Peter Bub (Sugar Loaf) Brewery
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Peter Bub (Sugar Loaf) Brewery
|Address:||1023 Sugar Loaf Road|
|Winona County, Minnesota|
|Additions:||Later construction of ice houses and storage facilities|
|Historic Function:||Manufacturing facility|
|Other Historic Function:||brewery|
|Current Function:||Antique store|
|Other Current Function:||Antique store|
|Material of Exterior Wall Covering:||Brick|
|Material of Foundation:||Stone|
|First Owner:||Jacob Weisbrod|
The first building known as the brewery was built in the shadows of the Sugar Loaf natural rock outcropping in Winona, MN. As mentioned before the main structure was three stories tall and there were also two ice houses with large dimensions: 60x100’ and 20x80’. Several other buildings made up the brewery complex. Through renovations and a new three story 52x70’ stone building, the brewery had twenty times the brewing capacity of the first structure. The building is now a solid three story 52x118’ stone structure with expansive cellars, though most of the old ice houses have been removed. At present, the main brewery building houses a craft and antiques store.
Winona County along the Mississippi in southeastern Minnesota has a rich cultural history of German immigration and population. The German traditions of the homeland carried over into the new growing community in Minnesota. One aspect of this cultural tradition was the science and art of brewing beer. Many breweries popped up in the middle of the 19th century as German-trained brewmasters opened their own establishments. One such brewmaster, Jacob Weisbrod, came to Minnesota from Germany in 1856 and promptly opened the second brewery in Winona County. Due to increasing demand in 1862, Mr. Weisbrod opened a new location at the base of Sugar Loaf pinnacle, which became known as the Sugar Loaf Brewery. The new brewery had a brewing capacity of about 500 barrels a year and by 1872 the brewing capacity was at 1,000 barrels a year. Weisbrod died in 1870 and a fire destroyed the brewery in 1872. In 1872, Peter Bub bought the brewery property and built new buildings on the land at the junction of the Old Sugar Loaf road. Born in Bavaria, Peter Bub was trained at the brewer’s trade almost from birth. He left Germany in 1870 and moved to Milwaukee at the age of twenty-five to work in the breweries of that city and moved to Winona to carry on his trade in Minnesota. The main structure of the new brewery was three stories in height and he built two ice houses 60x100’ and 20x80’ in addition to several other buildings. The new brewery had a capacity of 4,000 barrels a year and after remodeling in 1882, the brewery had a capacity of 20,000 barrels a year . The beer was known for its popularity around the county and Mr. Bub became quite wealthy from the prosperity of his trade. He married the widow of the original owner, Mr. Weisbrod and built a mansion in town. At the time Peter Bub was known for his generosity and charity in the community as well as being “a man of exquisite taste as well as of rare business capacity” . The Sugar Loaf Brewery thrived since the days of Peter Bub and his brew and continued operating until 1967. Present condition In 2006, an antique mall, Sugar Loaf Antiques and Crafts, was opened in the abandoned brewery buildings to a very enthusiastic audience by Geri Corey whose father and grandfather both worked at the brewery. “A lot of their knowledge isn’t accessible to the current generation,” Corey said, who remembers little of its day-to-day operations. In 2007 a Winona realtor, Mark Zimmerman, and a German brewmaster, Peter Boettcher best known as owner of the Boettcher Brewing Company, began discussing the possibility of returning the building complex back to its original use. Their plan was to open an operation that could brew up to 30,000 barrels of beer a year. The pair took their brewery plan to the Winona City Council in early 2008, however there has been no further word about the future of the site.