Highland, Illinois and the Schott Brewery

Highland, Illinois is an interesting town, located east of St. Louis in a part of the state that was settled early and Chicago was still a small town. It is around 10,000 people, and sits right on major rail lines and Interstate 70.

Settled by Germans originally, there is still a strong influence in the architecture and some of the businesses. Of particular interest is the old Schott Brewery, whose architecture mirrors that of many St. Louis breweries.

The history of the Schott Brewery is well-documented, and you can read its story here. In the fall of 2019, the Belleville News-Democrat reported that Highland city officials were struggling with what to do with the historic brewery, as the non-profit owner had seemingly disappeared.

Supposedly this tallest building in the complex is the old malt house, but I doubt that; it is probably a stock house, which would be consistent with the height of other tall brewery buildings in St. Louis.

The brew house or malt house are probably the shorter buildings on either side of the stock house.

There was some sort of museum in the brewery in the last couple of decades, but it has closed, and the buildings are now in a state of abandonment.

The lagering cellars were dug out of the hillside, and the Schott family lived in houses that went east up the street. Apparently there were originally passageways from the houses to the cellars, which is a common story that has not been proven in St. Louis breweries. The Lemps, for example never had a passageway from their house to the brewery.

The old Schott houses are in good condition and show the wealth the brewery provided to its owners before Prohibition.

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