This castle like office building is located at the intersection of Meeske Street and US 41 in Marquette, Michigan. Built in the 1890s, the structure served as the home and office of brewer Charles Meeske, secretary-treasurer and later president of the Upper Peninsula Brewing Company. The building originally had a tunnel leading to the brewery, allowing Meeske to ignore a law prohibiting a person from entering a brewery after sundown.
In the 1890s, Meeske built a bottling plant with a complex of sandstone buildings, constructed to resemble small castles which included warehouses, residences, a tower, and a bottling plant. In 1895, the brewery had a production capacity of between 20,000 and 25,000 barrels per year, sold under the name of Drei Kaiser (Three Kings) beer. With the onset of World War I in 1913, the name was changed to “Castle Brew.”
Local prohibition groups pressured Marquette County to enact dry ordinances in 1916, four years before the beginning of country-wide Prohibition. When these ordinances were passed, the Upper Peninsula Brewing Company ended its beer production and went out of business,and Meeske moved to Duluth, Minnesota.
After the Upper Peninsula Brewing Company folded most of the buildings were eventually abandoned and fell into disrepair. Meeske’s office building was more heavily utilized, serving as a rock shop, a law firm, and an antique shop. In 1974 and 1975 most of the buildings were demolished saving only the office building. In 1982 the structure was purchased by Humboldt Ridge and restored. The building is currently home to the Marquette law firm Pence & Numinen, P.C.
A new brewery with the name Upper Peninsula Brewing Company now operates in the nearby town of Negaunee.
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