Wednesday, January 6, 2016


After a long day of fillin’ up on dust on the trail ya wanna sit back with a cold brew or soda pop...Oh yeah, cowboys love a grape or orange pop, look it up…  And the place brewin’ up the best is the Sheridan Brewing Company!


In 1887, Arnold Tschirgi, George Paul, and Peter Demple, joined forces to found The Sheridan Brewing Company. First they had to avoid robbers’ intent on stealing the business’s start-up money. Thieves were common along the Cheyenne to Deadwood stage line. So, the men sent the $10,000 in gold by the Northern Pacific Railroad to Custer Station, and transported the capital the rest of the way by wagon.  By 1888, the brewery distributed its first product.

sheridan0109A year later, in 1889, The Sheridan Brewery expanded its operations, producing millions of barrels of beer before Prohibition in the 1920s. Undeterred by this law, the brewery shifted to new products like near beer Sherex and an assortment of fruit-flavored soft drinks.

By the end of Prohibition in 1933, the brewery was producing 600 barrels of bear a day. During World War II, the Brewery aided the war effort by filling beer cans with water to be sent to the troops in the fields and on the homefront.

By 1954, 60,000 barrels a year left the brewery, and at this time the Sheridan Brewery stopped its beer operations and focused on soda pop. That same year the brewery became the first company in the United States to bottle its products in flat-topped cans.


The Can-a-Pop Beverage Company quickly became the leading producer of canned soft drinks larger than any other plant in America. Franchises started up in Los Angeles and Compton, California and Peoria, Illinois. But as quickly as Can-a-Pop sprung to the top, its bubble was popped by such brands as Coca Cola, Pepsi, Fanta and Nehi. These brands held national recognition and advertising and edged out the hometown soda company.

The brewery was torn down in 1994, and a park is now at the spot of Sheridan Brewing Company. But never fear there are still plenty of places in Sheridan, Wyoming to have a cold one.

Pictures from the Sheridan County Museum

Blair, Pat, Prater, Dana and the Sheridan County Museum. Images of America: Sheridan. Arcadia Publishing, 2008.

 Kirsten Lynn is a Western and Military Historian. She worked six years with a Navy non-profit and continues to contract with the Marine Corps History Division for certain projects. Making her home where her roots were sewn in Wyoming, Kirsten also works as a local historian. She loves to use the history she has learned and add it to a great love story. She writes stories about men of uncommon valor...women with undaunted of unwavering devotion ...and romance with unending sizzle. When she's not writing, she finds inspiration in day trips through the Bighorn Mountains, binge reading and watching sappy old movies, or sappy new movies. Housework can always wait.


  1. I guess prohibition didn't really stop the drinking, just made it harder to get the alcohol. Great post, Kirsten.

    1. I don't think prohibition had much effect on drinking in Wyoming at all. Most bars became something different in the front, but kept serving in the back. :)

  2. I never knew! Sheridan Brewing Company was before its time. Wow. Thanks for this bit of history on the canned drink industry!

    1. It really is an interesting history, and so many people here have pop cans and beer cans from the old brewery.

  3. Good thing they thought to have those fruit flavored sodas back in the prohibition era. I can't even imagine the idea of having $10,000 in gold these days.
    I found it very interesting that the Sheridan Brewing Company provided water to soldiers in cans--nice concept.
    An interesting article, Kirsten.

    1. I know, Sarah, and to have that kind of gold and just slapping it in the back of a wagon. The canned water was interesting. Some was stored in a few bomb shelters after the war.


Thank you for visiting Sweethearts of the West!