‘Sinkhole’ leads to 150-year-old beer cave

21st August, 2014 by Lauren Eads

An underground “sinkhole” discovered by a bridge inspector in the US is believed to in fact be the remnants of a former brewery’s 150-year old beer cave.

Credit: Department of Iowa Transportation

One of the beer caves uncovered by archaeologists. Credit: Iowa Department of Transportation

The Iowa Department of Transportation inspector believed he had found a hazardous sinkhole on discovering and 18-inch wide void near a busy interstate, as reported by The Gazette.

However officials have since offered a far more intriguing explanation, believing the hole to lead to a series of beer caves stretching some 30 feet below the ground.

Staff from the University of Iowa’s archeology department have so far identified three-to-four underground limestone caverns using ground penetrating radar at the site of the hole, with archaeologists suspecting the cavernous underground void to belong to the former Eagle Brewing Company/Magnus Brewing Company, built in 1859.

Subterranean caverns were common to breweries before the advent of refrigeration used to store beer and typically constructed out of limestone or brick, with some big enough to fit a truck through.

Carl Merry, the research director at the state archaeologist’s office, told the paper: “Everything is very preliminary at this point. Right now it’s a hypothesis. We are trying to identify as best we can what is down there. It could be more than one thing.”

According to the The Gazette, the Magnus Brewery was a five-story complex overlooking Cedar Lake, which ran into a hill where the caves were located.

The brewery had five cellars that could hold 2,000 barrels, two ice houses with the capacity to produce 60 barrels of beer in 12 hours.

It closed in 1915 because of prohibition and was demolished in 1937.

Later, residential housing was built on top of the beer caves, before it too was torn down to make way for the I-380 in the 1970s.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

UK Brand Ambassador - That Boutique-y Gin Company

That Boutique-y Gin Company
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Senior National Account Manager – Grocery (Craft Spirits)

Maverick Drinks
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Senior National Account Manager – Wholesale RTM (Craft Spirits)

Maverick Drinks
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Digital Marketing Manager

Master of Malt
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Experienced On Trade Sales Person

Borough Wine Imports
London, GB

3 x Business Development Executive

The Lakes Distillery Company Limited
Newcastle head office and nationwide, UK

Editor

Master of Malt Ltd
Tunbridge Wells(Kent)

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
Liverpool

Brand Manager

Hallgarten Druitt
Luton, UK

Experienced On-Trade Salespeople Required

Portal Wines and Spirits
London, UK

Purchasing and Sales (Wine Trader)

JF Tobias
London, UK

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
Cambridge / Peterborough / Bedfordshire, UK

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 17th April 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 28th April 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 14th April 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 12th May 2017

Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2016

Now in its fourth year, the competition will identify the best Chardonnay from all around the world in every price range.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

The Global Malbec Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2016.

Click to view more