The Lake Stop Brewing Company was founded in Muskegon, Michigan in 1847.
Hanoverian Master Brewers R. Oosterbaan and J. Van Buskirk were recent arrivals in Michigan, having made the arduous transatlantic journey to New York City the year before in a Clipper ship. The two men taking turns every half hour dipping frigid Atlantic Ocean water to keep cold the original slurry of pure Lager yeast.
Once in the United States, the two brewers set about in earnest researching the best location for their new venture. Abundant fresh water was an absolute requirement, as was a natural underground cave system to be used for lagering cellars.
The decision was made on the Great Lakes region because of the large number of German immigrants heading to Michigan for work in the lumber trade – the two men knowing full well the copious amounts of ale lumberjacks need to survive!
Oosterbaan and Van Buskirk found the perfect location in what is now the Pere Marquette Park in Muskegon and the brewery prospered immediately from the burgeoning lumber and shipping businesses at the terminus of the Muskegon River at Lake Michigan.
The Original Great Lakes Lager Beer
Lake Stop established the Kölsch style and was one of the pioneers of Lager brewing in America. Lake Stop Lager was shipped throughout the Great Lakes region by 1850 and, as you can imagine, had a profound influence on the likes of Bernhard Stroh, Joseph Schlitz and many others.
Lake Stop Brewing Company had its best year in 1859, selling nearly 38,000 barrels of Lager, Kölsch and Altbier to the thirsty citizens of the newly formed Muskegon County.
However, the good times would not last forever. Change was coming to our country and Lake Stop Brewing Company would not be immune.
By 1863 Lake Stop Brewing Company ceased to exist, the bulk of the company’s skilled workforce marching to Gettysburg with Brigadier General Custer and the Michigan Brigade Wolverines. Also lost to history were founders Oosterbaan and Van Buskirk, whose last known whereabouts are unknown.
Lake Stop Lager is Back!
After a nearly 155 year hiatus, the historic beers of Lake Stop Brewing Company are being brought back to life. The recipes of Lake Stop Lager, Lake Stop Kölsch and Lake Stop Altbier were recently discovered in an underground vault at the old Continental Motors site.
For more information on the Lake Stop Brewing Company, visit LakeStop.com.