberle Brewing Co.

1895: It was sold to W.R. Towgood and the brewery was renamed Northwestern Brewery.

1904: The brewery was sold in a sheriff's sale to the lowest bidder, who happened to be the original owner, A.B. Aberle.

1905: The brewery was then sold to the Naegel brothers, Louis Kurz from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Paul Keller of Crookston. The brewery was renamed again; this time to Alexandria Brewing Co.

1908: The brewery was sold to Plaistad and Hetherington of Breckenridge for $55,000.

ADVERTISEMENT

1911: This was the last known listing of the brewery in the city directory. It was assumed that the brewery went out of business, although it is unclear when this happened. It is believed it went out of business sometime between 1911 and 1916.

1920-1933: Prohibition strikes. A nationwide constitutional ban was put in place on the production, importation, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages.

1934: The Alexandria Brewing Co, Inc. was established.

1935: The three-story brewery was constructed of white brick and in May, Sam Caldis and John Geanopolis hosted the opening and brew their new "Gold Seal" beer.

1939: Attilliio Zadro, who was president of Alexandria Brewing, leases the building and announces a new brew, "Gopher Beer."

1943: Alexandria Brewing closes its doors.

Source: Douglas County Historical Society

ADVERTISEMENT

Celeste Edenloff is the special projects lead and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
What to read next
On May 17, a proposed furlough order was filed that said Tabitha Sue Sigler, 22, could be granted a furlough to the Recovering Hope Treatment Program in Mora.
An 18-year-old, Salvador Ramos, reportedly shot his grandmother before driving to the school where he killed at least 19 children and two teachers.
DOUGLAS COUNTY DISTRICT COURT
Applications are accepted through June 17 and are available through the 20 local SWCD offices.