The building that houses Waldmann was constructed in the fall of 1857 — six months before Minnesota became a state, nearly four years before the American Civil War began, and at a time when less than 10,000 people lived in Saint Paul. It is the oldest surviving commercial building in Saint Paul. Its rich history and distinctive limestone construction merited designation as an official Saint Paul Heritage Preservation Site in 2015.The building isn’t just old — it’s an old lager beer saloon. German lager beer took America by storm in the 1850s. First introduced here in 1848, lager beer became immediately popular with Americans — and frontier Minnesotans — who had never seen any thing like it before. By the time Anton Waldmann’s saloon was built, Saint Paul had twelve breweries, ten of which brewed only lagers. Because Temperance supporters thought lager contained less alcohol (it doesn’t), city ordinances granted favorable treatment to lager saloons.
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