In 1856, Joshua C. Gray, of Irish decent, founded Gray’s Bottling Works in Janesville, Wisconsin. J.C. Gray had experience in the industry and was involved in the Cottage Tavern which helped him to start the company in Janesville, which was a thriving community at the time. He brought with him family recipes that were the cornerstone of the company.
Throughout the generations, the family business has adopted several names. Starting with Gray Bottling Works, it changed to Chas. C. Gray Beverages and then Gray’s Beverage Company before adopting the current name of Gray Brewing Company. In the late 1890s, the Gray family discontinued brewing beer to focus solely on soft drinks. This decision was based on the strength of soft drink sales and the ever-growing temperance movement.
The business is currently operated by fifth-generation Robert (Fred) Gray II. After being founded by Joshua C. Gray, ownership moved generation to generation: Charles Gray to Charles Gray II and Margaret Gray to Robert Gray to Robert (Fred) Gray II. Today, Fred’s children, Sarah and Jacob Gray, have joined the business to give it a sixth generation.
Gray’s was first located at 52 Locust Street, moving to its second and current location on West Court Street in Janesville in 1959. Gray Brewing Company produces handcrafted beer and soda that is sold locally. All of the products are still produced under Joshua Gray’s philosophy of using the best ingredients available.
In 2015, Gray Brewing Company reopened its doors to the public with its Tasting Room and “Owners Brewery Tour”.
Today, the business continues to honor its forefathers who had the courage, vision and ambition to sail across an ocean to follow a dream. Gray Brewing Company is one of the nation’s oldest family-owned-and-operated beverage companies.
2424 W. Court Street
Janesville, WI 53546