Thieme & Wagner Brewing Co. is a nano-brewery run by David Thieme the great-great-great grandson of Frederick A Thieme, the founder. Their brewhouse currently produces the original recipe of the initial brewery’s Bock beer. They produce many classic styles that come to light in a very drinkable fashion. Additionally, they use their expertise to create their versions of many modern favorites such as sours, and heavy-hitting IPAs.
1863– The Thieme & Wagner Brewery is founded by Frederick A Thieme and John H Wagner, both German immigrants. The plot is located downtown Lafayette, on the corner of 4th and Union streets. Frederick A Thieme having ties with the German beer industry, takes numerous trips to Germany to purchase a multitude of state-of-the-art equipment. Production starts to take off; Ye Tavern brew is their most popular beer.
1889– Taking notice of such a beautiful brewery, Perry Randall, a well-known lawyer, and business tycoon, offers the German duo one million dollars for the brewery, which they decline. By 1894 the Brewery complex is a titan of industry, one of the most advanced In the United States. Annual production is over 30,000 barrels of beer.
1904- John Wagner and Frederick A Thieme have passed away. J Henry and John Wagner Jr. are now in control. They live up to their fathers’ examples quite nicely, continually expanding their reach. Four years later J Henry dies unexpectedly, and the vice-presidency is thrust upon Frederick P Thieme who is seemingly unprepared. But relying on the family values instilled in him, he helps move the brewery to one of Indiana’s largest to date.
1909– William Haas is promoted to Brewmaster. His trade book was kept by the Thieme family and passed on through the generations to David. David would later use this notebook to research the Haas family and find William’s great-granddaughter Bonnie, who would share with him the brewing notebook of William Haas, containing Thieme & Wagner’s brewing procedures as well as the recipe for the coveted Bock Brew.
1918– Frederick P Thieme is now the brewery’s sole president, with a national prohibition to take effect in just one year Indiana enacts its own statewide prohibition. The brewery reforms as the National Fruit Juice Company. They sell a sparkling apple juice called Apella and a “near beer” called Yette Brew. They carry on for a few good years refusing to lay off a single employee. In 1923 there is a bad frost in Washington that kills a good chunk of their apple crop. This loss, combined with the explosion of the bootlegging industry forces the company to sell out. $200,000 is the final selling price. Despite the loss and disappointment, Frederick P Thieme makes the difficult, yet noble decision to pay back all the creditors to the brewery, meaning the family would walk away with only a few thousand dollars.
2018 – 100 years to the day of Indiana’s statewide prohibition, David set up his brewing equipment at their main street location; ensuring that his family’s legacy would live on.