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A Brewery 160 Years in the Making

St. Paul’s only standing Pre-Civil War lager house will re-open in September.

Waldmann harkens back to cozier times.
Photo courtesy of Waldmann

When Tom Schroeder purchased a long-vacant building at 445 Smith Avenue in St. Paul, he discovered it once held a lager saloon owned by Bavarian immigrant Anthony Waldmann, opening its doors to a rapidly growing German population in 1857. Schroeder embarked on a long journey to restore the building to its original purpose, a journey that included jumping through various legal hoops, painstaking research and building a true-to-period brew barn designed by historic design architect John Yust. Schroeder, who originally named the brewery The Stone Saloon, decided to honor Waldmann after volunteer archaeologists discovered a brass stencil used for marking barrels with the name A. Waldmann. Waldmann Brewery and Wurstery, housed in the oldest surviving commercial building in the Twin Cities, will open this fall.

According to a recent press release, the brewery will open in September as the “newest, oldest brewery” in St. Paul’s West 7th neighborhood and will feature German lagers and house-made sausages.

Schroeder and his team will launch a crowdfunding campaign on April 20 with party at Waldmann’s from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. “I want to give folks a chance to discover the meaning in history, experiencing what it’s like to have a conversation by lamplight over good food and classic beer while sitting in 160-year old rooms that were built from the stone under their feet,” Schroeder said. “Since this has been a community project in many ways, we’re going to invite our supporters to some fun pre-launch events and give them a chance to pitch in and help in whatever way they can in a crowdfunding campaign that we need to get us through the home stretch.” The party is open to the public and the campaign hopes to raise $45,000 for the final stages of the restoration.

The brewery will also hold guided tours during Minneapolis/St. Paul Home Tour, on April 29-30, complete with history lectures.