Established in 1874, the Bosch Brewing Company’s beer was an Upper Peninsula favorite for as long as it was open. Over the years the company changed its name two times; had branches in Hancock, Calumet, Ishpeming, Eagle Harbor, Baraga and Houghton; produced three different kinds of beer; and in its peak made 100,000 barrels of beer a year. Although the first brewery did well, there were many hard times for the company.
The first brewery, named the Torch Lake Brewery, was constructed in the Calumet area and was a favorite spot of the copper miners in the area. Their strong support helped establish the company and allowed it to grow and expand. Unfortunately, in 1887, a fire destroyed the brewery and much of the surrounding town.
An insurance policy taken out on the building was large enough to rebuild the facility. From that point, the company steadily grew until 1919 when prohibition swept across the nation and the company was forced to close.
The company’s breweries were able to reopen in 1933 when prohibition was finally repealed. It again had very good success and growth for a number of years, reaching its peak production in 1955. After five more good years, sales began to decline and the Bosch family sold the company to local investors.
The investors updated facilities and expanded the line of beers available. They had decent success until the 1970s. Unable to compete with the larger breweries in Detroit, St. Louis and Milwaukee, the company delivered its last keg of beer in September of 1973. The trademarks were sold to a Wisconsin brewery, but the Bosch line was eventually discontinued.
These cans are a small example of the different kinds of cans produced by the company over the years. The premium beer can has the company’s tag line, “from the Sportsman’s Paradise.” These items are currently in storage, off display.
Written by Stephen Glover of the BHC