In 1872 the Hentschel brothers from Prussia bought property on the west bank of the Cheboygan River at the corner of Court Street and South Main for the purpose of brewing beer. The lumber business was exploding. They figured men were thirsty for great beer. They were right. Within a year production was approximately 500 barrels a year. Not bad, boys.
The brewery was sold in 1881 to German-born August Quast and Charles Schley. The new owners expanded production and boasted about the purity and flavor of the beer, and production continued to grow.
In 1882, further to the north on the Cheboygan River, James and Patrick Moloney built their own brewery, the Northern Brewing Company. (That’s a photo of James F. Moloney on the left.) The business changed its name to the Cheboygan Brewing and Malting Company in 1890 when James bought out his brother. Did the Moloney brothers put their competitor out of business? Patrick started a bottling company. Guess who his biggest customer was? Brothers will be brothers!
Production soon increased to 40 barrels a day. Now that’s what we’re talking about. That and the best tasting beer brewed in the North Country!
Cheboygan Brewing and Malting Company's classic 1906 style label.
The Silvo and Bohemian brands were very popular around the saloons of northern Michigan back in 1909. It was the “Beer that made Milwaukee jealous!” We’re shooting for the same thing. It started with taste back then and it still does today.
It’s hard to believe life would ever change when you look at this image from 1911, the year the brewery shuttered its doors. That’s the brewery along the Cheboygan River on South Main with the old Court House towering above it across the street.
The closing of the Cheboygan Brewing and Malting Company was a bad day for lot of people, including a few of our great grandfathers no doubt. Of course, it was inevitable. The lumber business was moving on and the temperance movement was shutting down saloons.
But after a hundred years of waiting, the Cheboygan Brewing Company is back.
The Cheboygan Brewing Company gratefully acknowledges the support of the Cheboygan History Center in creating this history page. The Center has generously shared information and photographs from its archives.