YOU'VE ENTERED THE BAVARIAN BREWERY OF OLD...
The Bavarian Brewing Co., Inc., was once the largest brewer in the state of Kentucky and the largest employer in Covington, KY. Out of dozens of breweries that operated during the 19th and 20th centuries in the Cincinnati area, it's the only one with a remaining structure that was used for former Brew and Mill Houses. This edifice is visible and easily accessible off I-75 at the 12th Street Exit in Covington. (See a location map to visit.) It was formerly Brew Works and Jillian's, and was re-purposed in 2019 for office use as the Kenton County Government Center. There is also a Bavarian Brewery Exhibit that explores the history of the brewery and it buildings, accompanied with artifacts and Breweriana items on display. A Riedlin - Schott Room (named after the families who owned and operated the brewery), is available for community activities, meetings and events. This room and the exhibit (including the display areas), will be used for brewery tours featuring the history of the brewery. In addition, this website will help augment the brewery's history, while also documenting the progression of inventions and events that impacted the broader brewing industry.
Main objectives of this website are to:
One of the primary objectives of this site is to provide a virtual museum of brewery memorabilia, referred to as Breweriana, as it relates to the former Bavarian Brewery. The items displayed herein and in the exhibit have been obtained from the Behringer Crawford Museum (BCM), both Riedlin and Schott family members, other individuals and online images. The artifacts in the exhibit display cases are also expected to be rotated periodically.
An active effort will be made to increase the collection of Bavarian memorabilia through gifts and loans. If you have any such items, photos, or simply have additional information to supplement this web site or the displays, please contact us.
SHARE OUR HISTORY
If you have any information, photos, or items about to the Bavarian Brewing Co. you are willing to share or donate, please Contact Us.
The photo above of the Bavarian Brew House, built in 1911, was taken in 1932. This building was repurposed into the South Wing of the Kenton Co. Government Center in 2019. The red arrow shows the location of the main Bavarian Brewery Exhibit, which is now next to the Information Desk. Above it on the second floor are additional exhibits and a meeting room. The windows above the arrow were opened and connect to bridges across an enclosed atrium to the North Wing of this office complex.
Play a Bavarian's Beer 1960 Radio Jingle
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BAVARIAN BREWERY BEGINNINGS
The origins of the brewery began in 1866 when it was established by Julius Deglow. The instituion became known as the Bavarian Brewery Co. starting in 1870. A photo of the original building is shown. After passing through the ownership of various proprietors, it fell into bankruptcy in 1877.
In 1882, William Riedlin acquired an interest in the property with John Meyer, and began operating under the proprietorship of Meyer & Riedlin in 1884. (See the photo of the workers.) Besides the Original Brewery building (A), the property had two ice ponds, ice houses, lager cellars, sheds and other buildings. (The ponds are indicated by the map, and the buildings identified by letters are on the postcard shown further below.)
During the Meyer & Riedlin ownership, the Mill House (B) was added around 1886 and the Brew House (C) was built in about 1888. Refrigeration was also added during this period, which eliminated the need for the ice ponds. By this time, the brewery site was situated between Pike and 12th Streets in Covington, KY.
In 1889, the name of the Bavarian Brewery became the Bavarian Brewing Co., Inc. This change allowed the brewery to become more capitalized and allowed its growth to accelerate. In the 1890s, additions included the Mechanical Building (D) - in c. 1890, the Bottling Department building (E) - in 1892, and the Ice Manufacturing Plant (F) - in 1895. By 1900 the brewery complex consisted of several buildings shown in a postcard and identified with letters. In 1899, a photo of the workers was taken from W. Pike Street and displayed below. It was situated between the original Brewery Building (A) and the Bottling Department (E). The photo of horse drawn wagons was taken in front of the stables and wagon shed (located east and left of buildings E and F). Bavarian had about 100 horses and dozens of wagons to deliver beer, porter, ale, tonic and ice.