In the early days of Madison, Hausmann’s Capital Brewery served beer and free lunch at the site of their brewery on the corner of State and Gorham streets. Their operation was quite successful. By the 1880s, the brewery was producing 8,000 barrels of beer per year, and just prior to Prohibition, this reached an astonishing 35,000 barrels per year — that’s about 1 million gallons!
In 1907, local temperance laws were enacted in Madison to protect the public, and more precisely, the University of Wisconsin students, from the evil effects of alcohol. A dry zone of a half-mile was created around the UW campus, but luckily the zone fell just short of the Hausmann’s brewery. Even in the depths of winter, the students ventured out of the dry zone to enjoy five cent beers and free sandwiches at Hausmann’s.