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12 Aug 2021, last revised 11 Jul 2022

Adam Haas was a pioneer of the Copper County. He was born in Bavaria, Germany on 22 Jan 1822 and learned the cabinet-making trade (1). In 1852, he immigrated to Houghton, remained for a few months, and then moved north where he operated a boat service between Houghton and Eagle River (1). In 1854, he returned to Houghton and operated a liquor store (1).

Haas brewery c.1905<br>Courtesy of National Park Service, Keweenaw National Historical Park, Raffaelli Collection, Houghton 1, #081
Haas brewery c.1905
Newspaper ad  - The Portage Lake Mining Gazette, 17 Dec 1874
Newspaper ad - Dec 1874

In 1859, Haas started his brewery in a log building on the northeast corner of Shelden St. and Dodge St. with a capacity of 500 barrels per year (1). The Michigan State directory listed him as a brewer and wine and liquor dealer in 1859 (14), and for a brewery and saloon in 1873 (15). He enlarged the brewery with framed additions, and then in 1875, he built a stone building, expanding capacity to 6,000 barrels per year (1). Actual production and sales in 1877 was a bit more than 3,000 barrels (20).

Sanborn map - Jun 1888
Sanborn map - June 1888
Sanborn map - Aug 1893
Sanborn map - Aug 1893
Sanborn map - Feb 1908
Sanborn map - Feb 1908

Adam Haas died on 11 Jan 1879 at the age of 56 and was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Houghton (8). Shortly after his death, the A. Haas Brewing Co. was organized, consisting of his widow, Eva Haas and his sons, Joseph and Adolph Haas (1). They were listed for the A. Haas Brewing Co. in the directories of 1881, 1883, and 1887 (9,10,11). Bottling, like with other pioneer breweries in the Copper Country, started from about 1879-80, as indicated by the bottles. We find that all the bottles were embossed with the name, A. HAAS BREWING CO. / HOUGHTON, MICH.

Polk directory ad - Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory 1883
Polk directory ad - 1883
Polk directory ad - Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory 1887
Polk directory ad - 1887

In Oct 1879, the Haas company purchased the old Hahn brewery (25), which started in 1858 (4), burned in Jul 1873 (26), and was rebuilt but closed in 1875 (1). The mammoth stone building of the Hahn brewery (25) was located near the courthouse (23), and the 1888 Sanborn map shows a building labeled, "Formerly Haas' Brewery" on the southeast corner of Dodge St. and Montezuma Ave., although it should have stated, "Formerly Hahn's Brewery" since Haas still owned the building at this time.

Eva Haas died on 16 Nov 1886 at the age of 61 and was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Houghton (12). According to ads in the Holland directory, the company was incorporated in 1887 (7). Joseph Haas was president, Adolph Haas was vice-president, and their brother-in-law (1), Christof Fox was secretary and treasurer (7). The daughters formed the board of directors (2).

Holland directory ad - 1887-8 Hand-book and Guide to Houghton, Mich
Holland directory ad - 1887
Polk directory ad - Houghton County Directory 1895-96
Polk directory ad - 1895

Business was growing and the company required continual improvements and expansions. In Sep 1887, electric lights were added to the company office, along with other Houghton and Hancock businesses (28). In Nov 1887, the brewery added a new steam boiler, a new beer kettle, and fifteen large fermentation casks (29). In Nov 1888, new fermenting tubs were added (27). By Mar 1888, two teams were hauling beer from Baraga to Ontonagon, with each team taking 25 kegs per load, and transportation from Houghton to Baraga was by rail (30). In Apr-May 1889, the company refitted the old Hahn brewery with a new roof to replace the roof previously destroyed by fire (21,22). Following annual increases in production, in Jan 1890, the company ordered new vats for the upper building to increase storage capacity by 1,000 barrels (23). The Shelden St. brewery, were brewing occurred, had no more room for vats (23). The water for brewing came from the celebrated Huron spring (23). In May 1893, the company launched bock beer (24). The company expected to have an ice machine operating by Apr 1897 (31), and installed an improved bottling machine that used water pressure by Jun 1897 (32).

Newspaper ad - The Daily Mining Gazette, 18 Sep 1899
Newspaper ad - Sep 1899
Newspaper ad - The Calumet News, 08 Apr 1914
Newspaper ad - Apr 1914

In Aug 1901, the business was sold for $125,000 to a stock company comprised of local businessmen (3), and they operated the brewery under the same firm name (2). The capacity of the brewery increased to about 25,000 barrels annually soon after the turn of the century (4). The company had 10 employees in 1904 (16), up to 32 in 1909 (17), and 28 in 1917 (18).

When Prohibition hit Michigan in 1918 (4), the brewery was listed for "soft drinks" with only four employees (19), but then suspended operations (4). After the repeal of Prohibition, the brewery reopened on 21 Aug 1933, and about eight years later, it moved into the former Park Brewing Company facility in Hancock (4). Local interests purchased the brewery in 1952 and operated it as the Copper Country Brewing Co. until it finally closed in 1954 (5). Another old pioneer brewery passed into history after being in existence for 95 years, leaving behind a story to be told and wonderful old bottle artifacts to help interpret that story.

Haas Pilsner label<br>Courtesy of the Richard Dana Collection
Beer bottle label
Haas Pilsner label<br>Courtesy of the Richard Dana Collection
Beer bottle label

References

  1. anonymous. 1883. History of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Western Historical Company. Chicago, IL.
  2. anonymous. 1903. Biographical Record: Houghton, Baraga and Marquette Counties, Michigan. Biographical Publishing Company. Chicago, IL.
  3. anonymous. (1901, Aug 03). Peninsular News. The L'Anse Sentinel (L'Anse, MI). p. 1.
  4. Magnaghi, R. M. 2015. Upper Peninsula Beer: A History of Brewing Above the Bridge. American Palate. Charleston, SC.
  5. Nancarrow, A., V. Elizabeth, and Houghton Centennial Committee. 1961. Houghton Centennial Souvenir History and Program. City of Houghton, MI.
  6. R. L. Polk & Co. 1897. Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1897. R. L. Polk & Co. Detroit, MI.
  7. Holland, A. H. 1887. Hand-book and Guide to Houghton, Mich. Mining Journal Book and Job Print. Marquette, MI.
  8. Find a Grave. accessed Aug 2021. Adam Haas. findagrave.com/memorial/102480545/adam-haas
  9. R. L. Polk & Co. 1881. Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory 1881. R. L. Polk & Co. Detroit, MI.
  10. R. L. Polk & Co. 1883. Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory 1883. R. L. Polk & Co. Detroit, MI.
  11. R. L. Polk & Co. 1887. Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory 1887-88. R. L. Polk & Co. Detroit, MI.
  12. Find a Grave. accessed Oct 2021. Eva Haas. findagrave.com/memorial/106049847/eva-haas
  13. R. L. Polk & Co. 1891. Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory 1891-92. R. L. Polk & Co. Detroit, MI.
  14. G. W. Hawes. 1859. Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1860. F. Raymond & Co. Detroit, MI.
  15. J. E. Scripps and R. L. Polk & Co. 1873. Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1873. Tribune Book and Job Office. Detroit, MI.
  16. Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics. 1905. State of Michigan Twenty-Second Annual Report of the Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics Including the Twelfth Annual Report of State Inspection of Factories. Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co., State Printers. Lansing, MI.
  17. State of Michigan Department of Labor. 1910. First Annual Report of the Department of Labor of the State of Michigan. Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co., State Printers. Lansing, MI.
  18. Michigan Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics. 1917. Thirty-Fourth Annual Report of the Department of Labor of the State of Michigan. Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co., State Printers. Lansing, MI.
  19. State of Michigan Department of Labor. 1919. Thirty-Sixth Annual Report of the Department of Labor of the State of Michigan. Fort Wayne Printing Co. Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  20. anonymous. (1879, Jul 24). Amount of Lager Beer Made and Sold in this District Last Year. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  21. anonymous. (1889, Apr 23). untitled. Torch Lake Times (Lake Linden, MI). p. 3.
  22. anonymous. (1889, May 14). untitled. Torch Lake Times (Lake Linden, MI). p. 3.
  23. anonymous. (1890, Jan 09). untitled. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  24. anonymous. (1893, May 23). untitled. The Native Copper Times (Lake Linden, MI). p. 3.
  25. anonymous. (1879, Oct 16). Local Jottings. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  26. anonymous. (1873, Jul 31). Disasterous Fire. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  27. anonymous. (1888, Nov 22). Local Jottings. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 1.
  28. anonymous. (1887, Sep 01). Local Items. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  29. anonymous. (1887, Dec 01). Local Items. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 1.
  30. anonymous. (1888, Mar 08). Local Jottings. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  31. anonymous. (1897, Mar 25). Twin City Notes. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.
  32. anonymous. (1897, Jun 24). Additional Twin City Notes. Portage Lake Mining Gazette (Houghton, MI). p. 3.

s4
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: lightning stopper - applied?
maker's mark: D S G Co (base)
other marks: (none)
date: 1880
rarity: no known whole example

60
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: lightning stopper - applied
maker's mark: D S G Co (base)
other marks: (none)
date: 1880
rarity: rare
  • different plate design

61
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: lightning stopper - applied
maker's mark: WIS G CO MILW (base)
other marks: (none)
date: 1881-1886
rarity: extremely rare
  • different plate from 60
  • larger font
  • same plate for 61, 62, 68

62
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: double-ring lightning stopper - applied
maker's mark: WIS G Co MILW (base)
other marks: (none)
date: 1881-1886
rarity: scarce
  • same plate for 61, 62, 68
  • different top

68
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: Baltimore loop seal - tooled
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (none)
date: early 1890
rarity: rare
  • same plate for 61, 62, 68
  • different top

63
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: double-ring lightning stopper - applied
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: NOT TO BE SOLD OR TRADED (back)
date: late 1880s
rarity: rare
  • different plate design
  • plate large and low on mold
  • same plate for 63 and 65

65
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: Baltimore loop seal - applied
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: NOT TO BE SOLD OR TRADED (back)
date: 1890
rarity: extremely rare
  • same plate for 63 and 65
  • different top

66
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: Baltimore loop seal - applied
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: NOT TO BE SOLD OR TRADED (back)
date: 1890
rarity: rare
  • different plate from 63/65
  • letters in HOUGHTON tilted
  • plate large and low on mold

64
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: lightning stopper - applied
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (none)
date: late 1880s
rarity: extremely rare
  • different plate from 66
  • "." after A not elevated
  • plate of typical size and height on mold
  • lacks generic mark on back
  • same plate for 64 and 67a

s67
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: Baltimore loop seal - tooled
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (none)
date: late 1880s - early 1890s
rarity: ?
  • same plate for 64 and s67
  • period after MICH was probably not painted
  • different top
  • shorter mold

67
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: Baltimore loop seal - applied or tooled
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (none)
date: early 1890
rarity: scarce
  • different plate from 64/s67
  • first A in HAAS slightly to the left of I in BREWING
  • slightly taller mold than s67 (see comparison)

69
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: Baltimore loop seal - tooled
maker's mark: CLYDE GLASS WORKS CLYDE N.Y. (base)
other marks: (none)
date: 1895-1900
rarity: rare
  • different plate design
69a
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
maker's mark: S B & G Co. (base)
other marks: (none)
rarity: common
  • different plate from other varieties
  • no "." after HAAS
  • no "." after MICH
  • different maker's mark
  • this variant was pictured in the book
69b
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
maker's mark: N. B. B. G. CO. (back heel)
other marks: (none)
date: c.1897-1899
rarity: scarce
  • different plate from other varieties
  • U in HOUGHTON above B in BREWERY
  • no "." after MICH
  • different maker's mark
  • same plate for 69b and 79
69c
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
maker's mark: shield logo (base)
other marks: (none)
rarity: scarce
  • different plate from other varieties
  • C in CO further to the right of M in MICH
  • "." after MICH
  • different maker's mark
  • this variant was not listed in the book
69d
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (none)
rarity: (?)
  • different plate from other variants
  • "." after HAAS (like 69)
  • larger font than 69
  • no maker's mark
  • this variant was not listed in the book

79
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: crown top - tooled with porcelain stopper
maker's mark: N. B. B. G. CO. (back heel)
other marks: (none)
date: 1900
rarity: rare
  • same plate for 69b and 79
  • different top

70
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: pint
color: amber
top: Baltimore loop seal - tooled
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: THIS BOTTLE NOT TO BE SOLD (back)
date: late 1890s
rarity: extremely rare
  • pint-sized complement to 69

71
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: Baltimore loop seal - tooled
maker's mark: ROOT (back heel)
other marks: THIS BOTTLE NOT TO BE SOLD (base)
date: 1910
rarity: scarce
  • different plate design
  • this example has date code: 805 ROOT 10
71a
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (none)
rarity: (?)
  • different plate from 71
  • E in BREWERY to the right of A.
  • this variant was pictured in the book
  • this variant was not listed in the book

72
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: Baltimore loop seal - tooled
maker's mark: ROOT (back heel)
other marks: (none)
date: 1910
rarity: extremely rare
  • different plate from 71a
  • HAAS is misspelled
  • has date code: 805 ROOT 10

73
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: Baltimore loop seal - tooled
maker's mark: E H E CO (back heel)
other marks: (none)
date: 1905
rarity: common
  • different plate from 72
73a
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
maker's mark: E H E CO (back heel)
other marks: (none)
rarity: common
  • different plate from 73
  • REGISTERED in larger font

s5
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: Baltimore loop seal - tooled
maker's mark: E H E CO (back heel)
other marks: (none)
date: 1905
rarity: common
  • different plate from 73a
  • no REGISTERED

74
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: pint
color: amber
top: Baltimore loop seal - tooled
maker's mark: E H E CO (back heel)
other marks: (none)
date: 1905
rarity: common
  • pint-sized complement to s5
74a
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: THIS BOTTLE NOT TO BE SOLD (base)
date: 1912
rarity: ?
  • this example has an A B Co. date code: S 12

75
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: Baltimore loop seal - tooled
maker's mark: N B B G CO (back heel)
other marks: (none)
date: 1906-1912
rarity: common
  • different plate design
75a
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
maker's mark: O B CO (back heel)
other marks: (none)
date: 1904-1905
rarity: common
  • different plate from other varieties
  • wider space between HOUGHTON and MICH.
  • different maker's mark
75b
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
maker's mark: A B CO (back heel)
other marks: (none)
rarity: common
  • different plate from other varieties
  • E in BREWING is at the top embossing circle
  • different makers mark
  • lacks a date code
75c
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
maker's mark: E H E CO (back heel)
other marks: (none)
rarity: common
  • different plate from other varieties
  • wider space between A. and HOUGHTON
  • different maker's mark
  • this variant was not listed in the book
75d
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: THIS BOTTLE NOT TO BE SOLD (base)
rarity: common
  • different plate from other varieties
  • smaller font
  • no maker's mark
  • this variant was pictured in the book
  • this variant was not listed in the book
  • this example has an A B Co date code: 0 - S (for 1910)
  • another example has date code: S - 12
75e
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
maker's mark: O B CO (back heel)
other marks: THIS BOTTLE NOT TO BE SOLD (base)
rarity: common
  • different plate from other varieties
  • smaller and faint font
  • honey amber color

76
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: aqua
top: cork seal - tooled
maker's mark: E H E CO (back heel)
other marks: (none)
date: 1905
rarity: rare
  • similar plate design as 75d
  • different mold shape
76a
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
maker's mark: A. B. CO. (back heel)
other marks: (none)
date: 1905-1909
rarity: scarce
  • different plate from 76
  • slightly larger font
  • different maker's mark
  • same plate for 76a and 81
  • date code unclear on this example; appears to be 9 (or 8 or 5) - S

81
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: aqua
top: crown top - tooled
maker's mark: A. B. CO. (back heel)
other marks: (none)
date: 1911
rarity: rare
  • same plate for 76a and 81
  • different top
  • this example has date code: 11 - S

77
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: pint
color: aqua
top: cork seal - tooled
maker's mark: O B CO (back heel)
other marks: (none)
date: 1904-1905
rarity: extremely rare
  • pint-sized complement to 76a

78
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: pint
color: aqua
top: Baltimore loop seal - tooled
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: THIS BOTTLE NOT TO BE SOLD (base)
date: 1910
rarity: extremely rare
  • different plate design
  • different mold shape from 77

80
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: crown top - tooled
maker's mark: N B B G CO (back heel)
other marks: (none)
date: 1912-1915
rarity: rare
  • similar plate design to 75
  • the larger font
  • different top

82
A. Haas Brewing Co bottle
capacity: pint
color: aqua
top: crown top - tooled
maker's mark: A. B. CO. (back heel)
other marks: (none)
date: 1912
rarity: rare
  • pint-sized complement to 81
  • this example has date code: 12 S

abm-19
bottle image
capacity: pint
color: amber
top: crown top - ABM
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: THIS BOTTLE NOT TO BE SOLD (base)
date: c.1914
rarity: common
  • heel has "14 1", which may be a date code

abm-20
bottle image
capacity: quart
color: amber
top: crown top - ABM
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: THIS BOTTLE NOT TO BE SOLD (base)
date: c.1917
rarity: common
  • this example has an A B Co. date code: 17 S 1

abm-21
bottle image
capacity: pint
color: aqua
top: crown top - ABM
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: THIS BOTTLE NOT TO BE SOLD (base)
date: c.1917
rarity: ?
  • this example has an A B Co. date code: 17 S 1

abm-22
bottle image
bottle image
capacity: quart
color: aqua
top: crown top - ABM
maker's mark: (none)
other marks: (none)
date: c.1917
rarity: ?
  • this example has an A B Co. date code: 17 S 1