Drewry's Brewery

South Bend, Indiana // Drewry's Brewery // Abandoned // Photograph // Rust Belt

1865 - 2017

Christoper Muessel was born into an Arzberg, Germany brewing family and emigrated to South Bend, IN in 1852.

During the 1860's Muessel purchased land on the Northwest side of town that would become Muessel Brewing Company, Muessel Elementary School, Muessel Grove Park & family homes. Drewry's purchased the brewery in 1936 and operated it until August 1, 1972.

Since 1972 the complex has been home to various businesses but has been largely marked by classic features of industrial abandonment: scrapping, gang occupation, squatting and of course... photography.


Standard —  Bavarian — Arzberg Export — Silver Edge


West.SB and my interest in photography both began at Drewry's in December 2015. After a long fascination with the building's wallless facade (shown at the end) I ventured into the complex armed with an iPhone 5. Over the past year I have spent many days exploring the vast array of basements, mechanicals & rooftops.


My entire immediate family and many of my closest friends live in the surrounding neighborhood that exists because of the Muessel family's investment in South Bend. My father attended Muessel School, and it is likely that my children will as well.

It is painful to watch the places that built our Rust Belt cities fall victim to the wrecking ball.

You can’t fix them. They are beyond repair.
— Stanley Molenda, City of South Bend Code Enforcement
It’s having a very negative impact on a part of our neighborhood that is already under stress.
— Christopher Huff, Resident (via SB Tribune)
The residents have spoken ... this building has to go away.
— Randy Wilkerson, City of South Bend Code Enforcement
Enough is enough. Set the demolition for this complex.
— Tim Scott, City of South Bend Common Council