A History of North Omaha’s Storz Brewery

A History of North Omaha's Storz Brewery by Adam Fletcher for NorthOmahaHistory.com

Before Gottlieb Storz, a few other entrepreneurs tried their hand at brewing beer in North Omaha. Afterwards though, Storz dominated. For more than 75 years, his family ran Omaha’s beer industry, and even though the brewery closed in the 1970s, it left a major mark on the city that still stands today. This is a short history of the Storz Brewery.

Before Becoming Storz

Storz Brewery, North 18th and Burdette Streets, North Omaha, Nebraska

This is an 1872 illustration of the Storz Brewery at North 18th and Burdette Streets in North Omaha.

Since the beginning of Omaha, the city worked hard and played harder. Today’s downtown was packed with bars and brothels for dozens of years, and someone had to stock them with beer. Enter North Omaha’s Saratoga Brewery, Columbia Brewery, and eventually the Storz Brewery, too.

Richard Simeon was 26 years old when started the Saratoga Brewery in 1854 in the town of Saratoga. Located at the intersection of North 16th and Commercial Avenue, Saratoga Brewery was one of Nebraska’s first breweries. Located in the town of Saratoga, surely Simeon planned to supply beer to his bustling community and beyond, including Florence and Omaha City.

Storz Brewing Bottling Plant, 1807 North 16th Street, North Omaha, Nebraska
This was the last major building constructed at the Storz Brewery, and it still stands at 1807 North 16th Street.

It was along the railroad between the bustling Sulphur Springs area and the town of Saratoga, which was located at present-day N 24th and Ames Avenue. Simeon sold his company Ebenezer Dallow in 1863, and at some point after that went to work for Frederick Metz’s brewery. Eventually he married Minna Metz, Frederick’s daughter. After his wife died young in 1881, Dallow opened a theatre in downtown Omaha.

Selling to Germans

These are different maps of the Columbia Brewery run by Storz in 1872.

Dallow sold his brewery to Joseph Baumann in 1865, who renamed it the Columbia Brewery and moved it down Sherman Avenue, aka North 16th Street. In 1876, Baumann hired a young German immigrant named Gottlieb Storz. However, Baumann died that year and his widow, Wilhemina, succeeded him in running the brewery, naming Gottlieb Storz foreman.

This is a Storz Beer ad in Omaha circa 1940.
This is a Storz Beer ad in Omaha circa 1940.

In 1884, Storz took on J.D. Iler as a partner and they bought the brewery from Wilhemina Baumann. They built up their buildings and machinery, and increased production, and within the next two years Storz bought out Iler. He built a massive new production facility in the 1880s at 1800 North 16th Street.

Storz Brewery, North 16th and Clark Street, North Omaha, Nebraska
This is the east side of the Storz Brewery at North 16th and Clark Street circa 1936.

In 1891, Storz founded a company called the Omaha Brewing Association to make beer and named himself as president. Naming his main brand after himself, Storz sold a lot of beer and built an empire that lasted through 1977.

Building an Empire

Pictured here are labels for Storz Porter, Storz Old Saxon, Storz Pilsner Club, Storz Gold Crest, Storz Winterbru, Storz Export, Storz Blue Ribbon, and Storz Triumph
Pictured here are labels for Storz Porter, Storz Old Saxon, Storz Pilsner Club, Storz Gold Crest, Storz Winterbru, Storz Export, Storz Blue Ribbon, and Storz Triumph

Gottlieb Storz’s plant made 150,000 barrels annually, easily making his operation the biggest brewery in Omaha. Storz kept his products high quality because he hired new brewers from Germany, and kept the business in the family. He also built alliances with other local German beer makers, and in the 1890s was instrumental in founding the Omaha Brewing Association as a lobby and promotional arm.

Storz fought big fights. Nebraska was a hotbed in the Prohibition movement, with local and statewide laws targeting the sale of all alcohol, including beer, beginning in the 1890s. In 1916, voters across the state approved a statewide Prohibition, and in January 1919 the state ratified the Eighteenth Amendment. By 1920, Storz was suffering. However, through sales of non-alcoholic beer, soda pop and ice, Storz kept going and even found success.

Storz Brewery, 1800 North 16th Street, North Omaha, Nebraska
This is the Storz Brewery at 1800 North 16th Street in the circa 1910.

After the Eighteenth Amendment was repealed in 1933, Storz went back to regular production and made 150,000 barrels a year in 1935. When Gottlieb Storz died in 1939, his son Adolph became brewery president.

Over the years, Storz brewed several different labels, including Storz Porter, Storz Old Saxon, Storz Gold Crest, Storz Pale Ale, Storz Wood Duck, Storz Pilsner Club, Storz Gold Crest, Storz Winterbru, Storz Export, Storz Blue Ribbon, and Storz Triumph.

Adolph’s son Robert Storz became president of the company in the 1950s. In 1966, an investment firm from Iowa bought the company, which soon sold it to a Minneapolis beer brewing conglomerate. In 1977, they closed Storz permanently.

WWII Storz beer ad
A World War II ad declaring, “Do your job better, too… Let’s get it over quick” Storz Brewing Company, Omaha

After letting the building sit empty for more than two decades, much of the brewery was demolished in the early 2000s. Today, there are a few remnants left on the site, including the iconic smokestack. Although Omaha may never see the Storz family name rise again, beer brewing in the city is making a comeback.

And that’s a history of the Storz Brewery and beer brewing in North Omaha!

Storz Beer Timeline

  • 1854: Richard Simeon establishes the Saratoga Brewery at North 16th and Commercial Avenue.
  • 1863: Ebenezer Dallow buys the Saratoga Brewery.
  • 1865: Joseph Baumann buys the Saratoga Brewery and renames it the Columbia Brewery.
  • 1872: Columbia Brewery opens a new plant at North 18th and Burdette Street.
  • 1875: Joseph Baumann dies and his wife Wilhemina Baumann takes over ownership; she appoints fellow German immigrant Gottlieb Storz as brewmaster.
  • 1884: Storz forms a partnership with J.D. Iler to buy the Columbia Brewery.
  • 1886: Storz buys Iller’s share of the Columbia Brewery, formed the and renames it the Storz Brewery.
  • 1887: Construction begins on a new plant at 1800 North 16th Street.
  • 1891: Gottlieb Storz formed the Omaha Brewing Association and became the president. Other German brewers in Omaha joined.
  • 1916: Nebraska approved the statewide prohibition of alcohol including beer. Storz began making soft drinks.
  • 1919: Prohibition began nationwide when the United States approved the 18th Amendment banning all alcohol.
  • 1933: Prohibition ended nationwide when the 18th Amendment was repealed.
  • 1939: Gottlieb Storz died and Adolph Storz became company president.
  • 1955: Adolph Storz retired and his son Robert Storz became president.
  • 1966: Robert Storz sold the company to an investment firm in Iowa.
  • 1968: A Minneapolis beer brewing conglomerate bought the Storz Brewery.
  • 1977: The Minneapolis beer brewing conglomerate closed the Storz Brewery permanently.
  • 1994: The largest buildings at the brewery were demolished.
  • 2000: Many of the smaller buildings at the brewery were demolished, leaving only a few still standing today.

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Bonus Pics!

Storz Chimney, North 16th and Clark Streets, North Omaha, Nebraska
The Storz chimney still stands at North 16th and Clark Streets today.
Storz Brewery, 1827 Sherman Avenue, North Omaha, Nebraska.
“A triumph in purity,” this was an early ad for Storz Brewery at 1827 Sherman Avenue.
Storz Brewery Company, 1800 North 16th Street, North Omaha, Nebraska
This is a 1940s photo of delivery trucks outside the Storz Brewery Company.
Storz Brewery, 1800 North 16th Street, North Omaha, Nebraska
This image shows Storz Brewery along North 16th Street in the 1920s.
Storz Beer, North Omaha, Nebraska
A 1900s postcard shows percheron horses delivering Storz Brewing Company beer in Omaha, Nebraska. The caption says “Matched percheron team now delivers Storz Beer in Omaha”.


  1. We lived on 17th St. and 18th Sts. just west of Storz Brewery. My mom always drank Storz beer and I find it ironic that they closed the same year that my mom passed away.


  2. My grandfather Carmelo Troia, had a grocery store on 17th & Clark. My dad was born in 1924 . Mr. Story wanted the land in the house where my dad was born. Carmelo my grandfather agreed and moved the house south on an empty lot half a block east of the store on 17th and Clark. Mr. Story built a brick building to distribute beer out of of the building. My fathers house still remains. My dad sold the house he was born to Sam Marchese, his cousins , who mother was Carmelo Troia’s sister in 2009. My dad knew the sons of Alolph Storz. They grew up together on North 16th /17th Clark. Storz was a Label of beer in our house in Bellevue where we grew up until Storz closed in 1977.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. James, this is tremendous info – thank you! I’ve had a challenging time finding info about that particular neighborhood. Can you tell me the address of the house that still stands?


  3. Hello Jim Troia and the always amazing Adam.
    I was wondering if anyone in the family would see this. Art Storz, the eccentric son and infamous air plane pilot would buy bags of candy at the store to had out to all the neighborhood kids.

    There was an amazing man that was a personal valet/chef/butler/chauffer to the Storz family was an amazing man to know also. He survived the Holocaust came to the states and worked for the Storz family many years.

    My Mothers Grandfather, Fritz Hansen, was in charge of the Paddocks. I grew up at 15the and Burdette Street. The area is called Paddock Place. We found TONS of horse shoes and nails there.

    But I ramble. Harry Hoffman was a very devoted friend to the Troia family. He was at the funerals of Mary Ann, Tony and Evelyn. He had passed on before Uncle Joe.

    My parents loved going to the store on 17th. My Mom said it always smelled like heaven in side.

    When the store closed it took ages to find the “right” Italian grocery. Al Buda on south 13th.

    Thanks a ton Adam for keeping our past alive!

    Mary Ann

    Liked by 1 person

  4. [Submitted via email]:

    Bill Adams, Dodge Center, MN, a resident of Omaha from October 1971 through December 1976

    We moved from Sioux Falls to Omaha in October of 1971 when the Storz brewery was still operating. I remembered the Storz brand from my childhood days in southern Minnesota, and I was surprised to see that it was then (in the 1970s) owned by Grain Belt of Minneapolis. Though I have never been much of a beer drinker, the interior pictures of older style breweries had a fascination for me.

    In a round-about way, I did get to see the inside of the offices and brewhouse of the Omaha Storz plant. In Omaha I worked for 4 years as a service rep for the old Addressograph-Multigraph Corp., and we serviced a small addressing machine in the plant offices. I remember going there on a couple of service calls, and I recall the yeasty mash smell in and around the building. I’m reminded of those service calls whenever I drive by an operating ethanol plant and smell the similar yeasty aroma of their operation. I also faintly recall the office receptionist who was a very nice, early-middle-aged lady.

    Beyond that, I never got further in to any of the buildings, but by the time the brewery was being demolished, my own company was beginning its slide toward bankruptcy. The newly-formed division I was part of was not growing enough to keep us busy, so I spent a lot of time in my company car, waiting for my beeper to go off. Some of those hours were spent parked north of where the malt house had been, watching as the demolition crews began tearing into the north wall of the brewhouse. Even from half a block away, and in spite of the grim demolition work, you could see the fine fit and finish of the big rooms containing the huge kettles. After the rooms had been opened up, the kettles (or whatever they are called) were pulled out of the rooms and allowed to drop to the ground. When the first one came out, I expected to hear a big boom, but the vessel just collapsed when it hit the ground, making sort of a big “Poof!”.

    I’ve always had mixed feelings about the contributions of the brewing industry to society in general, but it made for a rather melancholy experience as I watched that plant being torn down. I had purchased a case of Storz in bottles shortly before the plant shut ceased operations, but not being a regular beer drinker, it took a while to empty those bottles. I don’t remember what happened to the empties and the heavy folded cardboard box, but it sure would be fun to see what it would bring on eBay, or at least to see how much interest it would generate.


  5. Thank you for providing this info. My great grandfather was a “saloon-keeper” and sold “Storz Ilir’s beer on draught” as well as wine, alcohol and cigars. His place was called Montgomery and Adams, he was associated with them from about 1885 to 1892. Samuel Montgomery. I believe James Adams was his cousin. It was fun to read more about the brewery, and it’s history in Omaha.


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