|The Revere House in 1887|
|Jos. J. Nigl|
The idea was to set up a brewery that could produce up to 15,000 barrels a year. But it wasn’t because there was a lack of beer flowing in Oshkosh at the time. The goal was to undermine the control Oshkosh Brewing, Pabst and Schlitz held over local tavern owners. Most taverns of this period were tied houses and allowed to serve only their parent brewery’s beer. If a tavern owner fell out of favor with the brewery that supplied them, they could quickly be forced out of business.
Nigl, whose father owned the Gemütlichkeit Tavern at the Northwest corner of Ninth and Ohio, was named president of the new company and construction on the brewery began in April of 1912. In June of 1913 Peoples beer went on sale under the names of Aristo and Asterweiss. The brews were immediately popular, but that didn’t last long. The Dries were on the march. Prohibition began on January 16, 1920 and for the next 13 years Peoples was reduced to making near beer, malt tonics and soda water.