Belly Up To The Bar at Wyoming’s Oldest Brewery
There are dozens of breweries across Wyoming these days, some of whom are ranked among the finest in the world.
While most of them are relative newcomers, Wyoming's proud brewing tradition dates back 145 years when a German immigrant first established the Green River Brewery.
In 1872, Adam Braun arrived in Green River, Wyoming, and began brewing beer at a small storefront on Railroad Avenue.
The business was later sold to three other men, who each carried on traditional German brewing techniques. The fourth of those owners, Hugo Gaensslen, took over the business in 1899 and renamed it the Sweetwater Brewery.
Gaensslen also constructed a three-story building, inspired by the Water Tower in his hometown of Chicago, which housed the brewery and a saloon.
After winning medals at the 1904 and 1905 World's Fair, Sweetwater was acclaimed among the the best brewers in the west.
Unofortunately, their popularity would be short-lived. Following prohibiton, the business was rebranded as the Sweetwater Beverage Company and produced non-alcholic beer and soft drinks.
Gaensslen died in 1931, two years before prohibition was repealed, and the company went out of business.
In 1936, another owner tried to revive the brewery, but quickly went under.
For the past 80 years, the building has been occupied by a variety of merchants and businesses.
Portions of the historic structure were torn down in the 1970s, which led a local effort to preserve the landmark. In 1982, the remnants of the building were added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Although they no longer produce beer on-site, the legendary venue now hosts a popular restaurant and tavern known as "The Brewery".