Then and Now

Schade Brewery

The 1903 Schade Brewery was one of several that popped up around the turn of the twentieth 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.


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The 1903 Schade Brewery was one of several that popped up around the turn of the twentieth 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 Womens 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 WWI, passed the 18th Amendment to the constitution, 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 non-alcoholic beers. Schade was devastated to watch his dream die. Watching the business decline, Schade killed himself in 1921. During the Depression, the building was used as a homeless shelter and soup kitchen. After Prohibition was repealed in 1933, Schade’s building became the Golden Age Brewery and later Bohemian Breweries until 1957. In various states of disrepair, it passed through several owners before it was purchased by an investment group and converted to office space. It is now called Schade Towers.


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