Kiewel Brewing Company

was founded by Prussian-born Jacob Kiewel who, with his parents, emigrated to the United States in 1856. By 1885, after trying his hand at farming, selling meat, and running a hotel, he finally decided to open a brewery in Fergus Falls. Eight years later, the brewery burned to the ground and Jacob moved his family to Little Falls, where he purchased Peter Medved's operation and enlarged it. In 1906 the name of the business was changed to the Kiewel Brewing Company.

Jacob Kiewel operated this brewery until Prohibition, when he converted it into a creamery. Unfortunately, this enterprise failed, but he opened breweries in Winnipeg and Toronto. (The Little Falls brewery would again brew beer after Prohibition, but Jacob would not live to see it--he died in 1928.)

All of Jacob's sons had a hand in the business (Jacob would die in 1928). One son, Joseph (born in 1880), was brewmaster as late as 1952, the year that he died. Frank (born in 1882), was secretary, treasurer and general manager when he died in 1953. Jacob's oldest son, Charles (1876-1969), operated the Canadian concerns, as well as a brewery in Crookston, which had been purchased in 1899. (All three were sold off or closed down during the Depression.) Charles also served as president and chairman of the Minneapolis Brewing Co. for a time in the 1950s, and may have been the driving force behind that company's purchase of the Kiewel operation in 1959.