Boroughs of Millvale & Etna

July 16, 2017 Revised August 18, 2019

Prior to Millvale taking its current name, it was referred to as Bennett PO, for Bennett Post Office, and Bennett Station, for the rail station. An Act of Assembly incorporated Millvale Borough on February 13, 1868. Part of Duquesne Borough and part of Shaler Township were taken for the creation of Millvale Borough.

This page is in four parts: Bauerlien, Willow Grove and Others, followed by Etna

Bauerlein Star Brewery
Evergreen Road at E Ohio Street (End of ramp of Route 28 South, Millvale Exit)

Star Brewery (AKA Bennett Star Brewery)
Owner: C Bauerlein
Operated under this name from before 1868 to 1897
Historical records have Adam Bauerlein of the Strip District in Pittsburgh building this brewery and giving it its name. Adam was the owner of the Fifth Ward Lager Beer Brewery and father to Christian Bauerlein. Christian was brewing at 17
th and Quarry in Pittsburgh’s Strip District until the early 1860’s. American Brewers’ Review reported on Christian’s death in 1907. The Review mentioned Adam being the founder of the Star Brewery but did not say if the brewery was in Millvale or Pittsburgh.

Evergreen Plank Road at Butler Plank Road in Shaler Township
Butler Plank Road became Ohio Blvd. and State Route 28
The general area was known as Bennett Post Office and Bennett Station
The brewery had a plant on each side of Evergreen in which the brew house was on the Shaler side and the Millvale side had the bottling equipment, repair shop and ice machines. This is shown on the Sanborn Fire Insurance maps but not on Hopkins. Hopkins 1906 Atlas, Plate 19 shows this brewery. American Brewers Review, Volume 14 (1901) reported that Bauerlein built a five-story storage house and other structures.

The brewery had the following transformations according to various sources:
C. Bauerlein Bro. & Co., Star Brewery 1868-1888 as shown on 1872 Atlas, Plate 118.
The 1886 Atlas, Plate 8 C. Bauerlein, Star Brewery.
Bauerlein Brewing Co. 1888-1898.
The 1897 Atlas, Plate 19 shows the Bauerlein Brewing Co.
Pittsburgh Pure Beer Brewing Co. 1898-1899.
Records in the Pa. Department of State (published in 1903) show Pittsburgh Pure was in business in 1897, 1898 and 1899.
Pittsburgh Brewing Co., Bauerlein Brewery 1899-1920.
The 1906 Hokins Atlas, Plate 19 shows Pittsburgh Brewing Co., Bauerlein Brewery.
The 1918 Brewer’s Handbook identified the location at Millvale Station.

Pittsburgh Post, Monday November 25, 1889 posted this notice: Physicians prescribe C. Bauerlein Brewing Company’s bottled lager to their convalescent patients in preference to any other.

Pittsburgh Post, Saturday, December 28, 1889, Page 3 mentions the beer:
The C. Bauerlein Brewing Co.'s Bottled Beer is especially recommended for luncheons or Holiday Dinners. Quarts or pints. Telephone 1018. L

Ice House Accident
A distant family member asked a question on a public forum if anyone had knowledge if an icehouse accident. The accident took place on January13, 1881 and may have involved F. George Eichler

Pittsburgh Pure Beer Brewery
Operated by the Pittsburgh Pure Beer Brewing Company from 1897 to 1899. Pennsylvania Department of State shows Pittsburgh Pure Beer Brewing Company incorporating on August 20, 1974. Obviously not the same company that operated in the early 1900’s. Pennsylvania published The Laws of the General Assembly 189 and had The Pittsburgh Pure Beer Brewing Company incorporating on August 31, 1897. The Pittsburgh Press reported on November 6, 1897, page 6, had this entry: “An application was made for the transfer of the license of the Bauerlein Brewing company at Bennett station in Etna borough, to the Pittsburg Pure Beer company. The new concern will be a reorganization of the Bauerlein Brewing company. In which several new stockholders will be admitted. The application and necessary bonds were filed”.
The Pittsburgh Pure Beer Brewing Company was listed in the 1899 Pittsburgh Directory being at 319 Telephone Building; J T Kell, president and George T. McDonald, secretary. See 1899 directory for more.

Bauerlein Brewery
Operated under this name by the Pittsburgh Brewing Company from 1899 to 1920.

A. H. Berenberge Sale
The Brewers Journal, Volume 58 (1922) reported the sale of Pittsburgh Brewing’s Bauerlein Brewery to the A H Berenberge Company for $63,000. It was then sold to Keystone Manufacturing & Sales.

Bauerlein Brewery
Brewery operations shut down by national prohibition in 1920-1933
The brewery was issued U-Permit No. PA-U-399: which allowed the resumption of brewing in 1933. Keystone Manufacturing & Sales Co., aka: Bauerlein Brewery 1933-1934. Closed in 1934

Keystone Manufacturing produced 12 ounce bottles of “High Test” beer with the label address showing Pittsburgh Millvale PO, Pa. Keystone was permitted to brew at the time as they had permit Pa-U-399 from the Federal Government.
Pittsburgh Pure Beer
Keystone Manufacturing
Keystone Manufacturing & Sales Co. incorporated on July 24, 1947 as a foreign company of the Branch of Delaware. Address Ohio Street Evergreen Rd, Millvale

The Pittsburgh Press, “
Two Breweries Are Unable to Operate.” October 21, 1934 reported that Charles B Shapiro, president of Keystone Manufacturing & Sales Co. of Millvale filed an admission of insolvency following a meeting of the board of directors. The company sought to reorganize on August 30, but abandoned the plans on October 3.

Allegheny Bottling Works
Property owner was Christian Bauerlein as shown on Hopkins 1906 Atlas Plate 20, Northern Vicinity. The lot was on Friday Street in Shaler Township.

Bauerlein Street
Hopkins Plate 20 also shows Bauerlein Street in Millvale between Mary Street and North Avenue.

1965 Brewery Fire
The five-story brewing building burned on April 28 (Tuesday), 1965, hours after the Commonwealth took title of the property. The seven-story vat room burned on Thursday the 29th. The story was reported in the North Hills Record on May 5, 1965. The buildings were to be razed for the construction of the Route 28 by-pass. The cause of each fire was undetermined.

Surviving Structure
The Stock House remains adjacent to the southbound ramp of Rt. 28. The building is owned by Pittsburgh Window and Door.

Willow Grove Brewery
E Ohio Street (Route 28 South) at Rialto Street (Elbow Street in rear)

1868 Gast Brewery
The Gast Brewery was established in 1868. The Michael Enz Brewery followed the Gerst Brewery.

Thurston’s 1868 directory shows John Gast having a brewery on Troy Hill, Reserve Township (at No. 23). He was also a director in the Coal Men’s Trust Company on Smithfield Street in Pittsburgh. Thurston’s 1870 directory had Gast, Sons & Co. brewery in Millvale. John and Valintine were brewers, which leaves me to believe that they were the sons. Hopkins 1872 Atlas for the Seventh Ward shows both Philip Gerst and John Gast having property in Troy Hill.

Charles J Andrews, Secretary of the Western Pennsylvania Brewers Association notes the American Brewing Company in
Pittsburgh the Powerful. Gerst established the brewery in 1868. I can accept the date but all of my findings point to Gerst being in error. Gerst and Gast were brewers and both had property in Allegheny, especially in the Seventh Ward on Troy Hill. But the Gerst family had a brewery on Spring Garden as well as along East Lane. Gast was the brewer in Millvale at Willow Grove

Hopkins 1872 had Jno Gast Willow Grove Brewery
Note: John Gerst d. February 3, 1932 and was buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Allegheny County.

1872 Gast Brewery
Gast Brewery (John)
Owner: John Gast
The Gast Brewery is shown on Hopkins 1872 Atlas, Plate 118. The brewery was at Butler Plank Road and Evergreen Plank Road. The 1886 Atlas, Plate 8 does not show a brewery.

Enz & Schaefer
The Enz Brewery followed the Gerst Brewery but I do not know if Schaefer was partners with Enz at the start or came later.

Willow Grove Brewery
Bottles have been produced showing Enz & Schaefer Willow Grove Brewery, Allegheny Pa.

1880 August Schneider
August Schneider was a brewer in Germany and Switzerland. He came to America on May 1, 1880, arriving in Philadelphia. Eventually he came to Millvale and was brewmaster for the Enz Brewing Company. He then founded the American Brewing Company. But after four years he went to Latrobe along with his partner Philipp Herman and founded the Loyalhanna Brewery.

1891 Bottling
Michael Enz was known to be bottling here in 1891 as it was reported in the Pittsburgh Dispatch at the time.

1893 Willow Grove Brewery
Michael Enz Brewing Company was the owner of Willow Grove in 1893 as he had an advert in a publication at the time.

Per American Brewers Review, Volume 10, 1897:
M. Enz Brewing Company, Allegheny, Pa. placed an order with the Goetz & Brada Manufacturing Company of Chicago for:
One complete brewhouse outfit, viz., 200-barrel steam brew kettle, mash tub 14 X 7 ft. including all copper connections, hop jack 12 X 10 X 7 ft. with copper false bottom, metal hopper 9 X 6 ft., beer tank 11 X 7 ft., also all galvanized iron vent pipes and copper pipe connections.

Enz & Schaefer
The Enz Brewery followed the Gerst Brewery but I do not know if Schaefer was partners with Enz at the start or came later.

Bottles have been produced showing Enz & Schaefer Willow Grove Brewery, Allegheny Pa.

Emil Gaertner was assistant brewmaster for Enz & Schafer (after 1896) at Allegheny, Pa. After 4 years he became brewmaster and remained for 4 years. He moved on to become brewmaster at Lauer Brewery in Pittsburgh but after one year he went to the Connellsville Brewery for three years.

The J H Beers & Company published
Historical and Biographical Annals of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania, Containing a Concise History of the Two Counties and a Genealogical and Biographical Record of Representative Families in 1915. They noted Gaertner being with Enz & Schafer for 4 years. That would place Gaertner with then at least until 1900. Gaertner could have stayed on with American before leaving for Lauer. Lauer was bought by Pittsburgh Brewing in 1899 and closed. This would explain why Gaertner stayed for only one year.

American Brewers’ Review (Volume 12, 1899) noted that Julius Geiselhart (Rec) succeeded M. Enz brewing & Malting Co.

Moved to this location in 1898. Mill house was built in 1900. Part of Independent Brewing Co. Sold to Fried & Reineman Packing Co. Millvale Industrial Park

American Brewing Company
Founded by August Schneider
Pittsburgh the Powerful has the American Brewing Company being under the direction of Walter Hensel and John H. Shaffer. They rebuilt the plant in 1898.

American Brewing Company
Founded by August Schneider and shown on the 1906 Hopkins Atlas, Plate 19.

The Purchase
The American Brewing Company purchased the Willow Grove Brewery in 1898. Walter Hensel and John Shaffer were with American.

American Brewery – Independent Brewing Co
The Independent Brewing Company bought the brewery from American in 1905.

Comes into the Independent Brewing Fold
American Brewery – Independent Brewing Co
The Independent Brewing Company bought the brewery from American in 1905.

1918 Map Location
The brewery was noted to be at East Ohio Street at Millvale Station, according to The Brewer’s Handbook of 1918. Hopkins 1906 Atlas, Plate 19 Sub Plan shows this brewery along Butler Plank Road, which is now a part of Route 28. The property abuts Allegheny City.

1920 Brewery Closure
The brewery was not in operations during the beginning of prohibition in 1920.

Sale to Reinman Packing Co
American Brewing was sold to the Fried & Reinman Packing Co. in 1921, according to Bill Stout and Jean Domico in their book, Millvale, Arcadia Publishing, 2014. The brewery was in Millvale but was on the border with Reserve Township. A. Reinman was the landowner in Reserve.

1921 Reinman Packing Co.
American Brewing was sold to the Fried & Reinman Packing Co. in 1921, according to Bill Stout and Jean Domico in their book, Millvale, Arcadia Publishing, 2014. The brewery was in Millvale but was on the border with Reserve Township. A. Reinman was the land owner in Reserve.


Pittsburgh the Powerful
Page 151 has John Gast Brewery
In 1877, 17 breweries were operating in Pittsburgh and Allegheny City

Schneider arrived in New York in 1852.

1865 directory listed the following Allegheny Brewers:
Campbell, R A & Co. Rebecca north of Craig
Eaton, Conrad, Troy Hill Road
Lutz, Thomas, Chestnut & Spring Garden
Wessel & Giesy, East Lane between Ohio & Avery

Gerst family notes:
Philip & Catherine Gerst had a daughter, Sophia.
She married Fred Haas Jr. in 1882.
Philip & Catherine Gerst were both born in Alsace, France.
They came to America in 1841. Philip was at Spring Garden in 1856.

Archaeological Investigation of the Route 28 Corridor Report
An archaeological investigation of the Route 28 corridor took place in 2001. The study was conducted from the Heinz plant to the 40th Street Bridge at Millvale. Michael Baker Jr. Inc. (engineers) was hired by the Department of transportation to conduct this study. The firm of Christine Davis Associates dug exploratory trenches 15 feet deep. David Anthony, historical structures specialist for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, said the excavations revealed a large subterranean brewery vault. This would have been a vault for the former American Brewing Co. (Enz Willow Grove Brewery) in Millvale. Sadly, for this author, more details were not revealed. Brandon Keat reported on this in the Pittsburgh Tribune on November 12, 2001.

Other Breweries

Draai Laag Brewery (Brewpub)
(Pronounced Dry Log)
Owner: Draai Laag Brewing LLC
Business renamed
Strange Roots Experimental Ales
501 East Ohio St
Established in 2011. A license search shows that Draai Laag has a brewery-pub license giving them the right to operate as a combined restaurant and brewery. As they have acquired a brewing site in Allison Park they are phasing out the brewing operations here. As of August 7, 15 this location still has a brewery-pub license as well as a brewing license.

Grist House Brewery (Brewpub)
Owner: Mientkiewiczeaton LLC (Kyle L Mientkiewicz & Brian S Eaton)
10 Sherman Street 15209, Millvale
Phone: 814 528 2303 Web:
Corporate name is Mientkiewiczeaton LLC
Brian S. Eaton & Kyle L. Mientkiewicz
Opening day to the public was May 24, 2014. The brewery made its first delivery to the Independent Brewing Co in Shady Side and Pipers Pub on the South Side on May 24, 2014.

Hoehl Brewery, (Henry Jr. – Millvale Brewery)
Stanton Avenue (between Black Alley and Butler Street)
Stanton Avenue in the First Ward at the boundary with the Second Ward
As shown on 1872 Atlas, Plate 118.
The 1886 Atlas, Plate 8 shows Hoehl property but no brewery is shown.
The 1897 Atlas, Plate 19 shows the brewery as if it were re-built.
It is also shown on the 1906 Atlas, Plate 19.
Beer bottles are marked Bennett, Pa., which could reflect Bennett PO or Bennett Station. The brewery was near Bennett Post Office. Local historians indicate that the brewery was in operations between the 1890’s and early 1900’s.

The 1893 Sanborn Fire Insurance map identified the brewery as the Millvale Brewery. The 1906 map (page 219) shows the brewery as owned by Independent Brewing to be closed and partially dismantled.

Pittsburgh Press, in an article published on April 6, 1914 about the liquor license court noted that Henry Hoehl Jr. was a wholesaler at 2041 Center Avenue in Pittsburgh. American Brewers' Review, Volume 19, 1905 reported the brewery closed by the Independent Brewing Company.

Breweries in Enta Borough

Etna Borough was created from part of Shaler Township on September 16, 1868 by court order.

Costar Brewery
327 Butler St.
Owners: Jeff and Caitlyn Hanna, and Dominic Cincotta
It was announced on December 14, 2017 that Costar was to open a brewery and taproom in Etna. The property including two adjacent lots were acquired on November 17, 2017. The brewer’s original location in Highland Park’s neighborhood of Pittsburgh will be closed.

Metzger Brewery
Owner: Michael Metzger
Walnut Street between Prospect and Locust
The 1872 Atlas, Plate 118 shows the M. Metzger Brewery. It is on an un-named street. The first name is not clear and difficult to read. The street would be Walnut Street on current maps.
The 1906 Atlas, Plate 21 does not show a brewery but property to Metzger heirs.
Tavern Trove (.com) has the brewery in operation from 1866 to 1893. I believe the 1866 date should read 1869, as that is when the family moved to Etna from Pittsburgh’s West End.

Michael Metzer brewed ale for private purchase and drinking by individual families. The Brook Law came in to affect and outlawed that endeavor.

Yund Brewery
An 1862 map of Allegheny County listed a P Yund, Brewery at Etna P.O., which was the name of the borough at the time. The map did not show a location and I found nothing in the `862 Pittsburgh Directory.