DescriptionThe Grand Rapids Brewing Company was formed in 1893 by the merger of 6 local Grand Rapids breweries. They consolidated in order to remain competitive with national breweries like Anheuser-Busch of St. Louis which, thanks to the innovations of pasteurization and refrigerated rail cars, had begun shipping their beer across the country and into Grand Rapids.
In 1895 the new brewery opened at the corner of Michigan and Ionia, adjacent to the spot where the Kusterer's City Brewery had been located since 1849. The Grand Rapids Brewing Company building was an impressive architectural monument based on a Rhineland castle. With an annual capacity of 300,000 barrels, the new facility was the easily the largest brewery in Grand Rapids.
With Prohibition set to go in to effect in 1918, the Grand Rapids Brewing Company ceased its beer brewing operations and changed its name to the Grand Rapids Products Company, and tried to make a go of it selling soda pop and industrial alcohols.