3 Breweries of the Past in La Crosse, Wisconsin

Our craft brewing scene is roaring, with mainstay Pearl Street Brewery recently joined by upstarts Turtle Stack Brewery, Two Beagles Brewpub, and Skeleton Crew Brew. But let’s take a moment to remember the brewing giants of yore who made La Crosse a true beer town.

Heileman Brewing Co. (1858-1996)

If you know anything about local beer, you know about Heileman’s and the classic Old Style brand. This historic brewery still operates today as City Brewing Co., the original name of Heileman’s brewery from 1858-72.

John Gund Brewery (1880-1920)

Gund was Heileman’s founding partner at City Brewing in 1858, but struck out on his own in ‘72, eventually creating the iconic Peerless label. The Gund Brewery Loft Apartments now occupy the restored original building.

C& J. Michel Brewing Co. / La Crosse Breweries (1857-1956)

The nexus of local brewing history: before he and Gund co-founded City Brewing, Gottlieb Heileman was brewmaster for the Brothers Michel. Their labels included Elfenbrau, Wisconsin’s Best, and Peerless (purchased from Gund when he closed his brewery).

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