A brewery is supposed to be a place of great joy, bringing the tastes and expertise of the master brewer to the public. Some breweries offer tours and tastings, some bottle their product for the great folks nearby to enjoy after a long day of work. This brewery, however, has a dark and haunted past. Deaths of employees and the specters of their remaining energy are rife throughout the haunted Schmidt Brewery in St. Paul, Minnesota. Today, we explore that dark and tragic history on Ghost to Coast.
Today, the building that was once the brewery is having new life breathed into it with artist lofts and a new business taking over the location and brewing their own concoctions, but the history of the building is hard to escape.
Built in 1855, the Schmidt Brewery building has been a staple of the St. Paul historic neighborhood for over 160 years. By 1860, it was considered the largest brewery in Minnesota, producing thousands of barrels. That’s when the St. Paul Brewery was renamed to the Schmidt Brewery, after a man named Jacob Schmidt
Prohibition shut down many breweries, but the Schmidt brewery continued by making non-alcoholic beverages during the era. It changed hands several times between 1947 and the 1980s, with a new purchaser in 1991 beginning the production of a wildly unpopular beer, Landmark, named for a prominent building in St. Paul. The beer did not sell well and by the end of the 20th century, the building was abandoned and unoccupied.
In 2012, a real estate development company turned several of the buildings on the property into artist lofts, with the original keg shop being turned into a market with several microbrews for sale, just feet from the macro brewing facilities in disrepair.
The hauntings of the building began to be noted pretty much immediately after it opened its doors. Several workers on the floor of the brewery met untimely ends, including a man who fell down an unmarked elevator shaft while working, meeting his death at the bottom of the shaft.
Another man was said to have accidentally set himself on fire by getting kerosine on his work uniform and being unable to put the fire out himself. The man died, and it’s said that his spirit still lives on in the buildings of the brewery. Occasionally, visitors will report eerie feelings and strange sounds, including the smell of burning kerosene even when the building has been electrified and not needing kerosine lamps for light for a century.
Outside of a few reports, no full paranormal investigation has been held in the many outbuildings and main structures of the brewery, but those who live in the loft apartments have reported strange activity, like doors unlocking themselves, lights flickering, and strange noises and smells in the hallways and elevators.
This brewery may have new life, but the old death holds onto the reigns tightly, reminding those in the buildings that the bloody brewing past still leaves echos among the hallways and brewing floors.
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Born in Death Valley and raised on the prairie, Deborah is a Wyoming-based paranormal researcher and a senior at the University of Wyoming, studying Communication. Her interests lie in folklore, history, rhetorical analysis and research. With an obvious love for ghost stories, frequently those interests combine with her work on Ghostlandia.