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Breweries in Utah

This page was last updated on January 6, 2015.

(Return to Industries Index Page)

(in the future, this page will allow coverage of all of Utah's rail-related breweries)

Fisher Brewing Company

Located at 1000 West on 200 South.

The A. Fisher Brewing Company was started in 1885 by partners A. Fisher and A. Keyser. In 1895, the brewery was modernized. (Salt Lake Herald, June 6, 1898)

Henry Wagener Brewing Company

Located at the mouth of Emigration Canyon, on 160 acres of land on the north side of the canyon, immediately across from today's Rotary Glen, and just east of Hogle Zoo. The site is marked by today's "Wagner Spring". The 1911 Sanborn fire insurance map (Salt Lake City, 1911, sheet 344) noted that the brewery itself was located 300 feet southwest from two 7000-gallon water tanks that are fed by a spring.

The Wagener brewery was known as the California Brewery from the time of its opening in 1864, until 1894, when it was incorporated as the Wagener Brewing Company.

In December 1889, during an excursion and tour of the Salt Lake & Fort Douglas Railway, and during a brief stop at Wagener's Brewery, Mr. Wagener himself provided some statistics of the railroad traffic coming per year to the brewery. This traffic was to come in the form of 1.5 million pounds of coal, two hundred tons of coke, fifty carloads of barley, and many more carloads of empty kegs and bottles. Along with hops and other miscellaneous freight, the total for the brewery amounted to 4.5 million pounds of railroad freight per year. (Salt Lake Herald, December 25, 1889) (Sounds like a lot, but simple math indicates about 75 carloads of 30-ton capacity cars, or about 1.5 cars per week.)

May 30, 1891
Special trains were operated all day long on May 30th, between 8th South and Main Street, and Wagener's Brewery. The route included direct access to the Fort Douglas cemetery to allow citizens to pay their respects. (Salt Lake Tribune, May 28, 1891)

June 1896
The Henry Wagener Brewery Company was incorporated in June 1896. In February 1898, Ernst Wagner of St. Louis was made president and general manager. (Salt Lake Herald, June 6, 1898)

January 14, 1897
The property of Henry Wagener Brewery Company was foreclosed by the Third District Court in favor of C. H. Deere for a first mortgage of $38,700.00, and in the favor of the National Bank of the Republic for a second mortgage in the amount of $18,300.00. (Salt Lake Tribune, June 5, 1896; Salt Lake Herald, January 15, 1897, "yesterday")

May 1897
Railroad service to Wagener brewery ended when Salt Lake & Fort Douglas removed the trestle at 10th East and 7th South that allowed trains to climb the bench to Fort Douglas, and Wagener brewery to the south.

Henry Wagener died on July 12, 1903. He was 65 years old, and was survived by his wife and seven children. Henry Wagner was born on August 30, 1835 in Eimshorn, Holstein, Germany. He emigrated first in 1858 to Colona, California, where he established a brewery, then in 1864 he came to Utah and soon after established his brewery at the mouth of Emigration Canyon in 1864. He retired from the business in 1896. (Deseret News, July 13, 1903)

December 1906
The Henry Wagener Brewery Company was shown in a full-page advertisement as being established in 1864, and incorporated in 1897. Its president was C. H. Deere of Moline, Illinois, with W. P. Kiser as vice president and general manager and Margaret Wagener as treasurer. (Salt Lake Herald, December 30, 1906)

On July 4, 1907, the Emigration Canyon Railroad made its first run. A letter to the editor expressed displeasure that the first excursion ran only to the Wagener Brewery, instead of the rumored full run of eight miles. The letter also asked that a no-beer day be investigated, at least for runs made on Sunday. (Inter-Mountain Republican, July 7, 1907)

On July 4, 1908, a new resort opened adjacent to the Wagener Brewing Company at the mouth of Emigration Canyon. It included many shade trees, a dancing pavilion and two refreshment pavilions. (Goodwin's Weekly, July 4, 1908)

December 27, 1914
The Wagener Brewery was destroyed by fire on Sunday December 27, 1914. It was the oldest brewery in Utah. The total loss was reported as being between $200,000 and $250,000. (Salt Lake Telegram, December 28, 1914, including photo of destroyed structure; Eastern Utah Advocate, December 31, 1914, "Sunday")

March 31, 1915
The board of directors of Wagener Brewery Company decided to not rebuild the plant. (Salt Lake Telegram, March 31, 1915)

April 5, 1915
The stock on hand, bottles and supplies of Wagener Brewery Company was sold to A. Fisher Brewing Company and Salt Lake Brewing Company. The Wagener company would retain its bottling machinery, real estate and office equipment. (Salt Lake Telegram, April 2, 1915, "The sale becomes effective Monday.")

July 5, 1933
The attorneys for the Wagener Brewery Company petitioned the Salt Lake City Commission for a change in conditions at Hogle Gardens zoo. The petition noted that on October 1, 1920, the brewery company donated to Salt Lake County, a parcel of land east of the zoo and adjacent to the highway, with the stipulation that the property be used for a park and memorial commemorating the arrival of the pioneers in the valley. The county later gave the property to the city, and instead of being used for its intended purpose, the property was being used as a "buffalo wallow and elk pen", to the injury of the adjoining brewery property. The petition asked that the city stop its current use of the property, and use it for its intended purpose. (Salt Lake Telegram, July 5, 1933)

Margetts Brewery Company

Margetts Brewery Company was started in 1878 by Richard B. Margetts. In 1890, the operation was taken over by A. B. Margetts and S. H. Margetts. (Salt Lake Herald, June 6, 1898)

Salt Lake Brewing Company

Located at about 1000 East and 5th South, on the 'S' curve where 4th South becomes 5th South. Served by Salt Lake & Fort Douglas Railway.

The Salt Lake Brewing Company was started in 1871 by Jacob Moritz. In 1884 the business was incorporated. By June 1898, Salt Lake Brewing Company was the largest brewery in the area, producing 125,000 barrels per year. (Salt Lake Herald, June 6, 1898)

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