Broken Bottlery- Tangled Web #10
In Wisconsin, United States
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This is the final cache in our "Tangled Web" series of caches. If you map them all out, they're shaped like a spider. This is the thorax of the spider!
This cache has a nice view from up the hill of the old Walter's Brewing Bottling Facility on Barstow Street.
Walter’s Beer was founded in Spencer, Wisconsin, where German-born Johannes Walter brought a crisp German lager to a country accustomed to its ales and ports. A fire forced a move to Eau Claire in 1893 and a local legend was born.
Another fire and Prohibition interrupted, but did not deter, his efforts. He was the first to install tile floors for sanitation. Eventually a thriving business was handed down to cousins and nephews, spawning six breweries between Wisconsin and Colorado. The Walters Brewing Company in Eau Claire was purchased by Martin, Charles and Edgar Walter upon the passing of Johannes, and reopened when Prohibition ended in 1933. Martin Walter served as president until 1967 and John Walter, also an owner, was the brewmaster to the end.
Not nearly as well-known as Busch or Pabst, by 1950 the Walter’s family was the largest brewer in America. John Walter graduated from Chicago’s Siebel Brewing Institute with August Busch III. Clearly the two paid attention in class. But the bigger marketing budgets of the national brands were too much for the family, forcing all but Walter’s Brewery in Eau Claire to close by the 1970s.
In 1980, Walter’s Brewing Company peaked at 80,000 barrels per year, but quickly declined in the face of increasing competition and changing customer taste. The light beer revolution and innovations in packaging left Walter’s far behind. An attempt by Chicago businessman Michael Healy to revive the operation resulted in the short-lived Hibernia Brewing Company. Members of the Walter’s family stayed on in key positions, but despite a temporary resurgence and the popularity of a new outdoor beer garden, the tradition was over. The brewery closed its doors in 1989. The site has since been razed. Brewmaster John Walter died in 2004. The pride of Eau Claire and a precious piece of history was lost.
Lbh'er va sbe n ybbc!
Last Updated: on 4/5/2015 1:08:09 PM Pacific Daylight Time (8:08 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum