Sprecher Brewing Company in Glendale,
Wisconsin. Founded in 1985
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
Wisconsin Brewing History
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resume until 1933, when the 18th Amendment was repealed.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 Revives Quality Regional Beer
Sprecher and other craft breweries have revived both the distinctive quality of
regional beer and old world brewing methods as well. The term "Craft or
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.
Sprecher Brewery offers year-round tours of their facility with tour times
varying depending on season, production runs, and holidays. The tour costs
differently by age.
The tour starts in the brew house where all of Sprecher's beers are brewed and
sodas are produced. After an explanation of the brewing process the tour
proceeds through the refrigerated cellar where the beer/soda is stored until
bottled. Through the cellar is the bottling line and warehouse.
The tour ends with 4 samples of beer for adults (an 8 fluid ounce sampler glass
is included) and unlimited soda samples for all at the indoor beer tent. The bar
in the indoor tent also sells packages of local wisconsin cheeses and Usinger's
sausages for snacking during tasting.
Beers -Year round
Mai Bock (Spring)
Summer Pills (Summer)
Winter Brew (Winter)
Russian Imperial Stout
Piper's Scotch Ale
Limited release beers
Barley Wine Ale
Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine
Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale
Hard Root Beer
Sprecher Fire Brewed Hard Rootbeer
Orange Dream (orange soft drink + honey + vanilla)
Lo-Cal Root Beer
Ravin' Red (cherry + cranberry + honey + ginseng)