Bavarian Brewing Co., Inc. (BBC)
LATER RIEDLIN YEARS (1900 - 1919)
Since 1830, the population of Cincinnati had always been one of the top 10 largest cities in the U.S., usually ranking between sixth and eighth. Even though Cincinnati was still experiencing growth, it no longer one of the 10 largest cities beginning after 1900. Despite having somewhat less national influence, the beginning of the century 20th Century was one of the most expansive for the Bavarian Brewing Co., Inc. The brewery embarked on constructing buildings and in adjoining land acquisition to increase its production capabilities, as described in the following.
THE BREWERY EXPANDS
The industrial revolution was transforming America in the 1800s and early 1900s. Steamboats escalated Cincinnati's growth beginning around the 1820s, the telegraph was in use by the 1840s, railroads from the east coast were serving the Ohio region by the mid 1850's, and the telephone began to be used in the 1870s and 1880s. , the combustion engine for the car, and the assembly line production of the Model-T automobile in 1908, was having a stimulating affect upon the U.S. economy. It had an impact on all companies, and some took more advantage of it than others. The decade beginning in 1900 was one of the most expansive for the Bavarian Brewing Co., Inc. There were some important property acquisitions in the first decade of the 1900's, and several buildings were constructed nearly every year through 1913, as discussed in the proceeding.
PROPERTY ACQUISITIONS (1900 - 1908)
At the turn of the 20th Century the brewery evidently realized that in order to expand, they needed to acquire adjoining properties. They were essentially landlocked in the middle of a block. To provide space for expansion, a few acquisitions occurred in the first decade of the 1900s. Even though discussions probably began in previous years, Bavarian acquired the "Tan Yard" property between 12th and Pike streets in 1904, which had operated as the L.H. Deglow Tannery. They acquired part of it from the Louis and Julius Deglow family, and in another transaction that same year, from George Lubrecht. Additional acquisitions occurred in 1906 and 1908 with purchases from Blanch and Carl Wiel and Monika and Anton Ruh, respectively. This essentially allowed the brewery to obtain most of the property between its original building and Willow Run Creek, and from Pike Street to W. 12th Street, as depicted on the 1894 Sanborn Insurance Map shown on the right.
1902. William Riedlin Sr. is standing second from the right and the brew master, Anton Ruh is to his right. William Riedlin Jr. is seated third from the right.
Stein & Sign c. 1900. Only a monochrome picture of the sign was available. However, it had bright colors on reverse glass with glue chip lettering in a zinc frame. The "Germania Stein" is includes shields of various German states around the bottom. Click either image for more information and also see the Tap Room section for more steins.
BAVARIAN WORKERS AS THE 1900s BEGIN
At the beginning of the 1900s, the Bavarian Brewing Co. was poised for significant growth. A picture of workers taken on December 19, 1902, is below. The sign in the center of the photo was made by the Cincinnati Sandblast Co. and also used in the photos of the previous and following sections of the Bavarian Rathskeller. "The Stein" as it was sometimes referred to, was made by Mettlach in Germany and was also known as the "Germania Stein." The barrel with the star indicates Bavarian Beer was made according to the German Purity Law, known as Reinheitsgebot. The noted items are enlarged and shown on the right.
The Bavarian Brewing Co. began a planned and continuous building program between 1902 and 1913. They constructed about 10 buildings in a decade, razing some older buildings that were obsolete and adding some new buildings, which were much more functional. These buildings are listed in chronological order on the side. A site map c. 1909 and lithograph c. 1912 both correspond to the chronological numbers on the side and below. Each building is briefly discussed and most are accompanied by photographs obtained from the Kenton County Library and the Schott Collection at the bcmuseum.org. Those buildings that still remain today have been repurposed for other uses. Nevertheless, the original brewery site still remains mostly intact, along with such former brewery buildings as the Brew House, Mill House, Bottling Department and Executive Offices. This provides one of the more complete and significant vestiges of a former Pre-Prohibition brewery in the region. In addition, nearby structures associated with the brewery, such as Covington Turners and the Riedlin Residence, also remain.
It is believed that nearly all of the brewery structures built in the early 1900's are covered herein, but it's possible a couple may have been omitted. If anyone has any information about these omissions, or if we need to modify or add any descriptions, please contact us.
Building Summary (1902-13)
1. Water Cooler & Ice Plant (1902)
2. Stables (1903)
3. Stock House (1903-5)
4. Tall Stack (1906)
5. Boiler House (1906)
6. Engine Room (1907)
7. Bottling Department (1908)
8. Executive Office Building (1910)
9. Brew & Mill Houses (1912)
10. Stock House Addition (1913)
11. Ice Plant (Early 1900s)
THE BREWERY COMPLEX BEFORE PROHIBITION
The Bavarian Brewery began at 369 Pike Street. As it grew, the brewery facilities were rebuilt to the south, on the the north side of 12th Street, and also expanded both to the west and the east. This growth occurred during a period of substantial industrial evolution. In the more recent lithograph below (dated c. 1912), the building numbers correspond to those presented in the side bar above and with the descriptions below. Those buildings that are shown in red were removed and those shown in blue remain, albeit used for non-brewery uses.
1909 Sanborn Map. This site plan above depicts the Bavarian Brewery around 1909. Please note, the orientation of this site plan is reversed from the lithographs. The numbers on this map correspond to the sidebar above, the descriptions below and those numbers shown on lithograph on the left above. However, this plan does not reflect the outlines of some of the buildings constructed around 1909 or afterwards. As a result, some of the numbers are not on the specific outlines of the buildings they represent; however, they do reflect where those buildings were located.
Lithographs. The lithographs above were prepared by the Cincinnati Lithograph Co.and were used on Bavarian Brewing Co. letterheads obtained from the Schott Collection at the bcmuseum.org. (See Stationary.) The upper left c. 1912 image contains numbers that correspond to the buildings described above and below. The letters on the c. 1900 image correspond to buildings described in the previous section, Early Riedlin Years.