Air Quality:
hops mural

Reedsburg Hops Mural

Corner Pub - 100 E Main Street

This is the 2nd in a series of murals created depicting the history of Reedsburg and its impact on contemporary culture. In the early 1860’s, Reedsburg benefited from short-lived economic expansion based upon the cultivation of hops for rapidly expanding the brewing industry. When the hop crop in the eastern US failed, Sauk County & Reedsburg hops became instantly valuable and the region experienced a boom. In 1867, 4 million pounds of hops were shipped from Sauk County- the harvest was so labor intensive that train loads of city dwellers descended upon the the region every fall to assist. Handling hops was rumored to be beneficial for women’s reproductive health so many of the visiting harvesters were young women. (We now know that hops are a source of

phytoestrogen so there may be some basis to the rumor.)

The bubble quickly burst as over-planting a monoculture soon led to disease, pests and when the east coast crop recovered, it signaled an end to the craze. Fortunes that were suddenly made were lost just as suddenly leaving almost no trace of this windfall. Wild hops can still be

found in the county and only recently has there been any agricultural production of this crop. The mural was completed in 2003 and mounted on the old Clossey’s Bar. a community landmark for generations which now hosts the Corner Pub, Wisconsin’s only “craft nano brewery”. This was a community project facilitated by Wormfarm Institute and supported by a

grant from the Sauk County Arts, Culture and Historic Preservation Committee.