Fort Wayne



A – Comparet & Coquillard
B – Summit City Brewery - Carl Phenning - George Meier
C – Herman Hartman
D - Star Brewery
E – Washington St. Brewery
F – Stone Brewery
G – Bloomingdale Brewery - Beck & Stotz - Eder, Certia & Co. - Lutz & Co.
H – Albachten & Rolver
I – Wayne St. Brewery
J – Eagle Brewery
K – French Brewery - Centlivre Brewing Co. - Old Crown Brewing Co.
L – Berghoff Brewing Corp. - Falstaff Brewing Co.
M – Hoff-Brau Brewing Co.
N – Mad Anthony (Modern Era)

The Pictorial History of Fort Wayne Indiana, 1917 says: "Among the business and professional men were J. B. Bourie and John B. Peltier, traders; … George Fallo, the first brewer; … ".

On the north side of the canal, where the gas-works are, stood a brewery, owned and carried on by George Fallo, a French German whose beer got a reputation from the peculiar manner in which old George set the fermentation to work; this, however, was hearsay, but it was often told and never denied; let those who drank his beer tell the rest.
History of Allen County, Indiana; Kingman Brothers, 1880
The City Directory for Indiana, 1859, lists Jacob Hock (Located in the Bloomingdale section of the city but not the Bloomingdale Brewery).

The Register of United States Breweries 1876-1976 lists F. Kley & Sons - Fred Kley - production 115 bbls. Also a cooperage. 232 W. Main. Closed near 1875.

F. Hake & Co., a distributor, was listed in the 1885 City Directory “Best Brands of Beer in U.S. Market – Niagara Falls, Milwaukee and Cincinnati – Soda, Mineral Water, Birch Beer, Ginger Ale, Seltzer Water, Etc. – Beer in kegs and Bottles, - Office, 18 to 28 Wells St.
In the 1890s, L. Brames & Co. were bottlers on East Jefferson Street. They were associated with the Kuebeler-Stang Brewing Co. of Sandusky, Ohio.

In 1911 there were two "fruit distilleries" in Allen County - one in Allen and one in Grabill.

Comparet & Coquillard

Drawing of Alexis Coquillard from South Bend and the Men Who Have Made It , Anderson & Cooley,  Tribune Printing Co -.1917.
 Drawing of Francis Comparet from The Pictorial History of Fort Wayne, Griswold & Taylor, Robert O. Law Co., 1917

The information that Coquillard married Comparet's daughter has, upon further research, come into doubt.

Comparet's birth year is often stated as 1795 (Valley of the upper Maumee River, Brant & Fuller, 1889) and his marriage in 1819, one year before he and Coquillard opened the fur trading establishment in Ft. Wayne.
A History of St. Joseph County, T. E. Howard, 1907, says Coquillard married Comparet's daughter in 1824, just before moving to the South Bend area.

Summit City Brewery

The building Horning built "is of brick and has a ten-horse-power steam engine and all necessary apparatus, together with an ice-house 20x60 feet. Capacity annually, 2,500 barrels." (History of Allen County, Indiana; Kingman Brothers, 1880)

Herman Hartman

Joseph Dreiup is listed as a laborer in the 1869 City Directory.
(Errata) Given that (brothers? sons?) Adolph and August Hartman were listed as brewers and that this brewery was in existence for 22 years, it is likely that Herman Hartman was the money-man who set up this family business. He still kept his job with the fire department but it is obvious that it isn't a part-time business.

Washington St. Brewery

Ad from Fort Wayne City Directory 1875-1876

Star Brewery

Main building (frame) two stories, 20x40; cellars, two in number, 20x30 and 20x49; horse-power of engine, 8; number of men employed, 5; capacity in barrels per annum, 2,000. …

[Regarding the new Linker, Hey & Co plant] Main building (two-stories frame), 54x140; engine-room 14x28; saloon (one-story frame), 20x50; ice-houses (three in number), 44x84, 30x70, 54x20; total capacity in tons, 3,000; amount of hops consumed per annum, 5,000 pounds; malt per annum, 12,000 bushels; amount of beer brewed per annum, 3,000 barrels; horse-power of engine, 16; number of hands employed, 7; amount of capital invested, $40,000.

History of Allen County, Indiana; Kingman Brothers, 1880

Stone Brewery and Malt House

Ad in the 1870 Fort Wayne City Directory
Herman H. Nierman picture from Portraits of Saml. Hanna, Peter Heller, B.S. Woodworth, Henry Burgess … Baskin, Forster & Co. Chicago. 1876.

The Stone Brewery produced lager beer.

Upon closing, the building was converted into a bottling plant.

Bloomingdale Brewery


Ad from Williams’ Ft. Wayne Directory for 1868-9. N. P. Stockbridge. 1868

Beck produced lager beer.

Here’s a mystery for future researchers. Francis J. Beck and Heinrich Beck (first head brewery of Beck’s brewery in Bremen, Germany) were both born in the same city in Germany, Großeislingen, Württemberg, 3 years apart (1829 and 1832). Both came to America and both were in Fort Wayne around the same time. Francis died in Fort Wayne in 1878 and Heinrich died in Bremen in 1881, again, three years apart. Were the two men brothers? Did Heinrich come to American with his brother Francis? Did he work at the Bloomingdale Brewery?

Eagle Brewery
Capacity was given as 145 bbls  in The Register of United States Breweries 1876-1976. Manfred Friedrich & Donald Bull. 1976

The  following is the size and capacity of said works: Main building (frame), two stories, 26x40; power building (frame), 26x30; beer cooler building (fram), 25x35; ice-house, 26x45; stone cellars, 22x40; stable, 18x26. Capaicty per annum in barrels, 300; number of men employed, 3; amount of capital invested (including ground), $5,000.
History of Allen County, Indiana; Kingman Brothers, 1880

C. L. Centlivre



 Business card from Ft. Wayne Directory for 1868-9. N. P. Stockbridge. 1868

From year to year, Mr. Centlivre has improved and enlarged these works until they embrace the following proportions and capacity: Size of brewery in feet (two stores, frame), 65x200; cellars (twelve feet high), 20x356; amount of malt consumed per annum, 16,000 bushels; hops, 11,000 pounds; capacity (maximum) of barrels of beer per annum, 15,000; amount manufactured, 8,000; capacity of ice-houses, 5,000 tons; storage capacity in barrels, 3,000; capital invested, $40,000; number of hands employed, 20; horse-power of engine, 18.
History of Allen County, Indiana; Kingman Brothers, 1880


There are two great breweries here. The oldest is that of C. L. Centlivre, an enterprising Alsacian, and it is, perhaps, best known as the French brewery. The situation is a charming one on the bank of the St. Joseph river, a mile north of the city. The brewery bottling works and boat house were entirely destroyed by fire on the night of July 16, 1889, and are to be rebuilt upon a magnificent scale. What, with the brewery, the handsome residences of C. L. Centlivre and his sons, the bottling works, and the fleet of pleasure boats on the river, over $300,000 will be represented.
Valley of the upper Maumee River - 1889


If You Want to be Well drink beer that is pure and healthful. Our Special Export Beer is absolutely pure, properly aged and fermented, and is made from the best materials money can buy. We spare neither care, cash nor brains in the brewing of this perfect beer, and the rich, inimitable flavor is the natural consequence. Drink Special Export-the beer that tells.
C L Centlivre Brewing Co.
Phone 62, Made in Ft. Wayne
Advertisement from 1905

Almost any kind of Beer will satisfy some people but in the home none but the purest should be used. In our brewery cost of manufacture is a secondary consideration. First, last and all the time our constant endeavor is to produce a beer that will be second to none in the world. In Bottled Form is the Ideal Beer for Home Use. None but the best selected malt and hops enter into its manufacture. After brewing it is kept in storage for months to give it necessary age. Why not always keep a few bottles all ready for use in your Ice Box?
Centivre Brewing Co.
Phone 62
The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, Sept 20, 1908

The case of Kaiser Beck Co., of Bremen, Germany, against the Centlivre Brewing company was next called. The suit was to enjoin the local brewery from using the name "Kaiser" for a brand of beer. It was claimed by the German company that the name "Kaiser" is original with them and that the Centlivres have no right to use it. The matter was settled out of court and no damages were assessed.
The Fort Wayne Gazette - June 9, 1897


A gang of masked desperadoes, believed to be seven in number, about 1 o'clock this morning blew the safe in the office of the Centlivre brewery, after binding the night watch men, and made their escape with money belonging to the firm. The robbery was one of the most daring pieces of work in the police annals of Indiana.
The brewery is located far out on Spy Run avenue, but in a thickly populated district, and only a short distance away from the city lighting company's power plant, where men are employed all night long. The sound of the explosion was heard by a number of people in the vicinity but it was a muffled sort of report and no attention was paid to it.
The alarm was spread at 3 o'clock by George Keller, the watchman at the brewery, who cut the thongs that bound him to a chair in the rear of the plant crawled down through the boiler looms and running along the river bank, made his way to the home of Prank Bogash, on the Centlivre stock farm. From the Bogash home the news was telephoned to the residence of Mr. Charles Centlivre across the street from the brewery, and to the police and sheriff.
(Police) were quickly on the scene, but every door leading to the wrecked office was found securely and entrance was finally gained through a window which was found unlocked. With the arrival of the police it was learned that Watchman Keller was at the Bagash house, but Oscar Kiefer, the night watchman at the company's barn, who was to have been about the plant, could not be found. Later he was located along the river bank whither he had crawled, after having broken loose from a chair in the lavatory of the office where he had been tied.
Kiefer's Thrilling Story
Kiefer, the barn-man, stated that he was walking, about 1 o'clock, past the office toward the brewer, and when he had about reached the end of the building, three men grabbed him and with pistols leveled at his head, shouted: "Keep still, you------, or we'll blow your head off.
Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette - May 30, 1905



This ad for a Bock beer in 1940 shows a specialty beer
that was being promoted on its rarity.
 “We’ve made only 12,000 cases”. “Order by the case or dozen”.
It was also available in steinie (stubby) bottles and on draft.


 First-generation Old Crown color cans courtesy Steve Paddack


 Second-generation Old Crown color cans courtesy Steve Paddack

The Old Crown buildings, closed in 1973 were mostly destroyed by arson in July, 1975. Picture here. One of the two remaining abandoned and empty Centlivre brewery buildings was destroyed by a vandal-set fire in May 1980. Picture here.

 Reader Justin Kloer writes (thank you):

I noticed a gap in your breweries index, specifically you don't have the brewer's listed for C.L Centliver brewing company of Ft. Wayne and later, as it became Old Crown Brewing Co.  As it happens I'm proud to know who they were, as it was my grandfather and great-grandfather.  As that is a bold claim I've attached a few documents to back me up.  None of their brewery union books mention their place of employment.  For my great-grandfather Frank Kloer, I submit a copy of his WWI registration card, that lists him under occupation as Master Brewer for Centlivre.  He would later become Vice President of production and his son, my grandfather Herbert Kloer, would become brewmaster, as seen in the attached scan of an advertisement during their 1950 expansion.  I've also included some other articles about their work with the brewery and a picture someone in the family took of the old brewery.  Just as a fun fact in beer history, Frank continued brewing in his garage during prohibition, selling beer at $3 a bottle until he was busted in 1924, paid $518.50 in fines and spent 6 months in Terre Haute federal pen.  My great great gransfather Josef was a brewer in PA, but I don't know the brewery.  He was a cooper (beer barrel maker) in the old country (we're Transylvanian Saxons, a German people).  Also of note is that Centlivre claimed to be the first brewery in Indiana to bottle their beer, and also claimed to have a natural spring on site (which was never found after the close).
Being the family historian I have a great many documents about Centlivre and Old Crown brewery.  I also have union books and cards, pictures, article etc. should you have interest or need of info about the brewery. … There's some good pictures that were in the ad of employees working in the brewery, of their new fleet of trucks (new as of 1950), I have the instruction card about the hops machine they bought, the manaul from the master brewer's union, pictures, old bottles and cans, even an old crown tap handle topper.  If there's ever anything you're looking for or want to know I might be able to find it and send it your way.  The only thing I like more than drinking beer is talking about it.



The following glowing review of William Breuer is copied here in its almost entirety.

As the American republic stands to-day preeminent among nations in its capacity for the conducting of commercial and industrial affairs of great scope, so does the splendid enterprise of the Berghoff. Brewing Company, of Fort Wayne, stand as a conspicuous example of the truth of the above statement, even as it does also of the great value of our German element of citizenship. The history of this representative Fort Wayne concern covers a period of more than thirty years, its business has been at all times conducted with scrupulous integrity both in the matter of maintaining the high standard of production and in the' honorable methods employed in all trade transactions. The result has been the upbuilding of a business that far transcends local limitations and that marks the Berghoff Brewing Company as one of the leading institutions of its kind in the Union, the capacity of its extensive and finely equipped plant being tested in supplying the demands of a trade that extends into divers states of the Union and that has made the Berghoff beer famed in such metropolitan centers as the city of Chicago. Of this company William Breuer is vice-president, and prior to giving a brief review of his career it is but consistent that there be entered a resume of the history of the important corporation of which he is thus a valued executive. In the year 1885 the Herman Berghoff Brewing Company was incorporated with a capital stock of one hundred thousand dollars and with Herman Berghoff as president and Hubert Berghoff as secretary and treasurer, the original plant of the company having been established at the corner of Washington Avenue East and Grant Street. The original principals were insistent in bringing the output of the brewery up to the highest German standard, and this policy has been maintained during the long intervening years, so that the Berghoff name now implies the maximum of purity, of proper maturing of all products and of a standard from which there have been all too many lapses in the record of American manufacturing of malt beverages. In 1899 a reorganization of the concern was effected under the - title of the Berghoff Brewing Company, and the capitalization was increased to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars of common stock and an equal amount of preferred stock.

At this juncture the officers of the company became as here noted: Herman Berghoff, president; Hubert Berghoff, vice-president; Stephen B. Fleming, secretary and treasurer, and William Breuer, superintendent. Three years later each the common and preferred stock was doubled, and at the present time the common stock is represented in the noteworthy sum of seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars, with preferred stock of equal amount. The personnel of the executive corps at the opening of the year 1917 is as here recorded: Gustave A, Berghoff, president; William Breuer, vice-president; Stephen B, Fleming; treasurer, and Martin C, Norton, secretary. All of these officers are likewise directors of the company, and the directorate includes also Charles Weatherhogg and G, R, Johnston. All of the directors are residents of Fort Wayne with the exception of Mr, Fleming, who now maintains his home in New York city, and Mr. Johnston, who resides in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

The plant of this great brewery utilizes about one and one-half city blocks, the average annual output is one hundred and eighty thousand barrels of beer and the bottling department turns out an average of one hundred and twenty thousand bottles daily. The company represents not only one of the most important industrial enterprises of Fort Wayne, but is also given the distinction of being the most extensive shipper on the line of the Nickel Plate Railroad. 

William Breuer was born in Westphalen, Germany, on October 23, 1852, and is a son of Carl Ludwig and Catherine (Helle) Breuer. He was reared and educated in his native province and as a youth served I thorough apprenticeship to the brewer's trade, under the unexcelled German system, his apprenticeship having been initiated May 16, 1866, several months prior to his fourteenth birthday anniversary. In 1881 he came to the United States, and after passing about three months in the city of Rochester, New York, he came to the west and found employment at his trade in the city of Chicago, where he remained about nine months. He then went to Neillsville, the judicial center of Clark county, Wisconsin, where he held a responsible position in a brewery for two years. He then established a brewery at Boscobel, Grant county, that state, where he remained until 1885, when he came to Fort Wayne and assumed the position of superintendent of the plant of the Herman Berghoff Brewing Company, in the development of whose splendid business he has been an influential and valued factor, the while he has gained secure place as one of the representative captains of industry in the metropolis of Allen county, prior data in this review having sufficiently indicated his advancement in the control and management of the affairs of the Berghoff Brewing Company, In politics Mr. Breuer gives unwavering allegiance to the Republican party, he is actively identified with the Fort Wayne Commercial Club, of which he is a trustee, and he is serving as a member of the board of park commissioners of his home city, besides which he is a trustee of Concordia College, one of the important educational institutions of northern Indiana.

The Pictorial History of Fort Wayne Indiana, B. J. Griswold, Robert O. Law Company, 1917

In 1903 they increased their capital stock with a $250,000 issue.

KENDALLVILLE, Ind., - East Lake Brewing company, the distributing agency for the Berghoff Brewing company, of Fort Wayne, has ceased operations two weeks ago. Net Drake notified his customers in this city that he would be unable to furnish them with the Berghoff beer on account of the other firms making such inroads on the Berghoff business that it was no longer profitable for him to handle it, and that they would have to get it direct. Joseph Becker, the former owner of the company, has served notice on Mr. Drake of the intention of foreclosing the same. The Berghoff company also holds a mortgage on the property but it is not known what they will do in the matter.

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette - May 3, 1908



The second bottle from the left is from Berghoff Bros. Brewery.


We will pay highest cash prices for prime quality Malt, and Hops. HOFF-BRAU Beer and Ale are made of the best materials obtainable and sure taste better too.

TRY A BOTTLE the next time you ask for beer, and note the extra fine flavor and body in every bottle of ALE, BEER or STOUT made by the HOFF-BRAU Brewing Corporation of FORT WAYNE, INDIANA"

Ad in the Valparaiso Vidette-Messenger, July 5, 1940

The company grew big enough to have an agent in New York City.


Falstaff obtained Federal Permit #1 when prohibition ended.

In March, 1955, less than a year after Falstaff took over the Berghoff plant, there was a large fire. A pictures can be found here.

The Falstaff plant in Fort Wayne was one of the first to market beer in 2.5 gallon aluminum “tapper kegs” after Reynolds Aluminum used Falstaff and Fort Wayne as a test market in 1963. This project did not catch on because the size was too big for home use and the beer became flat before being consumed.

Special production included "Say Double K" for marketers, the Great Lakes Brewing Co. of Bay City, Michigan.