As I write, preparations are being made to demolish another Stock House, one of three buildings on the South Campus scheduled to fall before there is more talk of reuse. The second-oldest building in the complex, the 1883 Power House, is also expected to fall. Plans for the future of Hamm’s include, (a) a beautiful orange-brick redeveloped turn-of-the-century brewhouse, or (b) an empty abandoned lot.
Your call, St. Paul.
Shortly after the former delivery wagon shed was arsoned in 2005. A turning point in the story of Hamms’ abandonment.
A late look at the brewhouse, long after the stainless steel tanks were scrapped.
On the second floor of the former carpentry shop, originally the delivery wagon shed.
I loved to spend time in the Hamm’s caves in my teen years. It was cold, wet, but it felt familiar and had its share of surprises.
The scale of the grain hoppers helps tell the story of how large Hamm’s was in its day.
Looking from the brewhouse at the death of its sister building, across Minnehaha.
Watching the demolition of one stockhouse from another. The two cranes were removing steel storage tanks.
Note that the back of Stockhouse #4 is missing. A year later, Fermentation was on the ground too.
The chalkboard in the filtering plant reminds new visitors of the last day.
2005. Flavored beers are still popular. The flavor concentrates were stored in this bank of fridges.
2011. Flavored beers are still popular. The flavor concentrates were stored in this bank of fridges.
The cold air collided with the sun-warmed water on the floor, filling the ground floor of the Keg House with thick fog…
Giant ingredient hoppers stand on a concrete floor covered in peeled paint.
Glazed-brick walls catch the reflections of half an arch, backlighting the cool curving staircase. It’s all custom, baby.
At the bottom of the stairs to the caves is this collection of brick arches. I wonder what this area looks like now that a new tenant has taken over this building.
A close-up look at the distressed, but beautiful, staircase in the brewhouse.
2005. Looking at the brewhouse from the top of the staircase the goes to the tunnels.
Looking through the old brewhouse toward the Keg Wash House.
This chair burned in the 2005 arson that gutted this building, which is the oldest on the property.
This door led to a now-demolished skyway crossing Minnehaha Ave connecting the brewhouse to Fermentation, also demolished.
This building is now being used to grow fish.
2005. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
2010. A skyway connecting two Which tube carried the beer? I hope it’s the big one!
Even without the kettles the Hamm’s brewhouse is beautifully lit, ornamented architecturally and begging for photographers to remember it.
The grain-centric buildings had automatic fire doors.
The Hamm-stenciled chairs are all destroyed as far as I know, now, as are the custom ladders built in-house for the company. Taken between the Filter House and Keg Wash House.
A matrix panorama of the brewhouse staircase, post-scrapping. So pretty…
A simple porcelain fountain in the original brewhouse. The water fountain, no doubt, is not original.
There were three main stockhouses, two of which still exist, that are filled with tanks like these in addition to Fermentation. Each tank is the size of the city bus and few are left after the 2008-2009 scrapings.
My favorite time to be in the brewery was sunrise. That’s the kind of light that made the brewhouse glow.
Hoverson, Doug. Land of Amber Waters: The History of Brewing in Minnesota. Minnepolis: Minneapolis, 2007.
Johnson, B. (2011, April 22). On tap: more wrecking balls at hamm’s site. Finance & Commerce. Retrieved from http://finance-commerce.com/2011/04/on-tap-more-wrecking-balls-at-hamms-site/
United States Brewers' Association. (1899). Brewing operations. American brewers' review, 12, 415. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=Xn5PAAAAYAAJ
Warner, C., Foote, C., & Neille, E. (1881). History of ramsey county and the city of st. paul. (p. 537). North Star Pub. Co. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=YUEVAAAAYAAJ
Yenne, B. (2004). Great american beers: Twelve brands that became icons. Voyageur Press. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=XaEfHBz2uaYC