However, Rule & Sweeney's Puget Sound brewery had some tough, local competition from the long established North Pacific Brewery, and the Seattle Brewery, as well as an import from the Bavarian Brewery of San Francisco.
Puget Sound Brewery (1883-1888)
The partnership of Rule & Sweeney lasted less than a year. On March 1, 1884, the Daily Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported:
With Rule's departure, Sweeney became the majority shareholder, and the firm was renamed E. F. Sweeney & Co., operating as the Puget Sound Brewery. By 1888 the plant was more commonly known as the Sweeney Brewery, so they dropped the name Puget Sound (this name was soon adopted by a new brewery in Tacoma).
Claussen-Sweeney Brewery (1888-1893)
On November 1, 1888, a new corporation was formed with the plant's brewmaster, Hans J. Claussen,
joining Sweeney as a partner to establish the Claussen-Sweeney Brewing Company. The new firm was
capitalized at $80,000 with Edward Sweeney as president, and Hans Claussen
as secretary-treasurer. (See Claussen's
Late in 1889, an article appeared in Seattle Illustrated touting the newly formed "Clausen (sic) & Sweeney Brewing Co." and its product:
Since 1875, brewers were not allowed to bottle their product on site, so when this rule was rescinded in 1890, Sweeney and Claussen immediately established a separate plant for retail ice sales and beer bottling (see label below). Their Washington Ice & Bottling Co. was located on the Grant St. Bridge, just north of the Bay View Brewery. The close-up shown here (left) is of a slug-plate for a half-pint beer bottle from the brewery's own bottling works. The green, quart bottle (above) is believed to have been manufactured in Germany - as were matching bottles from both the Bay View Brewery and the Victoria Brewing Co.
In May of 1891, Hans Claussen decided to sell his interest in the brewing company to George F. Gund, in order to pursue other interests. Nearly ten years later, in March of 1901, Hans formed the Claussen Brewing Association. His Tannhaeuser Brewery was located at 3455 21st. Ave West, in Seattle. He chose the same style of label (at left) that he and Sweeney had adopted. (see his label for Tannhaeuser Beer)
In January of 1893, Sweeney's brewery joined Albert
Braun's Brewing Assn. and Hemrich's Bay View Brewing
to form a new corporation - the
Seattle Brewing & Malting Co. (SBMCo).
Andrew Hemrich became president; Albert Braun, vice-president; Fred Kirschner, treasurer; and Edward
By the turn of the century the Temperance movement had gained strength, and the brewers attempted to distance themselves from hard liquor by touting beer as a beverage of moderation (as seen in the ad below). However, the ploy ultimately failed since beer was deemed equally responsible for anti-social behavior.
The following excerpt was taken from a Temperance newspaper published by the Anti-Saloon League:
This view that brewers were responsible for society's ills must have also resonated with Sweeney's wife. In January 1906, E. F. Sweeney bowed to the moral imperative of Temperance (and the urgings of his wife) selling his holdings in SBMCo to the Hemrich brothers. The company was then restructured, with Andrew Hemrich remaining as president, and Louis assuming Sweeney's position of vice president and general manager.
The company's main plant was now referred to as the Sweeney Brewery, or the Georgetown plant by insiders. The company continued to enlarge the facility and to significantly increase its brewing capacity. However, with the imposition of Prohibition, all production ceased. The company relocated to San Francisco, dismantling and shipping much of the brewing equipment to their new Rainier Brewing Company.
There were plans to use the plant for commercial alcohol production, but ultimately it was only utilized for ice and cold storage. The brewery that was the sixth largest in the world, and Washington's largest industrial complex would never be reopened.
For any comments, additions,
or corrections -
All contents including images are copyright by BreweryGems.com