Letters from friends and readers of the Fauerbach Brewery website      Return to Fauerbach Brewery Home  

Bob Smith of Culpepper Virginia 2009  

We entertained six neighbors Saturday evening for a Fauerbach event. As you can probably guess., the export and amber were huge successes. 

One gal, whose father owned a NYC Irish Pub, loved the export and her attorney husband, a former home brewer, couldn't say enough about the amber.  Another couple, former UW Badgers, remembered the Fauerbach name and wished that you have a local distributor.  Another neighbor, a former CIA agent, had to leave town and asked that I save a bottle of each for his return (which I did).  We all agreed that you had an excellent product and have honored the Fauerbach tradition.  It was clever of you to market the ice boat shirts as I can well remember the stories of the "Yellow Kid".  That was a great photo of the steam locomotive at the brewery and, although I was quite young, I remember seeing it that way. I checked the roster of the C&NW RR for steam engine No. 143 and found that it had a 4-6-0 wheel arrangement and was built by the Schenectady Locomotive Works in 1890. It was a dual purpose (passenger and freight) loco used generally for light duty on branch lines.  It had a life span of about 50 years so was probably scrapped right after WWII.  The consensus was that we will reorder when we schedule our little special events, especially if the attendees will be Wisconsinites.  Continued good fortune and may you experience heavy sales demand.  

Bob Smith.


Dear Peter     4/13/2007

My husband Tom Esser started working for the Fauerbach Brewing Company in 1960. He had just returned from serving 6 months in the National Guard. He was offered a job with the brewery. His grandfather and father had owned a bar in Cross Plains and had Fauerbach on tap for many years. Shortly after starting, he was called up to service during the Berlin crisis, and was stationed in Fort Lewis, Washington for a year. He was very grateful to the Fauerbach family for keeping his job open and was happy to return to begin a 42-year career selling Fauerbach beer and Pepsi Cola. The brewery sent many cases of beer on the train to Seattle with the troops. They were the only soldiers drinking Fauerbach in Seattle. After the brewery closed, he collected many souvenirs with the Fauerbach name. He enjoyed telling stories about his days working for the brewery. He would have enjoyed the rebirth of Fauerbach Beer.

Noreen Esser, Cross Plains, Wisconsin 


Joseph Bossart, grandfather of contributor, Clayton Bossart 

Peter   4/6/2006

As to whether the beer from the cellar was warmed using a hot poker kept next to the boiler: "I don't remember the hot poker, but do remember having a beer direct from the vats for the first time in a copper mug. One of the old-timers used a blow torch to warm it up a bit. There were several of those copper mugs down there. "

I  started working with my dad in 1943, just out of 8th grade to help Dad on the delivery truck - the same age as he did. He took care of the horses then, so he must have seen his dad every day. The big difference was that he expected me to work and graduate from UW  - which I did in Chemical Engineering. 

I handled those monster kegs back then. As I remember, Fauerbach had a mixture of wooden and steel kegs in 1943, probably because they wanted to use those wooden kegs as long as they served purpose. Imagine that today! Both weighed about 200 in the 1/2 barrel size.  Compared to 155 for aluminum. Both used some pitch inside. Wooden kegs were also water soaked to further prevent leakage.

We usually offloaded the kegs by guiding and dropping them as gently as one's strength allowed onto a bumper shaped pillow, usually made of heavy rope.

I vaguely remember some steel or wood kegs of full barrel size. The bars around the University preferred those: they sold a lot of tap beer! I did handle those 31 gallon steel kegs( about 310 pounds), when I was older.

Best Regards,  Clay Bossart



I can't tell you how much I enjoyed your online presentation of the Fauerbach Brewery history. 
One of my brothers found the web site and sent me an email.  My Father worked for the Fauerbach Brewery all of his adult life.  I have only one picture of him at work so your web site is very informative and interesting.  I remember him telling us about the ice harvesting and I believe the practice was later followed by the Oscar Mayer Co. who provided the ice for the toboggan slide at Olbrich Park on Lake Monona.  I also remember my husband researching ice boating when he became interested in it in the late 1960s.  Apparently the Fauerbach Princess was quite famous.  My Father's name was Odillo Joseph Schroeder (O.J.) and he remained with the Pepsi bottling franchise after the close of the brewery and worked till he was 75 in 1980.  He was always very proud of his employment at Fauerbach and as a teenagers we were very 'cool' having a dad working at Fauerbach Brewery.  Thank you, your work on this web site is very much appreciated.

Joy Beck





I remember one time (I was 13) my friends and I climbed up to the roof of the brewery from the elevator shaft roof and we were caught by Karl Fauerbach.  Karl made us come off the roof and explained to us that there was very high voltage power lines up there and we could be killed.  He did not call the police, instead he gave us all a 12 pack of Pepsi from the place next door.  Or was it an 8 pack? I remember Karl and one other person who also had the same last name but can't recall his first name.  But I do remember a guy named Rusty who had this very cool wooden boat with an inboard engine. It sounded great.  He used it to get back and forth from his home on the lakes somewhere.  He worked on ground level in the back of the Brewery. I was kicked off the property many times too.  But I loved going into the Pepsi plant when they were bottling it.  It was so good out of those bottles.  Never has been the same since they went to cans. Never got any beer though, didn't like it then and still don't.  But Pepsi, that's a different story.
I also remember the guy who had the boathouse next door.  His last name was White.

Inside the brewery was the best looking place to get a beer that I ever saw.  Even though I never got a chance to do that. I miss the old place.  It sure was fun to fish there too.  I lived where the Elks club is standing now. I went to Central High school. Say "Hi" to Karl and ask him if he remembers us kids on the roof. Thanks for the web site.  Brings back good memories.
Larry Goad

Peter -

It was good to see your new website and view the images. I sure hope more images are forthcoming in the near future. Will keep checking your site to see. In 1957 your grandfather Karl hired me to work for the brewery but as a Pepsi Cola route salesman. I worked there for 18 years and made many good friends and have many fond memories. One thing that just came to mind was a sign your grandfather had posted in the drivers' check-in room. In order to understand the purpose and thought behind the sign,, it is important to be reminded that the brewmaster (then "Prib", Karl's oldest son) put all the short fills in a cooler in the old bar room every day and they were there for the taking for all employees  whenever one had the urge for a beer. Many of us answered that urge with great frequency. Anyway this practice prompted your grandfather to post the following sign upstairs in the drivers check in room: 

Sign posted in the beer truck drivers' check-in room

"Regarding the free short-fills for the employees...........

Nobody would criticize a person for wanting a little eye opener first thing in the morning.

And a mid-morning break with a cold one is always a nice picker upper.

And certainly the noon lunch tastes better when accompanied by a couple cold CB's.

Then at mid-afternoon for your break a beer or two always goes good.

And certainly at the end of a hard day's work you have earned the right to a couple before leaving for home.

But this damn constant sip, sip, sip all day long has got to come to a halt !!"

Karl Fauerbach


Your great-uncle Dr. Louie was the last to run the Brewery as I remember. Your other great-uncle Bill worked in the office. They and your grandfather were all fine men.  I count it as a privilege to have known them. It is a shame that great building had to come down.  One can only imagine what an attraction it would be today with all it's ornate furnishings. What a spot it would have been for a micro-brewery, pub and restaurant !

Thanks for putting up such a nice tribute to your family and a great part of Madison's history.

 Don Frye


 Peter -

 I am glad to hear you got a chuckle from the text of your grandpa's sign. Looking back a couple other memories come to mind. One is the gigantic urinals in the men's room off the bar room. They sure don't make them like that any more. You probably remember those, don't you ? Plus the beer taps on the giant keg behind the bar. And that beautiful mahogany bar. Perry Hibma ran a small marina just a ways down from the Brewery and when he thought the bar needed refinishing he would come by and sand it down and give it multiple coats of marine-grade varnish. Of course he could drink all the free CB he wanted from the short-fill cooler while he worked. So it seemed to need refinishing quite frequently!

Your grandfather had a maintenance man whose name was Roy Schott. He and your grandfather had a pretty close relationship. But old Roy had a bit of a downfall. 

He liked to drink a little. (OK, old Roy liked to drink a lot.) And when he did he often became emboldened to the degree that he would give your grandfather a piece of his mind and summarily tell him just what he thought of him....in which wasn't always in the kindest manner. Your grandfather would then fire him on the spot. But old Roy would always show up for work the next day anyway and your grandfather would always re-hire him. This was a regular ritual and went on for years and was a source of amusement to us all. 

Your website mentions the ice-boating. It was your great uncle Bill that was the ice boater back then, wasn't it ?  And if memory serves me, your grandfather had two sons...Karl Jr. who we knew as "Prib" and Donald whose nickname was "Louie". 

Another memory is the Fauerbach Cherokee Marsh cottage. We would have summer events there and make steaks on the big outdoor fireplace with the big steel grill built right into the masonry work. That was before there were Weber-type and gas grills. Those were great times and great T-bones !! And I seem to recall that one or more of the rooms of the Fauerbach cottage had oak paneling the was salvaged from the old Brewery beer vats when they were replaced with the more "modern" copper ones. Does your family still have that cottage? (Today the property is a Madison City Park. The Cottage is the Caretaker's home.) 

Saturdays were not usually a work day. But some of us would come in anyway. There would always be plenty of ring baloney sliced up on the bar along with crackers, Dusseldorf mustard and of course CB beer. Other regulars that would drop by for this breakfast ritual included Don Schmidt from channel 15, Ardun Pope from the Dane County sheriff along with any number of off-duty Dane County police officers. It was a nice way to get together with a great bunch of good guys. 

Best regards, Don  Frye


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