Conrad (Konrad) Birkhofer was born in Burgau, Bavaria, the oldest of eleven children. It appears he emigrated to America on or around 1879 with his new wife Ida Lambrecht. They settled in in Geneva Wisconsin and lived for a time with his sister, Theresia, who was fifteen years his junior and married to an American. In 1888 Conrad and Ida moved west to Minneapolis where he took a job as foreman at the John Orth Brewery. Conrad petitioned his younger brother Hans, a trained pharmacist in Germany, to come to America and fill a position in the brewery. Hans obliged. Hans and his sweetheart Anna quickly married, and just months later, in early 1881, Hans and his wife joined Conrad and Ida in Minneapolis. After working together in the Orth Brewery for five years, the Birkhofers established a brewery of their own across town on 14th Avenue. Conrad was the manager and Hans was brewmaster. The C. Birkhofer Brewery quickly became a contender in the Twin Cities brewery scene. But the rising tide of the Temperance Movement hit the fledgling brewery especially hard. A 1907 re-branding eliminated the word "Brewery" and added the word "Purity" from the company name. Nonetheless, the Birkhofers limped ahead, surely sensing the inevitable. When Prohibition finally came in 1920 Conrad had already checked out. Passenger manifests show that he took multiple trips to Europe starting in 1917. His last trip took him to Germany in 1927 and he never returned. Konrad Birkhofer died in Munich on the 20th of May, 1933, just a few months shy of repeal day. His brewery never re-opened.
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The Birkhofer Brewing Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
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