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Historic Beer Birthday: Eugene L. Husting

Today is the birthday of Eugene Louis Husting (August 14, 1848-November 27, 1916). He was born in Luxembourg, Germany, but came to the U.S. when he was only five, and settled with his family in Wisconsin. In 1877, he founded the Eugene L. Husting Brewery. In 1900, they changed its name to the E. L. Husting Co. Brewery, but it was closed due to prohibition in 1918. They appear to have concentrated on Weiss beer, and may have also been known as the E.L. Husting Weiss Beer Brewery. After repeal, the brewery never returned to brewing beer, instead concentrating on soda. The soda company closed in 1970.

The Eugene Husting Brewery in 1893.

This obituary of Husting is from the American Brewers’ Review:

This account of the brewery’s history is from the Blog, The Distant Mirror:

One other historic Milwaukee brewery that focused primarily on brewing wheat-based beer was Eugene Louis Husting.  Like many brewers before and after him, Eugene began as a brewer at the Northwestern Brewery, which was owned by Phillip Altpeter.  After marrying Phillip’s daughter Bertha in 1872, E.L. Husting opened his own weiss beer brewery and soda factory on the east side of 5th St. between Cherry St. and Vliet St. in 1877.  By 1884 Husting was brewing weiss beer in an 8 barrel brew kettle and selling the product in stoneware bottles.  In 1897 the Husting Brewery expanded inventory to include ginger ale, soda water, cream and orange soda, raspberry wine, and cider. As a result of prohibition (1920-1933), brewing beer discontinued and instead soda was exclusively produced.  Following prohibition the company evolved into a beer and soda distributor until 1970 when the plant shut down.  Today, the main building is still intact and is now considered the oldest standing complete brewery in Milwaukee.

And this account of the brewery is by Kevin M Cullen in an article in Brewery History entitled “Rediscovering Milwaukee’s historic breweries: Part I: Milwaukee’s downtown breweries.”

Soon it was on to the oldest complete standing brewery structure in Milwaukee, the EL. Husting Brewery, whose name is still embossed along an upper cornice of the cream city brick building, which inci- dentally is now home to Great Lakes Archaeological Research Center, a former employer of mine. This brewery and soda factory was established by Eugene Louis Husting in 1877 on the eastside of 5th Street between Cheery Street and Vliet Street In 1884 EL Husting was brewing weiss beer in an eight-barrel brew kettle and bottling in stoneware bottles. He continued to brew sodas and beer here until he died in 1916, after which sodas became the primary bever- age of production during prohibition. Following Prohibition in 1933 the facility became a distribution plant for beer and liquor until it shut down in 1970.

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