Oh, those poor German brewers. They quenched so many thirsts and brought so many smiles to Port City residents. And yet for all their hard, sweaty work, they’re the Rodney Dangerfields of Alexandria, getting no respect and seemingly anathema to the historians.
Jim Dandy to the rescue is Garret Peck, author of five books including his latest, “Capital Beer, A Heady History of Brewing in Washington, D.C.” German brewers are the stars of the show, including giants such as Robert Portner, who built a massive plant in Alexandria that symbolized the greatness of his brewing empire.
The English knew how to make beer too. All told, Alexandrians were kept content for many years.
1. Wales was first brewer in the District of Columbia, 26 years before first in the city of Washington.
6. Entwistle’s ad in paper touted “no brewery south in the United States.” Fire destroyed plant in 1854.
10. Martin’s Ale Brewery was located directly across from Portner’s at King and Fayette.
12. Brewery was called Shuter’s Hill, but it was located 300 yards to the southeast at present day Duke and Dulany. Remnants still exist underground. Klein and Strausz were first brewers of lager in 1858. “Never scaled up.” Burned down in 1893.
13. There is no specific address for Christian Pogensee, other than on King Street in the West End. In 1865, the furthest street west was West.
14. Portner was “most inventive of the Washington-area brewers.” Remnants of his plant remain at 615 N. St. Asaph (residential), 515 N. Washington (IACP building ) and 705 S. St. Asaph (offices). Tivoli Passage named after his beer.
William Oates, 1817-1818, Quaker Lane