This site has housed brewery operations since 1855.
By 1900, it was owned by Jacob Schmidt, who commissioned construction of the massive turretted brewhouse tower.
After prohibition, this brewery grew to be the 7th largest in the entire United States.
The brewery remained in the Schmidt family until 1955. The name changed in 1972 when purchased by the G. Heileman Brewing Company of La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Heileman ceased brewery operations in 1990. A group of local investors purchased the complex in 1991 under the name Minnesota Brewing Company.
By 1999, the brewery was the 12th-largest in the United States.
Production expanded in 1999 with the incorporation of Gopher State Ethanol, and the creation of the first urban ethanol plant in the United States.
Within days of the start of production, neighborhood residents complained of the strong odor, common to fermentation, which blanketed the neighborhood.
The Minnesota Brewing Company ceased operating in Summer 2002. Their most famous products included Grain Belt Premium (originally brewed at the Grain Belt Brewhouse in Minneapolis) and Pig's Eye Beer. Grain Belt has been picked up by the August Schell Brewery in New Ulm, Minnesota.
Gopher State Ethanol shut down production in Summer 2004, leaving the complex idle once again.
Efforts began in late 2004 to designate the complex a historic landmark.
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