ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Hartig Brewery


100 E Cady


William Hartig



1897 image [WHS_005_061] labeled with following areas of the brewery complex:

Office, Bottling Department, Wash House, Shipping Room, Cold Storage,

Malt House, Elevators, Boiler House, Fermentation, Stables.



  Manz-Hartig Brewery      1884 - 1896

  Hartig Brewery           1896 - 1947

  National Tea Grocery     1954 - 1977

  Tom's United Foods       1977 - 2007

  Breselow's Family Market 2007 -




The brewery was started in 1884 by cousins William Hartig and Carl Manz, both of Milwaukee.  William Hartig had come from Slinger where he had been in the brewery business with Charles Storck.


  Charles or Carl (Karl) Manz is the nephew of the late August Krug, founder of the Schlitz Brewery in Milwaukee.  Charles was the son of Anna Krug, August's sister, and may have been a beneficiary to his late Uncle Krug's estate.


In 1896 Hartig bought out Manz and the brewery became known as the William Hartig Brewery and operated until Prohibition.  William Hartig died in 1923 and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Watertown. 


His family re-opened the brewery in 1933 and ran it with modest success until the early 1940s when they sold it to out of town investors.  The quality began to suffer and it shut down in 1946 and declared bankruptcy in 1947.  The buildings were torn down in 1953 and a supermarket was built on the site in 1954.



William Hartig Family Genealogy & Brewery History  [Compiled, Edited & Written by Mike Reilly]



12 04          Hartig & Manz are placing in their brewery a dozen storage vats, holding 150 barrels each.    WR



   Ice house behind the Hartig Brewery.  Later became the Habhegger Cold Storage plant. 


1897 Ad

  Is one of the most complete and the quality of Beer that is turned out cannot be excelled.  The plant covers an area of 80 x 300 feet and is complete in every detail.  The annual product is about 20,000 barrels of Beer and 200,000 bushels of Malt.  Bottled Beer for Family Use.



11 30          Albert Fuermann is making arrangements for establishing a Weis beer brewery here.  The plant will be located in a portion of the old Fuermann brewery, now owned by William Hartig, and it is expected that operation will begin the middle of December.   WR


12 21          Ohm Bros, began their ice harvest last week, and has been engaged in filling the large ice house in the Sixth ward formerly owned by the A. Fuermann company and which they recently purchased from William Hartig.   WR




                    William Hartig is having placed in his brewery an ice machine, or in other words, a new process for cooling beer.  Lager beer, to be kept in prime condition, should have an even temperature, and this is almost impossible to secure under the old system.  This comparatively new process gives the desired result regardless of the extremes of weather.  The new outfit consists of a Corliss engine and ammonia compressor, and between 5,000 and 6,000 feet of piping.  This piping is carried all through the cellars, overhanging the large beer cask, and is continually covered by a uniform coating of ice.  The expense of the new outfit will exceed $5,000. 


               This change will be regretted by a large number of men who find the labor of cutting and storing ice very profitable work during an otherwise dull season, but brewers find the old system not only very cumbersome but not thoroughly reliable.  This brewery produces an excellent quality of beer, and Mr. Hartig will not stop at any expense to maintain its already high standard.   WR



The members of the baseball association are very thankful for the donation of Wm. Hartig, the brewer.  He was asked to subscribe to the fund, and forthwith agreed to erect the necessary fence around Washington park.   WR




It is rumored that a side-track from the Northwestern railway to the William Hartig brewery is a probability of the not distant future.  This facility is needed to assist in the transportation of the brewery’s product, which now has to be hauled by team to the railway stations, entailing a considerable item of expense.  It is said that the right-of-way has been secured through certain property in the Fifth ward and that the side-track will be laid from a point north of the James Hall crossing east to the river and thence along the west shore of the river to Rock Street. From the foot Rock Street a trestle bridge is eventually to be built across the river to the brewery.   WR

Cross Reference:  See chapter on railroad spur  



04 20          OLD ICE HOUSE REMOVED

William Hartig, the enterprising and progressive brewer, has equipped his institution with a large new boiler, reshingled his barn and removed the old ice house north of the brewery and cleaned things up generally and is making everything about the establishment as neat as a new pin.




John Kehr, office manager for the Hartig Brewery, and the late Anton von Heiden made an election bet.  Von Heiden lost and as a result had to give Mr. Kehr a ride in a wheelbarrow along Main Street.  Hundreds turned out to cheer. 



07 03          HAVE NEW RAMBLERS.  Edward L. Schempf and William Hartig have recently purchased two of the latest model Ramblers.   WG



06 23                   Chapter on 1914 tornado   


12 10       Fire at Clyman / Hartig [assumed] Saloon and Hotel Building

Fire destroyed about $20,000 worth of property at Clyman.  This city was called on for assistance to help fight the fire, which threatened to destroy all the business portion of Clyman.  A number of our firemen and one of our fire engines and hose carts were sent to the scene of the fire on the C.&N.W. Ry. and Juneau also sent their fire apparatus.  The engines were not unloaded at Clyman, owing to there being no water available.  The hose, however, was attached to a standpipe reservoir there and put into service as long as the water lasted.  The firemen, however, with the assistance of residents of Clyman, controlled the fire in a short time and confined it to the vicinity where it originated.  The double store building owned by Mrs. G. Coler and occupied by H. Lekachman Mercantile Co. was totally destroyed, with contents, and the saloon and hotel building adjoining, owned by Wm. Hartwig [Hartig assumed] of this city, and occupied by Emil Kressine, was also badly damaged.  The fire is said to have originated by the explosion of the gasoline lighting system in the Lekachman store while the proprietor was lighting it.  He was badly burned about the face and neck.   WG


1923      WILLIAM HARTIG DIED, buried in Oak Hill cemetery. 


1930      TASTING ROOM, Hartig Brewery

   Donated to the city in 1930 by Mrs. Carry Mowder Hill in memory of the Mowder and Hill families and installed in Memorial Park.  View is to the north and the building in the background was the tasting room of the Hartig brewery.  Statue moved to Octagon Museum grounds in 1970. 



                   PoliceDept, photo taken in Memorial Park, Hartig Brewery in background






MADISON — The U. S. district attorney's office announced today that 1,703 cases of beer were destroyed at the Hartig Co. in Watertown yesterday on order of the federal distinct court in Madison.  The beer was condemned in court proceedings after Harold F. McEvoy, president of the Hartig Co., had declined to contest charges of food and drug law administrators that the beer was adulterated by a type of acid resulting from the use of molasses in brewing.  The government's charges specified that the adulteration was not harmful.   AP story



Brewery tunnels, cellars, of early days discovered








The Hartig brewery buildings were torn down in 1952-53 for a National Tea Store.  Later the site for Tom’s Grocery (United Foods), still later Breselow's Family Market



An object which many older residents of Watertown will view as a sentimental relic of a happier era was taken from Rock River here the other day by Bruce Kaesermann, aged 11, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Kaesermann, No. 10 Pawnee Street.  He found it while playing in the area of Schaller Park.  It turned out to be a beer keg from the period of the Hartig Brewing Co. which produced some of the best and most palatable beer every brewed in Wisconsin or almost anywhere else for that matter.


The keg still has on it a brass plate bearing the name of the Hartig Brewing Co. whose plant was located in the block which now houses the National Food Store in Cady Street, opposite the old Memorial Park which somehow got turned into a site for Watertown’s present municipal building.


The brewery was the largest single building in Watertown.  It was but one of several breweries here, but it was the last to survive, having gone through the Prohibition era when it converted to making “near beer” and ice cream. When Prohibition ended it converted back to making beer.  Along, with most smaller breweries in the state, it finally faded from the scene, leaving the field to the major breweries and monopolies which now turn out beer that does not even approach the fine brew which Hartig’s and other smaller breweries produced years and years ago.



     Image Portfolio





Philip Hartig, obit, president of Hartig Co after father’s (William) death and up until business was sold to outside interests in 1947.

Fuermann Brewery

Goose Brand Beer, reference to Watertown Stuffed Geese

Hoeffner’s Brewery

Hops processing plant considered, 1986