In 2001 I posted this as a suggested project for an archeological dig. That suggestion has been acted upon by Dr. David Small and his archeology students from Lehigh University. During the Fall 2009 semester they are sifting through soil and rubble to see what can be learned about this eighteenth century brewery. Compare the arch shown above with the view from One Hundred Years of Brewing (below).
The old Moravian Brewery.
Entrance to groined arch cellar, Moravian Brewery.
100 Years of Brewing
One of the earliest breweries to be erected in Pennsylvania stood, in a good state of repair, until the year 1896, at Christian's Springs, Northampton County, about twelve miles north of Bethlehem. The Moravians laid out the town in 1747, and the brewery, with a malt-house and distillery, was erected two years later. It was a building of limestone, 50' X 30', and contained a vaulted cellar and granary. Monocacy creek flowed past the place, and a remarkably large spring of water (still visited by the curious) provided drinking water for the brewery. The record of the year's brewing from June, 1754, to June 1755, shows 5,994.5 gallons (187 barrels) of beer and for the same period, 759 gallons of whisky were distilled - both products being consumed at the various Moravian settlements, with their three inns. Christian Mathiesen was the brewer for many years. He was a native of Denmark, and died in June, 1796. Four or five of the original buildings are still standing, several of them occupied, although the brewing of beer was discontinued about 1800. The groined arched vaults of this pioneer of its kind were certainly among the earliest built in the colonies.
"How Beer Came to Bethlehem."
By Frank Whelan, Morning Call
1749 Moravian's first brewery built at Christiansbrunn, or Christian's Spring, near Nazareth. The only stone building in the little community, the brewery at Christian's Spring supplied both the Crown Inn, Bethlehem's first watering hole, and later the Sun Inn. The combination of skilled brewmaster and pure water led to the creation of a superior brew. Its fame spread by travelers, Bethlehem beer soon became well-known in all 13 colonies. Even foreign visitors commented favorably. The brewery was a victim of its own success, with demand outstripping supply. On-the-job drinking became a concern when the young men running the brewery became more interested in sampling the product than with its manufacture. Moravian Bishop Levering wrote that "intemperance was the most prominent evil in the declining establishment of the single men at Christianbrunn." Moravian leaders closed the brewery in 1796.
Other Possible Projects:
The Goundie House in Bethlehem
Save the Neuweiler Brewery
Archaeology: Christian Springs Brewery
Kaier's Brewery, Mahanoy City