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Virginia City in Madison County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
 

H.S. Gilbert Brewery Park

 
 
H.S. Gilbert Brewery Park Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 5, 2022
1. H.S. Gilbert Brewery Park Marker
Captions: (top to bottom) H.S. Gilbert Brewery ca. 1890; Henry S. and Margaret Gilbert had 15 children together. Clara and Amelia Gilbert were the first set of twins born in Virginia City; Butte Inter Mountain Newspaper dated November 6, 1902; 1892, Gilbert Family in front of the Gilbert House; The Gilbert Residence ca. 1930-40 with Gilbert Brewery situated behind.; Charles Bovey holding son, Ford Bovery in front of the Gilbert House in 1948..
Inscription.  Virginia City supported three brewing operations in the 1860's. Eventually only the H.S. Gilbert Brewery would remain. There is no finer intact historic example in the West, possibly even the country, that exemplifies the 19th century brewing culture brought to this country by German immigrants. It remains a time capsule of the historic brewing process, producing the bottom fermented lager immigrants hadn't enjoyed since leaving their native Europe. Sawdust-insulated walls for keeping ice cold, oak aging barrels, a boiler, kiln, malting tower and artifacts off insight and understanding into traditional brewing method, alongside creative incorporation of natural water features and frontier ingenuity.
The Gilbert Brewery was founded in 1863 by Henry S. Gilbert, William Smith, and Christen Richter as the first Montana brewery in 1864. With Gilbert's entrepreneurial spirit, and an experienced brewer and cooper in Richter, the operation expanded. The complex included a bottling building, family residence, stables, and Beer Garden filled with century-old willows. Although altered as the business expanded, but there has been little change since
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the 1880s.
In 1872, Gilbert purchased both Richter's interest in the business and his house, built in 1864. Gilbert established a grain and stock farm on the Madison Valley to supply most of the barley. In 1875, he began bottling his own Gilbert Lager on site. The operation incorporated the latest technologies, while adhering to traditional standards of purity carried over from Europe.
This lager style beer became popular after the Civil War. Lager beers depend on yeast which ferment slowly and at a colder temperature for longer periods of time, resulting in a purer beer than traditional ale.
To start this brewing process, raw materials are deposited into the Gilbert Brewery's second story by wagon from the hillside behind the brewery. Using gravity, brewers moved wheat, barley and hops via chutes downhill. As a source of cold water, Daylight Creek played an important role in the brewery's beer production. Gilbert's brewers lagered beer in brewing casks on the brewery stone floor. Water diverted from Daylight Creek circulated beneath the beer casks, cooling the beer while the lager yeast worked.

 
Erected by Montana History Foundation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce.
 
Location. 45° 17.669′ N, 111° 
H.S. Gilbert Brewery Park Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 5, 2022
2. H.S. Gilbert Brewery Park Marker
56.584′ W. Marker is in Virginia City, Montana, in Madison County. Marker is on North Hamilton Street near East Cover Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Virginia City MT 59755, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gilbert House (within shouting distance of this marker); Gohn Residence (within shouting distance of this marker); Lewis/Gohn House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Virginia City (about 300 feet away); C. L. Dahler House (about 300 feet away); Thompson-Hickman Library and Museum (about 400 feet away); 1863 - Virginia City - 1925 (about 400 feet away); C.W. Rank House (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Virginia City.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 21, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 21, 2022, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 59 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 21, 2022, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Apr. 18, 2024