West Side: Yoerg's Heritage

Tour curated by: Special thanks to author Paul Nelson

Anthony Yoerg (1816 – 1896) came to St. Paul from the little town of Gundelfingen, Bavaria in 1848. St. Paul was still a village then, and the big German migration to Minnesota was just beginning. He opened the state's first brewery, near where the Science Museum stands today, in 1849. In 1870 the Yoergs moved across the river to the West Side and built a new brewery at the base of the bluff, and dug five caves into the soft sandstone; the caves offered cool and stable temperatures for storage.

Locations for Tour

The West Side of St. Paul originally got it's name not from the fact that it sits west of St. Paul, but because at this point of the river, the Mississippi bends from its north-south bearing, to an east-west, placing the West Side on the left or…

After the Yoergs built their new brewery in 1870, It did not take long for competitors to show up: Brueggeman, Banholzer, Stahlman, Schmidt, and Hamm. The last two grew giant, with Schmidt's castle-like complex southwest of city center, along…

A few houses down on West Isabel is another French Second Empire home Yoerg Sr. built for his son, Anthony Junior, who followed him in the beer business. The other sons, Louis and Frank, did so too. The young Anthony turned out to be the most worldly…

Directly below the Yoerg residences, nestled into the bluff at Ohio Street, was his brewery, which was lost to a fire in 1958. Follow Isabel Street west to Ohio; there you will see an outcropping of the limestone upon which much of St. Paul is built.…