Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Peter Schoenhofen Brewery (Edelweiss Beer) in Chicago

(HAER; see below for satellite image)

(Update: ChicagoLandmarksa history with several images including a closeup of the water tower; ForgottenChicago)

This brewery had a water tower shaped like a beer bottle, which shows up in several railroad photos. Their flagship brand was Edelweiss.

David Daruszka posted
Bob Lalich That is a beer bottle from the Schoenhofen brewery. 

David commented on his photo
That bottle water tower shows up in a lot of pictures.

Gary Hosek posted
Westbound passenger train - Halsted Street Station - Chicago - May 1948 - Russell Lee photograph.
Eric Reinert The beer Bottle water tower of the Schoenhofen brewery is visible as well.

Daniel Herkes commented on Eric's comment on Gary's post

Daniel Herkes commented on Eric's comment on Gary's post

HAER-data from il0068
I put a red rectangle around the brewery buildings that are still standing. The yellow rectangle indicates a building that is still standing, but it was not part of the brewery.

The admin building is on the left and the powerhouse is on the right. The powerhouse has the 1600' well in its basement, and it represents the Second School of Chicago Architecture.
Street View
It appears the brewery used to be rail served by the CB&Q.
1929 Englewood quadrangle @ 1:24,000

MWRD posted

MWRD posted
A view to the north showing the South Branch of the Chicago River on August 10, 1900, with a portion of the old Canal Street Bridge visible at right.

Dennis DeBruler commented on MWRD's post
The Schoenhofen Brewery must have built their powerhouse between 1900 and 9104. In the above photo, note the grain elevator just to the left of the superstructure for the Canal Street Bridge. In the 1904 photo below, the powerhouse is just west of that grain elevator.
The powerhouse still stands today:

Steven J. Brown posted
PRR South Branch Lift Bridge (built 1913) and the Schoenhofen Brewery viewed from 16th Street and Normal Avenue in Chicago, Illinois - April 1, 1988.

Earl Camembert commented on MWRD's post
Dennis DeBruler: In the right background is an incredible view of what the Schoenhofen Brewery used to look like. We can see one of the buildings that is still standing in Earl's Street View.

VintageTribune photo of an ironworker drinking an Edelweiss on the job

VintageTribune photo shows the Sky Tower that the ironworker was on


  1. After the brewery closed, the Edelweiss brand was sold to what is now best known as The Dubuque Star Brwg. Co. in Dubuque, IA. Edelweiss branded beer (in 12-oz. returnable bottles) continued to appear in Chicago area package liquor stores. I discovered (and purchased) a case of it from the original Weinkeller liquor store in Berwyn, IL. in 1983.

    1. Used to be regularly available at larger liquor stores for $4-5/case. Had the typical watery taste of a cheap Wisconsin beer.