Friday, August 7, 2015

The Highholder Brewing Company of Oshkosh

A quick update on an Oshkosh brewery to be...

Shawn O'Marro (left) and Mike Schlosser
About a month ago, I mentioned that the proposed Sawdust City Brewing Company had run into a legal snag over the use of the Sawdust City name. Mike Schlosser and Shawn O'Marro, the duo behind the brewery, decided not to waste time and resources in a fight over naming rights. Instead, they'd come up with a new name.

They picked a good one. O'Marro and Schlosser's project is now known as Highholder Brewing Company. The new name is a direct nod to their venture’s Southside Oshkosh roots. Or as Schlosser puts it, "A little Southside loving."

Though not much used these days, the Highholder appellation goes back a long way here. The original Highholders were immigrants from Bavaria and Bohemia. They came to Oshkosh en masse during the second half of the 1800s and established a close-knit community south of the Fox River. These were the people who populated Oshkosh's "Bloody Sixth" Ward.

The name is fitting not just for the Southside connotation, but for the fact that the Highholders were an essential component of Oshkosh's early beer culture. The clearest expression of that was Peoples Brewing Company. Peoples was essentially an outgrowth of the Highholder community. In fact, the brewery's first president, Joseph Nigl, was a Highholder.

I'll bet Nigl would be tickled to know that, thanks to a brewery, the Highholder name is going to be on people's lips again.

Here's much, much more on the Highholders of Oshkosh.

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