Today is the birthday of Frederick Metz (May 19, 1832-March 7, 1901). He was born in Hesse-Cassel, Germany but moved to the U.S. in his teens, eventually settling in Omaha, Nebraska. Along with his brother Philip, he bought what was originally the McCumbe Brewery in 1861, which had been founded two years earlier in 1859. It went through a series of name changes before settling on Metz Bros. Brewing Co. from 1894 until it closed in 1917. The label continued after prohibition, but oddly was brewed by the Walter Brewing Co. of Pueblo, Colorado (although it originated in Eu Claire, Wisconsin). In 1938, the Metz Brewing Co., also of Omaha, Nebraska began brewing under that name, having been originally the Joseph Guggenmos Brewery, when it was founded in 1896, and later was the Nebraska Brewing Co. and the Willow Springs Brewing Co. It appears the Metz Brothers may have been involved in that brewery, too, but I can’t find anything definitive to confirm it.
Here is a short biography of Metz from his Wikipedia page:
Born in Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel), Germany, Frederick was educated as a forester. In 1851 he emigrated to the United States of America through the port of New Orleans, Louisiana, and settled in St. Louis, Missouri, where he worked in the mercantile business. In 1857 he came to Bellevue, Nebraska and continued in the merchandising trade until 1862. Frederick next went to Denver, Coloradoand established a wholesale and commission business in general merchandise, which he owned until 1864. In 1864 Frederick returned to Nebraska and with his brother Philip purchased the McCumbe Brewery, the first brewery in Nebraska, which they renamed Metz Brewery. Frederick served in the Nebraska Senate in 1871 and again 1885. He was president of German Savings Bank in Omaha.
He married Louisa Beate Gesser of St. Louis in 1855. Frederick and Louisa had four sons and three daughters together. In 1873 Louisa died and was buried in Prospect Hill Cemetery. In 1877 Frederick married Adele Wassmer, who was born in Holstein, Germany, and had emigrated to Nebraska. Together they had one son and one daughter. Metz died at the brewery at the age of 69, and was also interred at the Prospect Hill Cemetery in North Omaha.
And this short history of the brewery is from its Wikipedia page:
The Metz Brothers Brewing Company was among the first brewers in the U.S. state of Nebraska, having been established in the city of Omaha in 1859. It was among the earliest manufacturers in the city. After originally opening as the McCumbe Brewery, the facility was sold several times until brothers Frederick and Philip Metz purchased it in 1861. Metz was one of the “Big 4” brewers located in Omaha, which also included the Krug, Willow Springs and Storz breweries.
In 1880 the Metz Brewery was located at 1717 South 3rd Street, and was producing 12,400 barrels (1,970 m3) per year. Later the facility moved to 209 Hickory Street into the former Willow Springs Distilling Company facility. Considered to be modern for the time, the facilities sat on an entire city block. Early brewing equipment included three cooling vaults, two of which were twenty feet wide by seventy-five feet long, and one smaller, being twenty feet wide by thirty in length. The ice rooms immediately above were of the same dimensions. The mash tub and brewing kettle each had a capacity for holding one hundred barrels. Barns for the delivery horses were also located on site. The brewery was said to have “no equal in the country.” The Metz brothers also ran the Metz Brothers Beer Hall, located on 510 South Tenth Street, where beer was supplied in barrels by horse-drawn cart from the main brewery.
This biography is from the “History of Douglas County,” published in 1882:
Frederick Metz, surviving member of the firm of Metz Bros., brewers and malsters, Omaha. Mr. Metz was born in Hessel-Cassel, Germany, 1832, and was educated to the profession of forester there. In 1851 he came to America; landed in New Orleans, and settled in St. Louis the same year, where he was identified actively with the mercantile business till 1857, when he came to Nebraska and located at Bellevue and carried on merchandising there till 1862. In that year he went to Denver, Colo., and established a wholesale and commission business in general merchandise, which he ably conducted till 1864, when he returned to Nebraska and located here, where he has been prominently identified with his present business since. In 1855 he was married to Miss Louisa Beate Gesser, in St. Louis. She was born and reared there, and departed this life in 1873, and is buried in Prospect Hill Cemetery here, leaving a family of four sons and three daughters,–Minnie, now Mrs. Richard Siemon, of Canton, Ohio; Estelle, now Mrs. Ferdinand Schroeder, of Omaha; Charles Frederick, Jr., Tony, Arthur and Louis. In 1877 he married Miss Adele Wassmer, who was born in Holstein, Germany, and reared in Nebraska. They have a family of one son and daughter, Herman and Louisa. Mr. Metz has always been an active worker in the development of the social and industrial welfare of his locality. In 1871 he accepted the position of Representative for this district in the Senate and Legislature of his State, and has taken an active interest in the general growth of the city.
And this is Metz’s obituary from the American Brewers’ Review: