Last December my fiancée and I embarked on a most awesome adventure to the former Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company. The old complex is located just off Highway 145 on N. Martin Luther King Drive near downtown Milwaukee. Though many of the old structures associated with the brewery in its operating days have been demolished, quite a few of them still remain standing. Something that I thought was cool was how most of the buildings still display the Schlitz Globe somewhere on the structure. Schlitz has some cool history and these buildings stand as a symbol of the beer industry of Milwaukee’s past. Learn a brief history of the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company.
It’s remarkable to see what remains of this former factory complex. The brew house, management offices, bottling plant, the power plant, and other various buildings remain. The old complex is now known as Schlitz Park, a commercial office space district. When the brewery closed in 1982, it was sold off and turned buildings turned into office space. It was interesting to see that various Milwaukee business and public services use the buildings. There is even a restaurant occupying the grounds, once called the “Brown Bottle” when it opened in 1938 to serve as a social hall for employees at Schlitz. The restaurant closed after the sell out to Stroh’s in 1982. Today the original restaurant is occupied by Libiamo Restaurant, Tavern & Hall. It still displays Schlitz trademarks as part of its decoration.
I took the opportunity for some candid snapshots in front of the old management offices at the brewery. The “Belted Globe” was all over the buildings, as this was the famous Schlitz trademarked logo. My soon to be father-in-law tells me that he has discovered that one of his ancestors had a career at Schlitz as an artist. He apparently helped draw up these globes for the Schlitz advertising department. These globes were also common on the taverns that sold Schlitz beer, either in painted form or as crown molding on the building structure. I have seen quite a few of them in the Milwaukee area, and I have heard and read about a lot of them found in Chicago.
Though some of complex has been demolished, much of it still remains. I recommend going and seeing these buildings. It really was neat to see the place where my favorite beer was once brewed. It is like taking a trip back in time to the old days of Milwaukee being the brewing capital. I know I sure enjoyed my trip there, and I would like to make another one just in case I missed something before. Schlitz is “The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous” and the beer that makes me interested in learning more about other historic Milwaukee brewing companies.