Jan. 22, 2019
Worth the Drive
Today on Worth the Drive we are looking at Ewig Brothers Fish Company, a Port Washington gem! They have proudly been serving Port Washington since 1894! With a wide variety of smoked fish and seasonings, they have earned an amazing reputation for their delicious products.
This local buisness has an amazing history that has made it what it is today. Herman Ewig was forced to pack up the family and immigrate to the United States. They immediately headed for Jones Island in Milwaukee. Most of the inhabitants of Jones Island were people of the sea, immigrants from the Baltic area. Herman joined his brother August Ewig in the fishing business probably around 1882. They lived and fished in the community until 1894 when they moved their business to Port Washington.
In Port Washington, Herman and August’s fishing business was proving quite lucrative. Their many sons joined the business. The Ewigs bought the steam tug HERBERT and changed the name to the H.EWIG. Emil and Gus fished her out of Port until Emil died in 1924. Emil’s son Oscar, a licensed captain, took over at the helm. Oscar later bought out his mother’s shares of the business. Herbert and Elmer replaced their father Gus and eventually bought their mother’s shares of the business. The Ewig business now belonged to 3 cousins and continued to flourish. As one generation replaced the other, so did the fish boats the family used.
In 1935, unsafe harbor improvements made the wooden EWIG I, and steel EWIG II, vulnerable to wave surges at their dock in Port Washington. The business was forced to move to Sheboygan. In 1959 Oscar’s failing health forced the sale of the business to Elmer and Herbert. Elmer bought out Herbert’s’ share a few years later. Herbert died in 1963. Elmer a few years later, died in a car crash coming home to Sheboygan in 1967. Another generation had passed in to history.
Today, Eugene, son of Elmer, Jeff, son of Eugene, and Matthew, son of Jeff, run the business. They operate the smokehouses and retail market across the street from where the original market was, and where the steam queen H. EWIG and other vessels of the Ewig fish company once moored. The Ewig’s no longer venture out onto Lake Michigan as commercial fisherman, but the name continues to be associated with the best our lake has to offer.
Ewig's smoked fish selection includes smoked Alaskan salmon, lake trout, whitefish, salmon filets, fish spreads, and salmon filet samplers. One new product that they are extremely excited about is there smoked Cisco. This new product tastes the same as their famous smoked chubs that, due to the decreased population in Lake Michigan, are no longer available.
So if you're a fan of smoked fish head down to Ewig Bros. Fish Company today to try their amazing food. Ewigs truly is Worth the Drive!