8A. BAVARIAN BREWING CO. PLANT No. 1 (1949)
Floor Plans & Photos
Please know that the plans shown below are best viewed on a large monitor or, at a minimum, a laptop or iPad; not a smart phone.
PLANT NO. 1 LAYOUT & FLOOR PLANS
Shortly after Bavarian acquired Heidelberg Brewery in 1949, they had blueprints created of all of their structures that comprised their original and main plant, which was referred to as Plant No. 1. They were created by a draftsman, Frank C. Hall, who worked for Harold H. Hermann & Associates, Consulting Engineers, located in the Enquirer Building in Cincinnati, OH. Hall also created the blueprints for the Bavarian Plant No. 2, which was the former Heidelberg Brewery. These plans were acquired and provided courtesy of Timothy Holian, author of the "Over the Rhine" series about the brewing history in the Cincinnati area. Since the blueprints for Plant No. 1 showed aging and had writing in pencil that was often smeared and nearly illegible, they were reconditioned, and the writing was converted to text by L. Ried Schott. (This was deemed unnecessary for Plant No. 2.)
Plot Plan of Plant No. 1
The structures identified on the Plot Plan below (for Plant No. 1) are numbered in chronological order by the date they were built, as discussed previously in time periods 4. The Later Riedlin Years and 7. The Schott Brothers & WWII. They were constructed between 1903 and 1913. Buildings 1 and 2 are not shown because they were razed before Prohibition, and Buildings 7 - 9 are not indicated since they were located south of Lehmer Street and sold during Prohibition. Of those structures on the Plot Plan, only the Brew-Mill House (10) remains, which is why it is shaded amber below. As noted herein, it has been repurposed as part of the Kenton County Government Center.
Aerial Photo of Plant No. 1
The picture below corresponds to the Plot Plan above and provides another perspective of the brewery. Each structure was involved in different processes in the production and distribution of the beer, as described below.
HOW THE STRUCTURES OPERATED AS A BREWERY
The brewing process began in the Brew House (10A), which is the curved part of this structure, and behind it in the Mill House (10B). However, both parts were sometimes simply referred to as the Brew House. Grains and hops needed to produce the beer were delivered to the ground floor Receiving Room through a garage like entrance. It was on the west side of the Mill House next to the former ice house. The grains included corn grits and a variety of barley malts. Elevators then transported the ingredients to the upper floors of the Mill House, which was above the Engine Room. The malt was milled on the fifth floor and funneled into Malt Bins, where portions of the different malts were processed via hot water to become a malt mash on the fourth floor. The corn grits were cooked with hot water, also on the fourth floor, and became cereal mash. Both the cereal and malt mashes were combined to form a wort that went into the Lauter Tun on the third floor, which allowed for the separation of liquid wort from residual grains. The grain residue left over from the Lauter Tun, referred to as spent grain, was transferred to an outside tank attached to the second floor of the Brew House where it could be funneled into a truck and used as animal feed. The remaining liquid "sweet" wort then went into the Brew Kettle on the second floor, and hops were added from the second floor Hop Room. Below the brew kettle on the first floor was a cooler and a hop strainer that allowed spent hops to easily be placed in a bin next to the Receiving Room. This process of top-down brewing, beginning on the upper floors, was assisted through the use of gravity, and consequently, called a gravity system.
The resulting liquid "bitter" wort from the brew kettle was cooled and transferred to one of the open oak barrels in Fermenting Room/Cellar A, located on the top floor of the Stock House (3A), where yeast was added from yeast tubs on this level. During this process, it was necessary to occasionally skim the top of the barrels. Once the fermentation process reached the conditioning phase, the liquid was transferred to a tank in either Fermenting Cellar B, located on the third floor of what was called the Racking House (3B) on the Plot Plan, or Fermenting Cellar C on the third floor of the Fermenting House aka the Stock House Addition (11). Having Fermenting Cellars on the upper floors also made it easier to provide ventilation required due to the fermenting process. This ventilation was augmented by vents that appear to be small windows on the top floors of the Stock House shown on the aerial photo. This probably contributed to the unique "beer smell" or odor that emanated from the brewery. Once the Fermenting process was over, which could take about a month, the beer was funneled via beer lines to storage tanks below in one of five Stock Cellars (A-E), located on the first and second floors of the aforementioned three buildings.
When the beer and ale were ready for distribution, conduit lines transported these liquids to the Filter Room (situated behind the Wash House and Racking Room) where unwanted particles were removed. Afterwards, carbonation was added as needed, and a clear and sparkling beverage was created. It was then transferred through tubes / hoses via a tunnel from the Racking House to the "Government" Cellar where appropriate beer taxes were calculated. The beer and ale were then forwarded to the bottling line or the (cone top) canning line (beginning in 1948) in the Bottling Department (6), or to the Racking Room, on the first level of the Rack House (3A), to be filled in kegs. The ale was processed similarly, but never canned. (A separate flat top canning line for beer was not added until about 1955.) In order to supply kegs for the Racking Room, most kegs were recycled and returned to the adjacent Wash House (3C) on Lehmer Street where they were then cleaned and prepared to be refilled. The Pitch Shed located next to the Wash House was originally used to tar wood barrels to prevent them from leaking, but later it seems the shed was used to help process metal kegs for washing. Empty bottles were also returned off of Lehmer Street to the Bottling Department where they were soaked, cleaned, filled, capped (crowned), pasteurized, labeled, packed and shipped. A Retail and Shipping Office next to the Wash House and in front of the Pitch Shed controlled trucks with cases and kegs of beer going in and out of the brewery.
Essentially, brewery access was separated into two parts: The grain delivery and an office access were from W. 12th Street, and the return of bottles/kegs and the shipping of beer were from Lehmer Street. Management was primarily located in offices on the second and third floors of the Brew - Mill House. Access to nearly all other structures, as well as an entrance to the Brew House, was from Lehmer Street. The aforesaid operations were supported via the Engine Room on the bottom of the Mill House and the Boiler Room (5) next to the Bottling Department. In addition, refrigeration was supplied by condensers on top of the Bottling Department with cooling also supplied by the Brine Room, on the top floor of the Stock House Addition / Fermenting House.
Below are photos inside the Brew House that show most of brewing process described above.