Cherokee Brewery

Update: The old stock house has of course undergone a massive renovation and is now the home of Earthbound Beer, which you can read about here.

Cherokee Brewery, once located in the 2700 block of Cherokee Street, is long gone, but traces of it still exist. Above, you can see the brewery on Compton and Dry’s aerial depiction of St. Louis from 1875. Below is a postcard of the brewery; you might recognize the tall central building which is the stock house.

By the time the Sanborn Maps had documented the complex in the early 1900’s, the building to the left of the stockhouse was already gone (eventually replaced by what would become 2720), but the building on the corner had become a movie theater, albeit not a very large one. It is now a parking lot.

If you look closely, you can see the markings on the wall of the former stockhouse, showing where the corner building once attached to the taller building. There are caves under the building, which are flooded with water; it is debatable whether the caves are natural, man-made or a hybrid of both.

I’m always impressed by the massiveness of this building, which you can read more about here.

Records state that the stock house was built in 1890, but it seems to have similar massing to a Cherokee Brewery building in the Compton and Dry image from 1875. Perhaps they replaced the building with a similar sized, but better built stock house. It’s hard to say for certain, but it is a unique relic of the more rural era in Cherokee Street’s history.

13 Comments Add yours

  1. samizdat says:

    Nice post. I always wondered what the original use for this building was. Now that I know it was once part of a brewery complex, it's structure makes a lot of sense.

  2. Matt G says:

    I've actually been meaning to investigate the existing buildings, and see what is there compared to what I've read about the history of the brewery.

  3. Adam W. says:

    yep, great post. always wondered about this building as well. had no idea there was a brewery there!

  4. Anonymous says:

    caves underneath are natural, connect to Lemp brewery caves-Lost caves of St. Louis-

    1. Allen Kempe says:

      Unlikely, Lemp Brewery is 8 blocks away

      1. Chris Naffziger says:

        I agree, Allen. This post is actually largely out of date due to new research that reveals that the Cherokee Brewery cellars were probably built in an old quarry/sinkhole.

        Read the most recent research in these two articles I wrote:

        https://www.stlmag.com/arts/history/a-tour-of-cherokee-brewerys-old-lagering-cellars-with-the-earthbound-beer-crew/

        https://www.stlmag.com/arts/history/touring-earthbounds-lagering-cellars-part-two/

  5. Chris says:

    I was just reading that same page of the book last night. The current owner, I've been told, questions whether that is accurate or not. It certainly would be logical, though.

  6. Gregg says:

    Great information and post!

  7. sublunar says:

    The man-made cellars terminate into dirt/mud. Thus, if the caves do connect, it is via unnavigable means. People always assume connections are the type humans can travel through and this is not the case. Underground rivers, for example. Might they connect? Of course, but it would be somewhere deep underground..

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      I agree; I believe the ‘connections’ are overemphasized.

  8. Jeff says:

    Awesome, Chris. I love living in a city in which almost every building has a thousand stories attached to it.

  9. Bob kramer says:

    Love this website

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