Historic Evansville

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Sterling Brewery

Sterling Brewery


Sterling Brewery

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a.k.a. Fulton Avenue Brewery

1301 Pennsylvania Avenue
Evansville, IN

Quick Timeline

1880 Fulton Avenue Brewery is built
1890 Partially rebuilt after collapse
1894 Becomes part of the Evansville Brewing Association
c1920 Sterling Brewery
1972 Bought by G Heileman Brewery
1988 Becomes Evansville Brewing Co
1998 Brewery is razed


penn indiana and fulton
District: Lamasco
Latitude: 37.978193858121
Longitude: -87.581613063812
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Brewery is built at 330-430 Fulton Ave in 1863 on site of Great Western Mills (date overlap)

Ulmer & Hoedt buy brewery in 1877 and move in.

Ulmer & Hoedt build new brewery in the summer of 1880 across the street from the Old Brewery. The "modern", new Fulton Avenue Brewery was 74' x 114' and four stories tall. It was designed by Meinrad Schoenkrechler.

1884 => Ulmer Reitman & Schulte 1886 => Renamed Fulton Ave Brewery Later Ulmer and Schulte. Reitman? and Schulte ulmer still around when renamed fulton in 1886

A collapse occured mar 28 1890 during a wind storm. The ice house cuploa toppled over and a the wall facing Fulton gave way. The damaged half was torn down for a new stock house. This is the iconic building on the corner of Fulton and Penn that many will remember.

Hartmetz and Son Brewery, Evansville Brewery and Fulton Brewery merged to form the Evansville Brewing Association in 1893 in an effort to protect small breweries. This association was reportedly the result of a price war between the larger F.W. Cook Brewery and the non-affiliated breweries in town. The main office went to the Fulton Avenue Brewery and the other branches were eventually closed.

brew house large six story plant fifth and Indiana, rr switches added General offices were built in 1907 across Pennsylvania St (southwest corner)

1911 stock house built (here or evv brewery)

A huge bottling plant at Indiana St and Fifth Ave (still standing) was completed June 1, 1914.

Like many others during Prohibition, the company renamed itself Sterling Products Co. They made soft drinks, near beer, and malt extract (which was used by illicit homebrewers). It became Sterling Brewers Inc after Prohibition was over in 1933.

Offices built 1954 probably old offices at 330-2 were razed for penn expy

Sterling merged with the Associated Brewing Co. group of Michigan in 1968. Officially it was named Sterling Brewers Association.

In 1972, G. Heileman Brewery (LaCrosse, WI) bought the company. The plant was used to make many of the brands they acquired from other breweries including Cooks from Evansville, Champagne Velvet from Terre Haute, and Drewrys from South Bend.

Heileman closed the plant due to over capacity in its other plants and sold the brewery in 1988. The Evansville Brewing Company, led by three local investors, John Durnin, Mark Mattingly, and John Bzeznski, re-opened the brewery on September 21, 1988. The three founders wanted to retain the employee base of the plant of about 90 people, and the brewery had a 1,200,000 barrel annual capacity. By 1994, Evansville Brewing sold almost 40% of its beer overseas.

The brewery declared bankruptcy and closed on October 1, 1997. The brands, including Sterling, were sold to Pittsburgh Brewing. Sadly, the brewery was razed in December 1998 and now is a vacant lot. It was the last brewery standing in Evansville fulton ave brewery fulton ave built summer 1880 outgrowth of old brewery 74 x 116,4 stories tall architect meinrad schoenkrechler "Their beer is the boss; it is unadulterated, pure and healthy" courier 7/11/1880 rear addition spring 1886 bottling partial collapse 1890 ice house (south wing corner fulton and penn) after wind storm cupola toppled over and wall facing fulton gave way stock house c1890 rebuilt first factory to have electricity wash house to be demolished 6/1910 for modern four-story right hand side (ind and fulton) rebuilt >1910 <1926 bottling house 1913 much replaced c1920 jul 19 1924 large fire gutted 4th floor, rebuilt 1926 prohibition (1920-1933) offices 1954 expanded beer storage 1959 c1960 bottling expanded north spanned fifth ave c1970 grain dryers (1219 w indiana) and some more recent storage buildings still stand 1914 bottling house 2013 offices remodeled as 1 life church


The brewery at Fulton Ave and Lloyd was the site of the first electric lights in Evansville in October 1880.

Around 1935, the brewery sponsored a semi-pro "colored" baseball team called the Sterling Beers.

Sterling had a Rathskeller

Mickey's, famous for the "big mouth" bottles, originated at Sterling Brewery and is reputed to be named after the wife of the president of Sterling Brewers. It is now part of Pabst via Stroh's.

See also Businesses / Commercial Lamasco district

Research notes

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