REPORT: Investors Buy Old Brewery, Discover Secret Beer Cave From 1800s

John Oyewale Contributor
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An investment group in Iowa discovered a secret beer cave dating back to the 19th century under an old brewery building the group had purchased and was renovating, a local outlet reported Tuesday.

Brian Bock and his group, Iowa Main Street Investments, bought the old brewery in Cascade two years ago and were repurposing the building into apartments when they discovered the cave, KCRG News reported.

“We were given some information, some historical information that potentially there was a beer cave underneath this building somewhere. Nothing ever brought us any indication that there was actually a beer cave here,” Bock told the outlet.

The construction workers encountered two arches while digging, and by digging further they discovered the beer cave, Mark Weber of Weber Construction, Inc., the construction company working at the location, told KCRG News. “It was crazy.”

Iowa City has an extensive network of 19th-century subterranean tunnels that were used to ferment and transport beer, according to the Iowa Public Radio. (RELATED: Archaeologists Discover 5,000 Year Old Beer Factory In Egypt)

Doug Alberhasky, an Iowa City grocery store owner who also gives beer cave tours in the city, explained the finding.

“The beer needed to be served cold and stored cold for the entire month that it was being brewed. So, they had to have caves underground that they could put ice in to keep the beer at a happy 33 and a half degrees or so,” Alberhasky told KCRG News.

“When they built them, there was no hydraulics, there were no pneumatics. It was all done with horsepower and human power. And the fact that they were able to do all of this, to this extent is pretty amazing,” Alberhasky added, according to KCRG.

“No one has set foot in it for 100 years and for it to be preserved as well as it has been, it’s a pretty unique find and obviously one that I never would have dreamt of,” Bock told the outlet.