Iconic Green River Building Recognized During Historic Preservation Month

18 historic structures have been recognized in Wyoming for Historic Preservation Month. (Photo credit to the Sweetwater County Historical Museum)

Sweetwater County, WY (5/11/19) – An iconic Green River landmark has been chosen as one of 18 historic structures in Wyoming being recognized during Historic Preservation Month, (May 2019), by the Wyoming Business Council and the Alliance for Historic Wyoming.​

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Records at the Sweetwater County Historical Museum in Green River show that construction began on what is now The Brewery, at 50 West Railroad in Green River, in 1899 when Hugo Gaensslen tore down his old Hugo Gaensslen Brewery and built a massive new structure of native sandstone, complete with the towers and turrets of the Rhine River castles he remembered from his boyhood in Germany. The new operation was christened “The Sweetwater Brewery.”​

The original Sweetwater Brewery in its heyday. Over time, the engine house and brew house were removed. (Photo credit to the Sweetwater County Historical Museum)

Completed in 1900, the Sweetwater Brewery was a going concern for nearly 20 years, employing between 30 and 40 workers and producing a beer good enough to win bronze and silver medals at the World’s Fair in 1904 and 1905.​

In 1919, Prohibition brought an end to the brewing operation, and the Sweetwater Brewery began producing soft drinks and “near beer” as the Sweetwater Beverage Company. ​

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The business closed its doors when Gaensslen died in 1931 and, though Prohibition was repealed in 1933, his brewery never really recovered.​

The building housed a number of different businesses over the decades that followed – including a plumbing shop and a laundry – until it became The Brewery.​


The Brewery as it appears today.​ (Photo credit to the Sweetwater County Historical Museum)

​Other Wyoming buildings recognized for Historic Preservation month include the Mountain View Historic Hotel & Cafe in Centennial and the Lander Bake Shop in Lander.​

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