History and Background
The Theodore Hamm Brewing Company was established in 1865 by German immigrant Theodore Hamm. The brewery grew through the late 19th and early 20th centuries, becoming an iconic East Side employer and influencing the development of the surrounding Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood. Hamm’s expanded to be the fifth largest brewery in the nation by the 1950s, with the Saint Paul location as its flagship.
In the latter half of the century, the brewery was sold multiple times before operating as Stroh’s from 1983 until the brewery’s closure in 1997. The oldest remaining brewery buildings south of Minnehaha Avenue sat vacant after the closure of the brewery. In 2004, the HRA acquired the southern portion of the brewery to protect and expand Swede Hollow Park as well as provide new jobs and housing opportunities on the East Side in a reinvigorated brewery complex.
To date, the HRA has completed the sale and redevelopment of three parcels within the Hamm’s Brewery Complex:
- 688 Minnehaha Ave., redeveloped as Saint Paul Brewing (formerly known as Flat Earth Brewing);
- 704 Minnehaha Ave., redeveloped as 11 Wells Distillery; and
- 700 Minnehaha Ave., previously redeveloped as an aquaponics operation (formerly Urban Organics). This property has recently been purchased by a private property owner.
Historical photos courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society and Ramsey County Historical Society.