Richard Siemon founded an ale brewery called Saratoga Brewery in the town of Saratoga, Nebraska in the early 1860s. It was located at the present-day junction of North 16th Street and Commercial Avenue. By 1863 the company was sold to Ebenezer Dallow, who in turn sold it to Joseph Baumann in 1865. Baumann renamed it the Columbia Brewery. In 1876 Baumann hired a young German immigrant named Gottlieb Storz to become his foreman. Baumann died that year and his widow, Wilhemina, ran the brewery, naming Storz foreman. In 1884 Storz and a partner named J.D. Iler purchased the brewery. They immediately improved the buildings and machinery, and increased production. In 1891 Storz founded a company called the Omaha Brewing Association to make beer and named himself as president.
According to the Omaha World-Herald, "The Storz brewery pumped out 43 million gallons of beer a year and produced one-third of all the beer sold in Nebraska in 1960. Arthur C. Storz Sr. sold the company in 1966. It went out of business in 1972."
The original Storz Brewery building was located at 1807 North 16th Street on the corner of 16th and Clark Streets. Built for $500,000 in 1893, it was a six-story building constructed from brick, stone and cement that was over 200 feet long. It had red tiled floors and walls with burnished stainless steel and copper fixtures. Storz installed new equipment throughout the building, as well as an ice plant, cold storage, a bottling shop, machine shop and a restaurant. Eventually, the entire facility occupied more than 15 buildings. The original Storz Brewery included a hospitality room patterned after a brew house called "The Frontier Room" and a hunting lodge-style banquet room adorned with the stuffed heads of big game called "The Trophy Room."
Storz and later, his son Adolph, were precise and efficient brew masters and managers. The new plant was capable of producing 150,000 barrels annually. Storz himself consistently hired new brewers from Germany, where he himself had learned how to brew beer.
Storz faced ongoing political and social pressures against alcohol consumption by religious and moral organizations across Nebraska, and throughout the Midwest. Storz fought statewide legislation calling for the prohibition of alcohol by working closely with the Omaha Brewing Association, the National German-American Alliance and several other organizations. After a number of legislative battles in the 1890s, in 1916 Nebraska voters approved a statewide prohibition amendment. When the law went into effect in 1917, no more alcoholic beverages were allowed to be sold in Nebraska. Nebraska became the 36th state to ratify the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution on January 16, 1919.