George Grey Bernard’s “Let There Be Light” Statue in Springdale Cemetery; Middleton Statue in Courthouse Square; An oversized key used in one of Madison’s historic doors.
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Madison, Indiana

Greiner Brewery

Current view of Greiner’s Brewery.

Current view of Greiner’s Brewery.
Courtesy of Bradley Miller

When Cincinnati brewer Mathew Greiner decided to move his operation to Madison in 1854, the town already had a storied brewing history. As early as 1823, Jacob Salmon was brewing and selling beer on the eastern edge of Madison. Greiner decided to build his new brewing complex near the Salmon site. He constructed the massive, three-story main building in the Greek Revival style, complete with a recessed entry beneath an elaborate surround, an entablature featuring dentils, and third-story windows similar to frieze-band windows. The façade’s many windows have slightly pedimented stone lintels, also representative of Greek Revival style. The most noticeable architectural feature is the brewery’s four-story, hipped-roof tower. A one-story brick cottage to the main building’s east was used as worker housing and probably predates the 1856 brewery.

The bottling room at Madison Brewing Company.

The bottling room at Madison Brewing Company.
Courtesy of the Jefferson County Historical Society Research Library

The surviving buildings were once part of a much larger complex that included a fermentation room, cold storage beer cellar, and bottling works. Additions were made during the 1880s, and the business became known as the Madison Brewery after 1885. Greiner and his sons made names for themselves with the Famous Madison XXX Ale, marketed as the perfect refreshment “after a tiresome journey or shopping tour” and distributed throughout the Midwest and as far south as New Orleans.

Prohibition sent the Madison Brewery into bankruptcy, leaving the company to dissolve and transfer the building to a local bank in 1918. During the next six decades the building housed a grocery, a farm and dairy supply store, and Madison Machine Products, before Mayflower Transfer and Storage Company moved in during the 1970s. It is currently being converted into an artist’s studio and gallery. The historic “Greiner’s Brewery, Cash For Barley” sign that graced the front of the building during the 1870s has been repainted on the side facing Park Avenue.

The Greiner Brewery building contributes to the historic significance of the Madison Historic District, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark.

Plan your visit

The Greiner Brewery is located at 928 Park Ave. Click here for the Madison Historic District National Historic Landmark file: text. The Greiner Brewery building is privately owned and now home to artist Geoffrey Crowe’s studio and gallery. The studio is open for tours. Contact Geoffrey Crowe at 812-241-9797 or for more information.

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