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Beer Caves Then and Now

A sinkhole discovered near an I-380 access ramp in Cedar Rapids, IA may turn out to be an old beer cave used by the Magnus Brewery built in 1859.  Subterranean caverns were used as cool storage spaces for beer and some were large enough for a truck to enter.  The Magnus Brewery was a five-story complex with five cellars that could hold 2,000 barrels, two ice houses and the capacity to produce 60 barrels of beer in 12 hours, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Prohibition led to the closure of the brewery and it was demolished in 1937.  The housing built over the site was subsequently torn down in the 1970s to make way for the freeway.

State archeologists as well as the University of Iowa’s archeology department are still working to confirm the exact identity and size of the caverns.

On a smaller scale, a patron of XS Nightclub in Las Vegas spent $80,000 on 400 cases of beer to build a “fortress” around his table for his party of friends recently.  Some people never quite grow up, it seems.  We’ve tried to find out whether he took it home with him and what brand or brands were used for the grownup cubbyhole, but the nightclub has not responded to repeated requests for information.