The Imperial Brewery was one of only a hand full of breweries in the Kansas City metro. Even though the building is closed to visitors it is still a great piece of local history. Imperial Brewery was constructed in 1902 for 200,000 dollars on the outskirts of Kansas City, Mo. Drivers go right by the building when they drive on I – 35.
In 1905, the Imperial Brewing Company elected a new president and general manager, Edwin Becker, who inherited a financially stressed operation. The first mortgage note was unpaid, and creditor claims further threatened the operation. By fall, the Brewery was formally bankrupt, ultimately purchased by the Ferd Heim Brewing Company as a branch of the newly formed Kansas City Breweries Company.(1)
In 1910, the new conglomerate made further improvements to the Brewery, increasing production to over 338,300 barrels per year. The Imperial and Mayflower brands were no longer the top sellers.(1)
A flour broker by the name of Otto Bresky acquired the aging brewery shell in 1919, the second such property to be in his possession, and breathed new life it: the life of a flour mill. The mill in between Imperial’s walls operated for 60 years producing “Meadowlands Brand Flour” before closing in the 1980s. It stood, waiting, crumbling, losing whatever it lost until entire walls became piles of rubble.(2)
The building is on the list of historical buildings in Kansas City. Sadly the building suffered from a fire in 2012. Link to the news clip. After the fire much of the machinery was removed from the building.(3)
Being able to see historic buildings are always a nice site for downtown areas. It is even better when they can repurpose those buildings to bring in business and keep that vintage feel to certain areas. Many business’ in the area like The Beast, The Edge Of Hell, Jack Stacks BBQ to name a few have done a good job of repurposing old buildings giving new life to an aging downtown.