The History of Beer Brewing in St. Paul.
Where it all started
The early fur trading post that would eventually become Minnesota’s Capitol city was first called ‘Pig’s Eye’ named after Pierre ‘Pig’s Eye’ Parrant, the first person of European descent to live in the area north of the Mississippi, up stream of a newly created military base, Fort Snelling. Pierre began distilling and bootlegging shortly after arriving, and would later build the first house, distillery, and tavern in the St. Paul area. All before the city was properly named.
About a decade later, Yoerg’s Washington Street Brewery, opened in 1848, becoming the first brewery in Saint Paul, and it was the only brewery in town until 1853 when Schmidt Brewery opened its doors. Both buildings still stand today.
St. Paul earned its reputation as the “sanctuary for criminals” in the Midwest with the help of corrupt politicians and police chiefs who agreed to turn a blind eye to gangsters’ underground activities, which included smuggling, racketeering, and gambling.
Many of the early 20th centuries speakeasy’s still stand today, and a few have even been reconverted to modern day brew houses.