Marie Fauerbach -  Brewery Proprietress 1886 - 1890

 
Let me take you back, 120 years to 1886. Peter Fauerbach, 1st generation brewer of the Fauerbach brewing family had just passed away, leaving his wife Marie  and 6 sons on their own. They all lived in the quarters of the 38 year-old brewery complex that sat on the edge of Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin. The brewery was producing 1500 barrels of beer per year then, the equivalent of 15 kegs per day.
That year, the eldest son Louis was 30, followed by Charles(?), Philip (25), Henry(23),Emil(16), and Willie(15). Marie had her hands full. Louis, Charles, and Philip lived away from home by then. Philip was working in Milwaukee. Youngest son, Willie was in Cincinnati developing his violin skills at a private school. The remaining 4 brothers were working in the brewery business.
   
In 1886, the brewery still used horses for powering the operations and delivery teams. It would be 4 years later before any major changes in technology like refrigeration and electrification would be available. In addition to managing the brewery finances, and major decisions, Marie ran the Fauerbach store where she sold hay, hops, and grain to local brewers, and eggs, milk and cheese to neighbors. The brewery had some large and small farm animals on site.  Marie also managed the food and provisions for the 10 brewery workers living at the brewery.   
   

Four years later in 1890, Marie oversaw huge changes at the brewery that provided a foundation for the next 70 years including the 13 years of prohibition.  Marie was 57 years old that year. The Brewery was incorporated that year with 4 brothers having equal shares. Louis the oldest was general manager, Philip was treasurer. Henry was in charge of brewing. Emil was in charge of the office.  Youngest son, Willie was an accomplished violinist who had played before the Governor at the Assembly Hall of the Capitol, died that same year after a 9-year illness. Charles had already taken a loan from his mother to pursue another business venture, and so was not involved in the Brewery.
Fauerbach Brewery Lithograph
Technology improvements in 1890 resulted in the end of real horse power for the brewery except for hauling beer wagons around. Two 200-horse power engines were installed at the brewery that year along with a huge re-building program that meant all brothers and Marie had to move. They moved to homes in the Marquette neighborhood: Spaight, Jenifer, Morrison, and Rutledge to name a few of the streets with Fauerbach homes. Most were within walking distance of the Brewery. Marie moved in with eldest son Louis on Lake Monona at the corner of Rutledge and Brearly.  She lived until 1907, seventeen years after she gave up the reigns are proprietress of the Fauerbach Brewery in 1890.  Her obituary stated that Marie was a silent supporter of the needy and downtrodden - who will sorely be missed. 
We should all be proud of the mostly un-known mostly un-proclaimed achievements of the women of our heritage. I know I am. We'd like to think Marie would love our 5th generation Fauerbach Amber, a lighter bodied dark beer that modern women beer drinkers love. This one's for you, Marie!
Brewing Family    Fauerbach Brewery History website    Fauerbach Brewery website