William Spaeth

Date in History: 1883 – 1921

When German-born William Spaeth came to Fort Atkinson in 1883, he immediately began brewing beer, first on the north side of the river near the railroad bridge, and then, in 1886 he began City Brewery on South Water Street just west of the current Café Carpe. He started small, adding buildings as his business continued to grow. By 1910 his small staff, including two sons, was producing 4,000 barrels of beer a year which was delivered to area saloons and private residence by draft horse wagons.

When the 18th Amendment prohibiting “the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors,” became law on January 16, 1920, the Spaeth family suspended operations. William Spaeth died the next year at the age of 76.

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