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, by Harold H. Hermann & Associates, Consulting Engineers. The were located in the Enquirer Building, Cincinnati, OH. The draftsman for all blueprints, for these as well as those for Plant No. 2, was Frank C. Hall. The blueprints 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 differennt 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 needed to produce the beer were delivered through the truck garage entrance on the west side of the Mill House next to the former ice house. Elevators then transported these grains to the upper floors of the Mill House, which was above the Engine Room. These grains included corn grits, a variety of barley malts, and hops. The corn grits were cooked with hot water and become cereal mash on the fourth floor. The malt was milled on the fifth floor, processed via hot water and became a malt mash on the third floor. Both the cereal and malt mashes were combined to form a wort that went into the Lauter Tun, 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 liquid 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 hop to easily be placed in a bin next to the garage. 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 wort from the brew kettle was cooled and transferred to one of many fermentation tanks that were located on the top floors of either the Stock House (3A), the Fermenting House or Stock House Addition (11), and what was referred to on the Plot Plan as the Racking House (3B). Yeast was added for the fermentation process from a storage tank on the floor above the Racking Room. All Fermenting Cellars appear to have been on the upper floors to make it easier to provide ventilation required due to the fermenting process. The small windows on the top floors of the Stock Houses shown on the aerial photo were ventilating vents, and probably contributed to the unique "beer smell" or odder that emanated from the brewery. After the fermentation process was complete, which could take about a month, the beer was funneled via beer lines to storage tanks in the Stock Cellars located on the lower floors of the Stocks Houses, i.e. also referred to as the Fermenting House and Racking (Rack) House on the blueprints.
Once the beer and ale were ready for distribution the liquids were sent to the Filter Room (situated behind the Wash House and Racking Room), unwanted particles were removed, and carbonation was added as needed in order to create a clear and sparkling beverage. It was then transferred through tubes 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 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 / 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 with grain deliver and an office access from W. 12th Street, and the return of bottles/kegs and the shipping of beer 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 blueprints providing floor plans for each level of the structures identified on the images above, accompanied by photos. They provide the ability to analyze the operations of the brewery in more detail than as described above. Please note that the structures identified on the Plot Plan and on the blueprint sheets showing all the floors sometimes were referenced differently at the time the brewery was operating and as referred to previously herein. These differences are mentioned in the following discussion.
Brew House (10A) - also consisting of the Mill House (10B) and the Maintenance & Supply Room (I)
As noted, what is called the Brew House on the Plot Plan, also consisted of the Mill House, including an Engine Room on the bottom of the Mill House. This Engine Room adjoined a Maintenance & Supply Room that was the stone foundation of an old ice house (I), which had a staircase that led to an old lager cellar. It was used as a tunnel to access the Bottling Dept. and Boiler House. (See 4A. The Brewery Tunnels.) The Brew House was the curved part of the structure on the north side facing Lehmer Street. A distinct feature of the Brew House section is that it had a couple open staircases as well as floor openings on most levels. It also contained most of the equipment used for brewing. However, the Mill House actually occupied most of this structure up to W. 12th Street. For fire protection and containment, the middle portion of the structure was designed to separate the Brew House from the south side of the Mill House where most of the grains were stored. As mentioned, the grains were transported into this section via a truck entrance for unloading grains on the west side of this structure, which was serviced by grain and freight elevators.
Please note that first two photos below taken in the early 1940s reflect different angles of the structure(s). The aerial photo taken several years later shows a more complete view of the Brew-Mill House. There were multiple entrances to Brew-Mill House. In the photo of the Maintenance Room in the bottom row below, it shows an entrance to the engine room on the lower left side. Above it is an entrance to the office space on the second level. Access to this office space was provided from W. 12th street up an outside flight of stairs, as shown in the lower middle photo. Inside the second floor was a staircase to more office space on the third level. Another entrance was from Lehmer Street. There were interior stairs opposite this entrance that lead to the Bavarian Tap Room, shown in the last photo. The Tap Room could also be easily accessed from the second-floor offices to entertain customers and guests.
Since the blueprints for the former Brew House are intended to be exhibits placed on their respective floors of what is now the Kenton County Government Center, they were reoriented to reflect accurate north-south directions in the way they are placed. However, the curved portion of the Brew House provides a good reference point in comparing the blueprints to the photos.