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.

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.

A 1900s postcard shows percheron horses delivering beer in Omaha.

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.

This was the last major building constructed at the Storz Brewery, and it still stands along North 16th Street today.

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

This is the Storz Brewery along North Omaha’s N. 16th Street in the 1910s.

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 Storz foreman.

A Storz Beer ad in South Omaha.

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 1807 North 16th Street.

This is the east side of the Storz Brewery at North 16th and Clark Streets.

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 the 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.

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.


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


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.

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.

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.

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

Storz Brewery along North Omaha’s N. 16th Street in the 1920s.

Related Articles


Bonus Pics!

The Storz Brewery chimney still stands near North 16th Street today.
This is a 1917 advertisement for Storz Beer from the Omaha Monitor.
A 1940s pic shows Storz delivery trucks outside the brewery in North Omaha.


Columbia Brewery, North Omaha, Nebraska
This is the 1890 Sanborn Insurance map of the Storz and Iler Columbia Brewery in North Omaha.

Published by Adam Fletcher Sasse

I am the editor of, the author of North Omaha History Volumes 1, 2 & 3, and the host of the North Omaha History Podcast.

Join the Conversation


  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


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