Then and Now: Schade Brewery

MONDAY, JULY 1, 2013

The Schade Brewery was among several to open around the turn of the 20th century to slake the thirst of working men in Spokane. German immigrant Bernhardt Schade arrived in 1892 and began working for other brewers and dreaming of his own business. His building, with architectural features from his homeland, opened in 1903, even as the temperance movement was growing in influence. Groups like the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and the Anti-Saloon League lobbied for abstinence over the next 15 years. Groups argued that alcohol led to domestic violence, child neglect, prostitution and unemployment. And the nation, assisted in part by anti-German sentiment from World War I, passed the 18th Amendment prohibiting the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages, effective Jan. 16, 1920. Overnight, Spokane’s grand breweries were shuttered or turned to making soda pop and nonalcoholic beers. Schade was devastated to watch his dream die, and he took his own life in 1921. During the Depression, the building was used as a homeless shelter and soup kitchen. After Prohibition was repealed in 1933, the building became the Golden Age Brewery and later Bohemian Breweries until 1957. It passed through several owners before it was purchased by an investment group and converted into office space. It is now called Schade Towers. – Jesse Tinsley

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