The Haas Brewing Company was
founded in 1859 by Adam Haas in a log building that sat at the corner of Sheldon and Dodge
Streets in Houghton, Michigan. The first brewery began operation with a 10 barrel copper
kettle which produced a Porter and Lager beer that was distributed locally.
In 1875 the original log structure was replaced by a
frame structure with a stone building where the company continued brewing for the rest of
its history. As the regions population grew with the explosion of the copper mining
industry, the capacity of the brewery increased its production of beer from 6,000 barrels
in 1875 to 25,000 barrels annually soon after the turn of the century, where it was
distributed widely throughout the Upper Peninsula region. After the repeal of prohibition,
the Haas company operated in Houghton for about eight years before moving the business to
a location in Hancock previously occupied by the former Park Brewing Company.
In 1880, the Haas brewery began bottling their beer in hand blown
glass bottles originally manufactured by the DeSteiger Glass Company of LaSalle, Illinois.
These early bottles used a Lighting Stopper bottle closures that were fashioned
individually by hand, which proved very labor intensive and expensive. The Haas brewery
bottled their beer in mostly amber colored 1/4 gallon glass bottles from as many as eight
different manufacturers until 1905 when they switched to a clear (aqua) glass bottle using
a cork cap closure. In approximately 1915 the Haas Brewing Company began using machine
made bottles featuring paper labels. It was around this time that the Haas Company began
using Chicago agencies to produce its advertising. Up until this time, the brewery only
advertised itself in small ads in local newspapers.
After the death of its founder, Adam Haas in 1887, the brewery
was incorporated with family members acting as executive officers and Board of Directors.
Joseph Haas became President and Adolph Haas, his brother, became Vice-President and
Collector. The four Haas daughters made up the original Board of Directors.
In August of 1901, after 42 years of ownership by the
Haas family, the company was sold to a stock company comprised of local businessmen who
kept the family name until 1952, when the company became known as the Copper Country Brewing Company. During this
period of ownership, the brewery introduced several new beer styles in an attempt to
appeal to different tastes, including an Extra Pale Ale. The beer was known as Copper Club
and was produced for about two years until the business closed for good in 1954.