Tonight’s tour has more bawdy Salem history than you can shake a stick at. Samuel Adolph (Wild Pear), Louis Westacott (ampm), Klinger and Beck (sculpture garden) and all their saloon buddies will once again breathe life into downtown Salem during the 2-hour tour. We’re talking about breweries and saloons while visiting important sites that influenced Salem’s history.
While Salem currently counts seven breweries within city limits, their combined output is dwarfed by just one downtown brewery during Salem’s heyday as “Hop Center of the World.” At the time of its closing in 1953, Sick’s Brewery produced 75,000 barrels – 27 million bottles of beer downtown on Commercial Street South. With roots going back to 1866, the brewing industry dominated the Salem economy and earned the city an international reputation.
Along with brewing, the rowdy saloon nightlife influenced Salem culture, attracting temperance unions and finally prohibition. Stories will be shared of Maggie Gardner’s Hurdy-Gurdy girls, Jonathan Bourne’s six-week binge with legislators and how Oregon’s first deficit paid for a stocked bar in the committee room.
Added bonus: Tour of 1871 ruins.
Breweries: Farmers, Star, Pacific, Pioneer, Capital, Salem Brewing Association, Sick’s, Willamette Valley, Ram, Thompson’s, Seven Brides, Pale Horse, Gilgamesh, Santiam, Vagabond, Salem Ale Works
Saloons: El Dorado, Pony, Oriflamme, Nonpareil, Palmer’s, Crystal, North Star, Vic’s, Fontaine’s, Belvedere, Gem, Chemeketa
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