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Kolb Bros. Brewery of West Bay City (Abt. 1867-1939)
Aka: Salzburg Brewery, Kolb & Westover brewery.

Preface:Exactly what year the Kolb Brewery dates back to could not be found. The first date mention about the brewery is in 1867, when it was purchased from Mr. Henchel (aka Henschel) by George Kolb, Sr., at which time the brewery was known as the Salzburg Brewery. In 1870, George's son Frederick was a partner in the brewery with Morris Westover, and some time after this, it appears Westover was sole owner for a short period of time, as the Kolb brothers, Adam and George, Jr., took ownership of the business in 1887. The Salzburg Brewery name was maintained at least to 1894, according to the directory for that year..

History. Added Nov., 2010.

History of Saginaw and Bay Counties, Michigan - 1892


This firm consists of George and Adam Kolb, proprietors of the Salzburg Brewery, a view of which appears elsewhere in this volume. In the winter of 1890 the firm erected a good, brick, three-story building and put in a new plant. This property was purchased of Mr. Westover during the year 1887, and has proved remunerative.

George Kolb was born in West Bay City, October 11, 1863. His father, who also bore the name of George, was a native of Germany and married Miss Magaretta Klaus. He come to Bay City about thirty-five years ago and was the proprietor of the Salzburg Brewery before Mr. Westover became owner. The son, George, was educated in West Bay City at the High School and was engaged in the liquor business before buying the present brewery plant. In 1887 he and his brother, Adam, bought the plant, which is now valued at about $50,000, and the entire amount he has made since he began business, with the exception of $1,500. He is now twenty-eight years old and his brother three years younger, which proves a remarkable record of financial success in such young men.

Both of the brothers are hard working, attending to all details of business in person, and supplying the trade of the Bay Cities. They give their entire attention to business and have the finest office and brewery in the county. Socially they are members of the Arbeiter Society and the Knights of Maccabees. George Kolb was married June 8, 1887, to Miss Matilda Helbig, of Bay City, and has two childrenGeorge and Adam.

History by Leslie E. Arndt. - Added Nov., 2010.

The Bay County Story - Foot Paths to Freeways - 1982

Page 162.

Kolb Brewery, incorporated in January, 1908, was older than that, actually tracing its origin to 1867 when George Kolb bought the Henchel beer business, previously known as the Salzburg Brewery. It later became the Westover Brewery under Maurits Westover ownership.

In 1887 Kolb's sons, Adam and George Jr., secured the business and gave it the name of Kolb Bros. Brewery. This name was later shortened to Kolb Brewery, known for it's "Kolb's Crystal Export Beer," with about 60,000 barrels produced yearly.

During the national prohibition in the 1920s, the Bay City Kolb plant turned out "Kolb's Car-ola," a cereal beverage, and near beer.

Officers listed in 1933 were H. G. Wendland as president; M. H. Kolb as vice president; Ben Anderson, as secretary-treasurer, and George Kolb, Jr., general manager. The plant was located at 603 Germania on the West Side. It closed down sometime between 1838 and 1840.

1907 article. - Added Nov., 2010.

Official Yeark Book, Michigan Federation of Labor


Bay City is proud of its may successful manufacturing concerns, but of none more than the Kolb Bros. Brewery, located on the west side.

This is one of the largest breweries in the state and its product is sold and favorably known far and wide. Kolb Bros.' Crystal Export, bottled for family use, has won for this firm a wide reputation. You will make no mistake in placing your order with the above mentioned concern.

The firm merits the approbation and encouragement of all fair minded and progressive citizens, for its management comprises men who are always deep interested in the advancement of the business interests of the city and state.

Kolb Bros., Germania Ave.

Additional Notes:

    1871 - History of Bay County, Mich. - 1883

  • From 1872 to 1876, Morris Westover drove the beer wagon for George Kolb, after which he was proprietor of the Westover House.

    1881/82 - Directory: West Bay City, Mich.

  • Kolb, Frederick (Kolb & Westover), res Salzburg Brewery, 3d ward.
  • Kolb, George res e s Washington s of 7th, 3d ward.
  • Kolb, George, Jr., beer pedlar Salzburg Brewery, bds G. Kolb.
  • Kolb & Westover (Frederick Kolb, Morris Westover), Proprs Salzburg Brewery, cor 7th and Washington, 3d ward.

    1883 - Directory: West Bay City, Mich.

  • Kolb & Westover (Frederick Kolb, Moritz Westover), proprs Salzburg Brewery, cor 7th and Washington, 3d ward.

    1887 - Directory: West Bay City, Mich.

  • Kolb, Adam, driver Salzburg Brewery, res s e cor Washington and 7th.
  • Kolb, Frederick, saloon, n w cor Au Sable and State nr 23d Street Bridge, res same.
  • Kolb, George Jr., saloon and Cigar Mnfr, 113 Midland, res same.
  • Westover, Emil, laborer Salzburg Brewery, res w s State road 1 s of 6th.
    Westover, Morris, Propr Salzaburg Brewery, s e cor Washington and 7th, res Washington 2 s of 8th.

    1893/94 - Directory: West Bay City, Mich.

  • Brenner, Wm., drawer, Salzburg Brewery, bds 931 S Henry.
  • Rasp, John, drawer, Salzburg Brewery, res 607 Fitzgerald ave.
  • Kolb Bros (George Jr. and Adam) Proprs Salzburg Brewery, Fitzhugh ave bet 6th & 7th.
  • West Bay City Brewery, 8th n w cor Water.

    1897 - Ice and Refrigeration, Vol. 12.

  • Kolb Bros., West Bay City, Mich., are putting in a refigerating machine, and will manufacture ice if there is any demand for it.

    1900 - Ice and Refrigeration, Vol. 19 (Jul/Aug)

  • West Bay City, Mich. - Kolb Bros., brewers are erecting a large addition to their brewing plant. The new building will be equipped with modern machinery throughout, including two 50-ton refrigerating machines.

    1909 - History of Anna E. Taylor.

  • The barrel that Annie E. Taylor used to successfully survive a trip over the Niagara Falls in 1909 was designed and built by coopers of the Kolb Brewery.

    1913 United States Brewers' Assoc., Year Book.

  • Bay City Brewing Co. - Bay City.
  • Kolb Brewing Co. - 603 Fitzhugh Street, Bay City.
  • Phoenix Brewing Co. - West Bay City.

    1918 - Patent Office.

  • Feb., 11: Kolb Brewing Co., Bay City, Mich., file patent for, “Non-alcholic Cereal Malt Beverages,” serial #108,945. Published Aug. 3, 1920.

    1931 - Directory: Bay City, Mich.

  • Kolb Beverage Co., (George Kolb pres, Fredk A Schroeder Sec-Treas, "Nu Icy" Flavors "Your Can't Forget", "Prima" Cereal Beverage, "Killarney" Ginger Ale, "Mavis" Chocolate.

    1934 - Brewed in Detroit: Breweries and Beers Since 1930.

  • Anthony Hahn, brewmaster at Kolb in Bay City was hired by the Goebel brewery.
Related Pages/Notes

Sketch of Kolb Bros. Brewery

Photo Kolb Bros. Brewery

Ad, Non-alcholic Beverages
During the alcohol prohibition period, the brewery switch to soda drinks to keep the busniss going.
Related Pages:
Kolb, George & Sons
Taylor, Annie
Westover, Morris
Hutschenreauther, Oscar
1890 Fire West Bay City
People Referenced
Brenner, William
Hahn, Anthony
Heilbig, Matilda
Henchel, Mr.
Klaus, Magaretta
Kolb, Adam
Kolb, George
Kolb, George Jr.
Kolb, Frederick
Rasp, John
Schroeder, Frederick
Taylor, Anna E.
Westover, Emil
Westover, Morris
Subjects Referenced
Bay City, MI
Kolb Beverages
Kolb Bros Brewery
Kolb & Westover
Niagra Falls, NY
Phoenix Brewing Co.
Salzburg Brewery
West Bay City, MI
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.