Welcome to the Fauerbach Brewing Company News

                   Fauerbach Brewing Company               

History of Fauerbach 1848 - Present



  Madison, Wisconsin


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Special Stories about oak vats and kegs

Ray Bareis

One of several fascinating stories from Ray Bareis, born about 1900 and raised across the street from the Brewery, is that of childhood memories of the lakefront side of the Brewery. The Brewery had a rail spur between the icehouse and other buildings. In the open yard, coopers repaired wooden kegs. Using two-handed wood shaving tools, they would shape replacement staves for a broken keg. Once enough of these repaired kegs were ready, the pitching machine would be turned on. This machine would pitch rosin like material inside the barrel to seal it and protect the beer. The yard also had a large wooden tank with thick sidewalls raised on legs that would allow its contents to be dumped into a rail car. This was for broken glass from the bottling operation. According to Ray, the gang initiation was to walk around the top of the container in bare feet! Of course, “if you were caught by Brewery employees, you got bounced back home.”

Clayton Bossart

"My name is Clayton J. Bossart from Monroeville, PA. I worked several summers plus odd weeks during holiday breaks from school at the brewery. My Dad, John L. Bossart, worked there over 40 years. When the Brewery offered him a contract to serve the city of Madison's bars during the latter part of WWII, I worked for him as well.

My Grandfather, Joseph Bossart, is pictured on your site driving the horse-drawn load of keg beer (See above left).

There was another picture of Joseph Bossart hanging in the Fauerbach Bar where he had a keg on each of his massive shoulders. I can never forget that one; did that make it into your archives? My Uncle Joe Schroeder also worked at Fauerbach for many years."

Clayton Bossart

"I handled those monster kegs back then. As I remember Fauerbach had a mixture of wooden kegs and steel kegs at that time, probably because they wanted to use up the older kegs until they had served their purpose. Both weighed about 220 lbs in the 1/2 bbl size, compared to 155 lbs for the aluminum kegs that came later. Both used some kind of black pitch inside; you didn't want either the wood or steel flavor in your glass of beer. The wooden kegs were also water soaked to further prevent leakage (and probably splitting), so their weight must have varied more than the steel kegs. We usually off-loaded these kegs from the tail gate or side doors of the truck by guiding and dropping them as gently as one's strenghth allowed onto a "bumper" shaped like a pillow, usually made from heavy rope.

I vaguely remember some steel or wood kegs in full barrel size. The bars around the University preferred those; they sold a lot of tap beer! I did handle some of those 31 gallon aluminum kegs (about 310 lbs), when I was older. Sales of that size seemed to be pretty much confined to the UW bars."

Fauerbach Gear Store

Order the new book documenting the Hess Cooperage  --  (Amazon "Roll Out the Barrels")

fauerbach gear store     fauerbach gear storefauerbach gear store    fauerbach teeshirt
Form fitting tees                   5 colors - new Khaki and new Sage  
 Teeshirts, hats 5 colors, pint glasses

Video clips, Interviews and Articles

Watch "Fauerbach Beer at 160 Years" on  You Tube  
Iceboating at it's best:  6 minutes / 2 fast laps  

2005 Fauerbach Re-emergence - Interview for The Beer Report (May '09)

2012 Fauerbach promotes iceboating on local TV from Lake Mendota

Bill Rogers Malt House --  Fauerbach beer served at Union House/Malt House for 3 centuries

Fauerbach Brewery History for Milwaukee based Museum of Beer and Brewing Newsletter 2015, Darrell Smith, author and president.

Fauerbach Brewing Company Historical Images


Click on images to see greater detail.

Our posters are 11" x 17" and can be ordered with frame kits.
Drop us a note with your request. 

The Fauerbach End of Prohibition image and the Fauerbach Parade Car image below can be ordered through the local historical society by clicking the links below.
They have a great selection of print sizes 

fauerbach beer wagon

#1 fauerbach iceboat champs

#2 fauerbach iceboat champs

Wisconsin State Historical Society Images 
Beer  Hooked Up 2009 Champ
Ron Sherry

2010 Champ 


Bill Mattison

2011 Champ
Jack Ripp

fauerbach shot and a beer

fauerbach is trendy

See more posters
and images here

Prohibition is over at Fauerbach Bar room!
Wisconsin Historical Society image number 3493
1933 Fauerbach Parade Float
Wisconsin State Hisatorical Society image number 16425
Shot and a beer Trendy night spots

Hess Cooperage Presentations by Gary and Jim Hess

Gary Hess and cousin Jim Hess have presented the story of their family cooperage and white oak beer barrels to 170 groups since May 2005.
They travel afar and provide their wonderful story free of charge to a wide variety of historical and service club groups.
Congratulations, Gary and Jim     --  200 plus presentations!

    Fauerbach Wagon with Hess barrels 1910   

Gary Hess and cousin Jim Hess at one of their Hess Cooperage presentations

Please contact Gary Hess at 608-222-9656 to schedule a presentation of the art of wooden beer barrel making!

Fauerbach History Archives:  plan on an hour ...and grab a beer while you're at it.


Fauerbach is a Wisconsin beer icon

MHTG Madison Home brewers and Tasters Guild

Hess Cooperage presentations

Event Planners:    Fauerbach Brewery, other Madison Historical Breweries or Hess Cooperage. 

Drop us a note here

Be sure to see images and read great stories 

 Fauerbach Historical index 

Blue label 1930s

Updated: May 25, 2017     Fauerbach Brewing Company, LLC.  2004        Madison, Wisconsin       Email: