Kessler Brewing Company

Nickolas Kessler
Read His Obituary


The Kessler Brewery, as Engraved for an 1890 Perspective Map of Helena


The Kessler Brewing Company was located just west of todays' Spring Meadow Lake. It operated from 1865 to 1958. From 1984 to 2000, a Helena micro-brewery operated under the Kessler name, but their product was brewed in town, not at the old brewery.

What would become the Kessler Brewing Company was founded in 1865 by Charles Beeher. In 1868, Beeher was bought out by Luxembourg-born Nickolas Kessler, an entrepreneur who had turned from gold prospecting to trade and manufacturing.

Kessler soon started a brickyard near the brewery, and in this way helped to build the city of Helena. By all accounts, Kessler was an exceptionally friendly and honest man, and his death was widely mourned. Kessler School, one-third mile SE of the old brewery, is named for him.

Helena's world-reknowned Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts had its beginning in Kessler's brickyard. Click here for the story, courtesy of the State of Montana's website.

Kessler Brewery, ca 1890


Kessler Beer Delivery Wagon



Two handsome Kessler Brewing Co. Advertising bar trays, circa 1900

Kessler Loreli Beer Advertising Ashtray, Date Unknown


Kessler Bavarian Beer Label, Date Unknown



Kessler Muenchener Kindl Beer label, date unknown



Kessler's Brewery Letterhead Design



Kessler Brewing Co. workers, ca. 1880

1935 Earthquake Deaths at the Brewery

After the Collapse

Vincent Kennedy and Ed O'Brien were killed by an earthquake on October 31, 1935 as they worked to repair the damaged brick stack seen here. Kennedy and O'Brien had come to Helena with a crew of brick masons from Salt Lake City, and were rooming at 118 North Warren.

The chimney had been badly cracked by a previous quake, and the two men were removing all the bricks from the top down to the start of the crack. They had just reached the place where the crack began when another severe earthquake occured. Much of the remaining stack collapsed, and the two men hit the ground in a cascade of falling brick. O'Brien died at the scene, Kennedy died a short time later at St. Peter's Hospital.

1940s Aerial View of the Kessler Brewery



Local 1950 Newspaper Ad


Kessler "Cone Top" Can, 1950s


Kessler Brewing Co. matchbooks, 1950s



Brewery Closes, 1958


In 2001, the 1860s Kessler mansion adjacent to the brewery was heavily damaged by fire. It was caused by a child playing with fireworks the barn, which was also destroyed.



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