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It is thought that the recipe for Berghoff Beer originated in 1845 in the country of Germany. Here is what I can tell you.

berghoff brewery 2

The Berghoff family which consisted of four brothers Herman, Henry, Hubert and Gustav all were from Dortmund (Prussia) Germany. They would immigrate to Brooklyn, New York in the early 1870s. By 1882 Herman and Henry purchased the East End Bottling Works which was located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The time line of this company was from 1882 to 1887.

Herman and Henry would have a new building built. This company was called the H. Berghoff Brewing Company and was incorporated in 1887. This Brewing building was destroyed by a fire just shortly after it opened in 1888. The two brothers immediately built another building. Below are photos of a H. Berghoff Brewing Co. Ft. Wayne, Ind. beer bottle.

berghoff 1.berghoff 5

Below is a article which was placed in the Fort wayne Sentinel Newspaper in Aug. 13 1890.

"The Berghoff Brewery Will Have a $100,000 Addition Herman Berghoff, after whom the immense brewing plant is named, left for Chicago this afternoon to accept the plans of a prominent architect there for an addition of 50x170 feet to the Berghoff Brewery. The new addition will be used for beer vault. An ice machine additional to the one already in operation at the brewery will be purchased to supply the new storage house. The work is to to completed by March 1, 1891."

By 1889 the company had a name change and was now called the Berghoff Brewing Company. The company flourished and in 1892 the Berghoff Brewing Company was even being displayed at the 1892 Chicago World Fair. By 1898 Herman moved to Chicago and opened the Berghoff Cafa (restaurant). Below are photos of a Berghoff Brewing Co. Fort Wayne, Ind. beer bottle.

berghoff 3.berghoff 4

The company would have another name change in 1910 when Hubert Berghoff retired. Brother Gustav Berghoff would now become president of the company and the name changed to Berghoff Brewing Association. By 1917 the plant's capacity was over 180,000 barrels and was the largest shippers on the Nichol Plate Railroad. At the beginning of W. W. 1 the company changed their slogan from "A Real German Brew" to "A Real Honest Brew. The company continued the name Berghoff Brewing Association until 1918.

In 1918 the beginning of prohibition would mean no more brewing of beer. So the company was bottling Nearbeer, Bergo Soda and Berghoff MFG.CO. untill 1933 the end of prohibition. Below is a photo of a Berghoff Products MFG.CO. Ft. Wayne, Ind.

berghoff 2.berghoff 6

berghoff trade card

Once prohibition was repealed the company was reorganized with no family members being involved with the company. Gustav son's left to start the Hoff Brewing Company in 1934. Now the company would be called the Berghoff Brewing Corp. and remained this name untill the company was sold to Falstaff in April 12 1954. Below are Berghoff beer bottles and a wood box from after prohibition.

berghoff cap bottles.Courtesy of Hoosier Beer.

berghoff box 1.berghoff box 2


berghoff 1898 cafa.Courtesy of
Berghoff Cafa Chicago 1898

In 1898 Herman Berghoff moved to Chicago and opened the Berghoff Cafa. The cafa was located at 17 West Adams Street. In the beginning the cafa would offer a glass of Berghoff Dortmunded Style Beer for a nichol. A stein full would cost a dime and there was no charge for sandwiches. During the prohibition years the cafa would offer the Berghoff Company's Nearbeer, Bergo Soda and Berghoff Malt Tonic. The Cafa (Restaurant) stayed open until 2005 and then reopened in 2009. Below is a pack of vintage matches and a Berghoff Cafa sign.

berghoff match.berghoff cafa

berghoff restaurant

Above is a photo of the current sign.

The Berghoff Restaurant in Chicago from 1960 to 2005 had Berghoff brewed for it by the Joseph Huber Brewing Company from Monreo, WI. The name was sold to Walter Brewing in Pueblo, CO. then to Huber in 1994.

Below are some other Berghoff related items.

berghoff opener.berghoff tray 1

berghoff cone top.berghoff truck.berghoff can
Early cone top .......................................................1953 flat top
berghoff mini.Small 4 inch bottles


Fort Wayne Sentinel Aug. 13 1890.

Frank & Frank Jr.(Wicker) Bottle & Paper Collection.

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