Elfenbrau Elf



Charles and John started brewing beer in La Crosse in 1857. Gottlieb Heileman worked as brewmaster for C & J Michel Brewery before partnering with John Gund to found the City Brewery.

Elfenbrau beer was the most popular variety brewed by the brothers prior to the prohibition.


Plaster Michel brewery elf. Elf is wearing a red hat, red shirt, and red tights. The elf is holding a bottle of beer in his left hand that says “Elfenbrau Beer Brewed and Bottled at C. & J. Michel Brewing Co. La Crosse”. The base of the statue reads “Elfenbrau Wholesome as Sunshine C & J Michel Brew Co. La Crosse”.

Catalog Number: 2011.014.142

Date: circa 1910


This elf was the first artifact from LCHS’s collections that has been photographed and turned into a 3D model by collections intern Sofie Kinzer. The 3D model was made possible through a collaboration with Dr. David Anderson and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Archaeology and Anthropology Department.



Blank postcard of a bar advertising Michel Brewing Company and Elfenbrau. If you look closely you will notice the matching set of Elfenbrau statues on the top shelf of the bar.

Catalog Number: 2011.014.178

Date: circa 1910

A tin sign over cardboard. It is a lithograph that reads, "C & J Michel Brewing Co. La Crosse, Wis." in a corner. There is a man with blond hair siting with a cigar and drinking a beer in a glass. The bottle is on the desk next to him that reads, "Elfenbrau C & J Michel Brewing Co La Crosse." There is a red Elfenbrau statue that is holding a beer. The base of the statue reads, "Elfenbrau 'Wholesome as Sunshine' C & J Michel Brew Co. La Crosse." There is a fireplace that in red and white read, "Elfenbrau Bottle Beer."

Catalog Number: 2011.014.139

Date: circa 1910