Grasser & Brand
300 South St. Clair Street
Remember how we told you Joseph Grasser and Henry Brand began their partnership operating the Eagle Brewery in 1862. After Frederick Lang, owner of Eagle, returned from the Civil War, Grasser and Brand left and formed a new brewery in 1866.
Their new venture was originally called the Union Brewery. It consisted of a large plant with a two-story brewhouse facing St Clair Street, and a four-story building behind it for malt production and storage. They also built underground cellars capable of holding 8,000 barrels in storage.
The company met with great success, brewing 5,000 barrels of lager in the first year of production. Borrowing from the business plan of the Finlay Brewing Company, Grasser and Brand focused sales here in Toledo and in other markets – including Michigan, Indiana and Pennsylvania.
Grasser and Brand continued to grow, producing 20,000 barrels of pilsner and lager by the mid-1870’s and over 40,000 by the 1890’s.
Continual success and growth allowed the company to add a bottling plant in 1880 and a new and modern five-story brewhouse in 1902.
Their success also made Grasser and Brand a prime candidate for purchase. In 1905, the company was included in the formation of the United Breweries Company, which became the Huebner-Toledo Breweries Company. The big combine we’ve been talking about.
Ultimately, this merger proved to be the end of the brewery. The passage of the Rose Law in 1908, which made it possible for counties to vote themselves dry, hurt profits at the new combine. Costs needed to be cut and the death of Joseph Grasser in that same year made the choice of closing Grasser and Brand all the easier.
Continue down St. Clair, turn right on Collingwood, and right on Hamilton St. between Division St. & 15th St.