THE HISTORY OF THE BAVARIAN BREWERY
Spanning Over 150 Years
THE HISTORY OF THE BAVARIAN BREWER IN COVINGTON, KY
Explained In Multiple Ways
The Bavarian Brewery operated beginning in 1866 for a century. What makes it unique is that its history is well documented from photos, corporate minutes and other information. Most importantly, is that some of its most important buildings still remain. In the former Brew/Mill House, which was repurposed for administrative office space for Kenton Co., there is a "storyboard" exhibit that covers the history of brewery that can be accessed during regular weekday hours for free inside the lobby of this building, next to the information desk. There is also a long hallway and the Riedlin-Schott Meeting Room on the second floor above this exhibit that provides additional historrical information and artifacts. (See the Brewery Exhibit & Riedlin-Schott Room.)
To complement the historical information that is physically provided in the former brewery, this website provides some of the most extensive details of a local brewery in the United States, before the micro-brewing era in the late 1900s, when there were less than 200 brewers in America. A summary of this history is provided on the Home Page. There is also a Historical Summary that provides a synopsis of different time periods involving the brewery property, plus supplemental sections that investigate special topics. However, there a much more detailed narrative history of the brewery along with numerous photos and images. In doing so, it allows the storied past of the Bavarian Brewery, which was owned and operated by members of the same family corporation for 83 years and once the largest employer in Covington, to be connected and linked with the present. It allows a large number of stories and information to be shared with anyone, anywhere and at any time.
A MORE DETAILED HISTORY OF THE BREWERY
This history of the brewery considers major technological changes as well as various locational, socioeconomic and political insights that lead to its growth, its challenges and its demise. This required considerable research that went well beyond previously published material, including:
i) An unpublished manuscript document about the history of the brewery by a C.B. Truesdell in 1954
ii) Bavarian Brewing Co. Minutes from 1938 until 1960
iii) Numerous photographs from the Kenton County Library and the Schott Family Collection (of photos) from the
Behringer Crawford Museum
v) Sanborn Insurance Maps from the late 1800s to mid 1900s
vi) A review of newspaper articles and advertisements covering over 100 years
vii) An analysis of breweriana associated with the Bavarian Brewery
viii) Previous publications, partially covering Bavarian (but none have done so exclusively)
ix) Recollections from the descendants of the brewery
Rather than use photos that often included numerous scratches, creases, blemishes, fingerprints, etc., considerable effort went into restoring many of the photos to look as they once did when after they were taken. An example of such a restoration is below. All the photos before Prohibition was repealed are tinted in brown, those taken afterwards are black and white.
In presenting a detailed history of the Bavarian Brewery, it was necessary to divide it into various parts, chronologically. This involved determining 14 time periods and 10 supplemental sections over the history of the brewery property spanning more than 150 years. The average period was about a decade, but each period varied from several years to over a couple decades. The supplemental sections provide specialized topics and information during that period. Additionally, there are also two sections about the families that owned the brewery for some 83 years, The Riedlin Family and The J.M. Schott / Wm. C. Schott Families. To explore the fascinating history of the Bavarian Brewery, you are invited to explore these periods and sections from the Menu under the History tab, or access the Historical Summary, which is also linked to each time period and section. Each period and section is accompanied by numerous photos and detailed write-ups. In total, there are over 300 photos and 175 images in these write-ups. In addition, there more than 150 advertisements (see Ads) and a couple hundred collectible memorabilia items depicted in over 25 categories. (See Breweriana.) This website enables anyone to obtain a quick overview of the brewery, to become familiar with specific time periods or topics of interest, and for the collector of beer memorabilia, to find most items that were associated with the Bavarian Brewing Co. in Covington, KY. Please use this website as you desire, and also visit the exhibit and historical items on display at the Kenton County Government Center at 1840 Simon Kenton Way in Covington, with easy access from Interstate 75. Should you be interested in a unique venue for a meeting, conference or event, you will want to consider the Riedlin-Schott Room.
The background photo is of a Bavarian Brewery Underground Lager Cellar, which still exists.