Unlike many of the other breweries in Saginaw that started out a small independently owned brewery, Banner started out in 1901 with investors that build a large brewery on the corner of Genesee and Pheolon. The firm of Houtteman and Cramer from Detroit built a state of the art brewery for a cost of $100,000, an enormous amount of money at the time. The brewery would ship out 25,000 barrels of beer annually and was brewed in a 135 barrel copper kettle. The brewery operated for several years and was a well know brand in mid-Michigan, but like all the breweries, it was shut down for Prohibition. They tried selling non-alcoholic beverages, and then supplies under the name Michigan Bud Products Co. but eventually closed. Areo Cushion Tire and Rubber Co. used the building for a short period too.
Eventually Prohibition ended and investors re-opened Banner Brewery again in 1934 and hired Fritz Goebel as brew-master. (His family started Goebel’s brewery in Detroit which was purchased by Strohs Brewery) They had ambitions plans and spent $600,000 updating the facility with the best equipment, because of the time it to to raise the funds, the big Detroit breweries had already started shipping beer to Saginaw and it was difficult for Banner to sell enough beer to pay the debts they encored. Ultimately everything was sold off to pay the creditors.
You can still see the old brewery building since Hays Specialties owns it now, so next time you drive down Genesee and you see that enormous dark red building, maybe you will think of the thousands of barrels of beer that came out the old brewery.
Get Email updates