The Bavaria Brewery opened in March 1881. It was one of the first breweries in eastern Washington Territory, serving Cheney, Spokan Falls, and the Coeur d'Alene mining district. When Cheney voted for a local prohibition, the brewery was forced to close in March 1910.
In the spring of
1881, Cheney was riding high. It was the seat of Spokane County government, new
businesses were being opening, and even more were being planned.
Saying that the
artesian spring well water of Cheney was of superior quality, Mr. Edward P.
Edson of Walla Walla, built a brewery at the south end of B Street. The Bavaria
Brewery opened in March 1881. The original building was 40 by 60 feet. Later
additions expanded the capacity of the operation.
The brewery was one
of the first established in eastern Washington Territory and soon controlled
the beer trade throughout the Coeur d'Alene mining district in Idaho. The
brewery passed through a number of owners during its 29 years of operation.
It was the bad luck
of Alois Schmidt, that shortly after he took over the business, the citizens of
Cheney voted for a local prohibition. All manufacturing and sales of alcohol
were forbidden as of March 1, 1910. Schmidt turned the building into a boarding
house, but his bad luck continued. In July 1916, the building burned down in a
suspicious fire. The following day, Alois Schmidt ended his own life.