Brewery Historic District

Seventeen-year-old Julius Lehrkind fled compulsory service in the German militia by stowing away on a ship bound for America in 1860. Already having served as a brewmaster's apprentice, Lehrkind easily found employment. Eight years later, a sizable inheritance enabled Julius and his brother, Fred, to establish their own brewery in Davenport, Iowa. When both Fred and his wife died unexpectedly, Julius added their four children to his own six, sold the Iowa brewery, and headed for Montana. High quality water and plentiful barley grown by Dutch settlers near Manhattan brought his large extended family and crew of brewery workers to Bozeman in 1895. Under Julius' direction, the brewery was operating by the end of the year. Julius built his Queen Anne style residence in 1898, and his nephew and son followed suit building their own modest homes adjacent to the family mansion in 1908 and 1912. As brewing technology improved and world lager production tripled, the Bozeman Brewery prospered turning out 40,000 barrels of beer annually and distributing malted barley to breweries statewide. Prohibition, however, curtailed brewing operations in 1919 and was said to have broken Julius' heart. He died several years later. In 1925, grandson Carl Lehrkind opened a bottling plant for soft drink production across the street. The brewery then served as an ice plant and warehouse, and later as a creamery. Despite removal of the malt house and an addition built in 1948, the original function of the main building remains obvious. The brewery, bottling plant, and attendant residences recall the Old World family business traditions Julius Lehrkind carried to Montana and passed to two generations.



700-800 North Wallace Avenue, Bozeman, Montana ~ Private