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THE HARVARD BREWING COMPANY
 
THE CONSUMERS' BREWING COMPANY 
     In 1893, a business was begun known as the Consumers'
Brewing Company.  Incorporated in West Virginia to take
advantage of the limited regulations in that state, Consumers' 
set up shop in Lowell, Massachusetts.  The men who organized 
the company were from around the region.  Lowellian John H.
Coffey, one of the primary organizers, owned a provisions
shop in the city's Acre neighborhood with his two brothers. 
Another important organizer was John J. Joyce of Lawrence 
who ran an important bottling establishment in that city with 
Maurice J. Curran.  The stockholders of the brewery hailed 
from all parts of New England and New York and elected 
Joyce as company president and Coffey as secretary and 
general manager. 

     The site chosen for brewing operations was well suited 
for the company's needs.  A 12 acre parcel was purchased 
from the estate of Sylvanus Bartlett along Plain and Payton 
Streets in the Ayer's City section of Lowell.  The land was not 
only adjacent to the main line of the New York, New Haven 
and Hartford Railroad, it was also, more importantly, the 
location of an excellent fresh water well field.  The brewing 
plant included a lager production and storage house, a similar 
ale house, a bottling department, an office building, a boiler 
house, horse stables, a cooper shop and other structures. 

     Over $250,000 was expended to build the plant including 
the purchase of the best brewing equipment available.  The 
company also paid high salaries to recruit top brewery experts. 
Consumers' first brewmaster was Louis Wentzler who
previously worked for the Pabst Company of Milwaukee, 
Wisconsin, at that time the second largest brewery in the nation. 
The first batch of Consumers' brew was made in April of 1894 
and, after aging, was ready for the market in June.  When 
Consumers' was finally prepared to start business, the 
company's employees and stockholders held a formal opening 
with entertainment provided by Hibbard's Orchestra, lots of 
German and American food and, of course, complimentary lager beer. 
 

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