Yoerg Brewery

Directly below the Yoerg residences, nestled into the bluff at Ohio Street, was his brewery, which was lost to a fire in 1958. Follow Isabel Street west to Ohio; there you will see an outcropping of the limestone upon which much of St. Paul is built. Follow Ohio, then, down to the flats, and look back at the bluffside; somewhere there, stood the Yoerg brewery. No trace of it remains.

By 1958, Yoerg's ”cave-aged” beer, had already disappeared. Prohibition of course devastated the brewing industry, but Yoerg's found a way to survive that, with soft drinks, milk, and near-beer. It could not, however, survive the post-World War II competition, and closed in 1952. Hamm's and Schmidt prospered on into the 1970s; then, as the national brewing industry consolidated, came a series of increasingly desperate changes of ownership, until both sputtered out in the 1990s. The brewery buildings remain, still waiting for new life.

Despite the closing of most of the early breweries, some brewing continues to thrive in St. Paul. Summit Brewing began in 1986 as a craft label. It is now the biggest brewer in the state, with a new brewery not far down Fort Road from the empty Schmidt complex. It is a worthy successor to Yoerg, Stahlman, Banholzer, and the rest – except that the founder's surname, Stutrud, is anything but German.