*** National Lager Day ***

Sunday December 16, 2018 1-5 PM

Facts and Links For an Interactive Tour

Join Pete Woodall of Hidden City and myself and celebrate National Lager Day with a pilgrimage to see some old breweries, have a few beers and end up at “America’s First Lager” historic marker. ($25)

I’ve created National Lager Day” a Collection of Albums identified by Stop Number and Name: tour:

Stop 01: Chas. Maass Weiss Beer Brewery

1325 N. Randolph St.

The tour begins at the Maas Building (1325 Randolph St.) which, eluded me on all my bus tours and didn’t make it into the Guidebook to the Philadelphia Brewery Tour (2010). It was a weiss beer brewery and has been renovated as an events center. I realize this is National Lager Day, but this old weiss beer plant is a success story in brewery preservation!

Maass Weiss Beer Brewery Flickr Album

Maas Building website

Wagner, Rich. Philadelphia’s Weiss Beer Breweries.” Mid-Atlantic Brewing News. December/January 2010.

To the north, at the opposite end of the playground was a brewery originally listed at 520 W. Jefferson St. which changed hands and lasted up until WWII. It was most famous as Elizabeth Vollmer's brewery (PA 521). I have been told that parts of the brewery complex may still be standing.

Stop 02: Charles Ehinger's Brewery

1150 Germantown Ave.

Ehinger Flicker Album

Wagner, Rich. Philadelphia's Long Lost Lagers” Ale Street News, April/May 2007.

Stop 03: Christian Schmidt’s Kensington Brewery

113/117 Edward St.

Schmidt’s Flickr Album

Hexamer General Surveys: 1872 , 1885, 1892, 1895 , 1895

Wagner, Rich. The Rise and Fall of Schmidt’s of Philadelphia.” American Breweriana Journal. November/December 2005.

Wagner, Rich. Another One Bites the Dust.” Mid-Atlantic Brewing News. June/July 2001.

Wagner, Rich. Blast From the Past, Schmidt’s Menu Tips.” Mid-Atlantic Brewing News. August/September 2007.

Wagner, Rich. Remembering Schmidt’s: Beer as Beer Should Be.” Mid-Atlantic Brewing News. December/January 2007.

Russell, “Joe Sixpack,” Don. Save the Sign.” Daily News January 28, 2000.

Flickr Album: Exhibits on Schmidt’s and Brewerytown at the National Brewery Museum

My Flickr Album devoted to outdoor beer storage tanks.

Video of first Philadelphia Brewery Tour in May 1987 meeting up at Schmidt’s:

Images of Schmidt’s being razed, 2001:

Schmidt's owner, Wm. Pflaumer, Obit

Stop 04: Urban Village

1001 N. Second St.

This brewery opened in 2017 in the Schmidt’s Commons, formerly The Piazza, near the old brewery complex.

Urban Village Flickr Album:

Melamed, Samantha. I went to visit what's left of the Piazza, and found Urban Village

Brewing Co.” Philadelphia Inquirer April 11, 2018.

Stop 05: Binder, Biederbeck & Schmidheiser

606-608 Saint John St.

B.B. & S. Flickr Album

This was the site of a brewery starting in 1845 when the address was 178 Saint John St. The City standardized the address numbering system in 1856 and the address became 606 Saint John St.

Stop 06: Philip Guckes, International B.C.

822-834 Saint John St.

Guckes Flickr Album

1869 Hexamer General Survey

U.S. Industrial Census 1870




Power: H.P.

# Employees: Wages: Mos.



PA 442

Guckes, Ph. Ale & Porter Brewery & Malt House


Steam 30 h.p.

Engine: 1

Mill: 2

20: $12,480: 12

Hops 36,000 lb. $5,000

Ale 7,237 bbl. $65,133

Porter 1,928 bbl. $15,420

Elevator: 3

Malt 33,000 bu. $5,000

Refrigerator: 7

Grain 30,000 bu. $42,000

Pumps: 2

Coal 400 ton $2,800

Stop 07: Ortlieb’s

824-42 N. American St.

Ortlieb’s Flickr Album:

Video of Henry Ortlieb giving tour to Philadelphia Brewery Tour

Images of Ortlieb’s being razed, 2002

Trupert Ortlieb established a weiss beer brewery at 3rd & Thompson streets when he mustered out of his second hitch in the Civil War. He moved and was next to the much larger Guckes brewery, the property of which was later absorbed and became part of the large modern Ortlieb brewery complex.

Flickr Album devoted to “Allied Industries” in Philadelphia and Larry Handy’s Ortlieb exhibits at the national Brewery Museum in Potosi:

Wagner, Rich.Ortlieb, Brewers By Birth Since 1869.” the KEG, Winter 2005.

Wagner, Rich. Trupert Ortlieb’s farm near Lansdale.” the KEG, Fall 2009.

Henry Ortlieb, Obit.

Kieran Timberlake, Architects who re-purposed the Ortlieb Bottling House for their offices.

Google Maps/Street View, description.

Stop 08: John Wagner, America’s First Lager

455 Saint John St. (Old Numbering System)

Link to the John Wagner Flickr Album

Wagner, Rich.Tracking a Legend.” Mid-Atlantic Brewing News. June/July 2000.

Wagner, Rich. Defending a Legend: The Truth About America's First Lager.” Mid-Atlantic Brewing News. April/May 2007.

And some tantalizing clippings from early newspapers discovered by Tod Von Mechow:

Marker Dedication Ceremony, December 1, 2001:

Russell, “Joe Sixpack,” Russell. A Thirsty First.” Daily News. April 13, 2001.

Explore PA History Website:

Charlie Lieberman's poem he read at the dedication The Brewers Yeast”:

Image from NoLib Neighborhood Association Tour:

More on Philadelphia's Lager Beer Breweries

Wagner, Rich. “Engel & Wolf, Die Erste Lager Bier Brauerei in Amerika” American Breweriana Journal. January/February 2008. (Magazine cover showing Engel & Wolf’s brewery at Fountain Green)

Hexamer General Survey (1866) of Engel & Wolf’s brewery:

Wagner, Rich. Philadelphia’s Long Lost Lagers.” Ale Street News April/May 2007.

Earliest Hexamer General Surveys of Brewerytown c. 1866, Nos: 275, 276, 277, 278

Wagner, Rich.Otto C. Wolf: Brewery Architect and Engineer, Philadelphia, PA.” Brewery History (Journal of the Brewery History Society). Issue 155. (2014).

Stop 09: Standard Tap

901 N. Second St.

Standard Tap Flickr Album

Established to promote locally produced beer, the Standard Tap was one of the pioneers that helped transform this neighborhood. William Reed opened a second location, Johnny Brenda's at Frankford and Girard Avenues a few years later. If you visit that location you can see the Protobrewery which is on the other side of Frankford Ave. a little to the north.


I published The Breweries of Kensington and Beyond in 2003. Schmidt's was in a section called “Old Kensington” which was surrounded by Northern Liberties. With the help of Ken Milano, we identified 77 breweries which had addresses in Kensington in American Breweries II (Van Wieren 1995). Since then I made a similar list for Northern Liberties which had 99 breweries. What follows are some of the breweries that existed not far from the area of our walking tour from the Kensington list. Some numbers have been changed and reflect corrections that appeared in American Breweries III (Van Wieren 2016).

PA       383b          Francis L. Brehm (2nd & Germantown Road) 1845-1846

             383c          Francis L. Brehm

(129/131 Coates St, 321/333 Coates/post 1857) 1846-1870

             383d          Ludwig Stein 1871-1873


PA       383.1         Fred Berger, Spruce Beer

(284 Germantown Road & Otter) c. 1844-1853


PA       389a          Alois Christoph (117/127 West Thompson St) 1882-1884

             389b          Henry Hauser 1884-1889

PA       470.1a       X. Lang, Tavern & Brewery

(1214 North 5th)  1861-1866

             470.1b       Joseph Bauer  1867-1868


PA       494a          John Lips (1101 North 2nd & Germantown) 1843-1860


PA       517            (Fred) Nentzel & Hentzel

(1001 North 3rd (post 1857 numbers) & Beaver) 1854 1860


PA       518            Frederick Nentzel, Jr.

(548 North 3rd, 1012 North 3rd Post 1857)  

                                aka: Peter Noll (1847); aka: Robert Ortlieb (1861) 1845-1865


PA       521a          Martin Schurr (520 Jefferson) 1859-1869

             521b          Joseph Gindele

(1445/1449 Randolph & 520 Jefferson Sts) 1872-1876

             521c          Leonard Otterbach 1877-1882

             521d          Elizabeth Otterbach 1882-1883

             521e          August Vollmer 1883-1889

             521f           Elizabeth Vollmer

(1417/1449 Randolph & Jefferson Sts) 1889-1920

             521g          Vollmer Brewing Co. (1420/1430 North Randolph) 1933-1934

             521h          Schaffhauser Brewing Corp. 1934-1939

             521i           Schiller Brewing Co. 1940-1941

             521j           Jaeger BrewingCo. NP 1942-1943


PA       559a          Servantes Schloetterer (118 Master St) 1869-1878

             559b          Jacob Schick 1878-1880

             559c          Gottlieb Reitter 1880-1882

             559d          Jacob Schick 1882-1888


 PA       609.29a    B. Waldsauer Brewery (514 Franklin St) 1857-1858 

             609.29b    B. Waldsauer Brewery

(514 Girard Ave (Franklin renamed)) 1859-1862 

             609.29c     Adam Miller  1863-1866 


 Other Northern Liberties Breweries in the Vicinity

Coates St. became Fairmount Ave.; Charlotte St. became Orianna St.


PA      401a       Frederick L. Dithmar, aka: Dithmar & Gaul (1841) (520 North 3rd St)      1835 1843*      

          401b       (Fred) Dithmar & (George) Butz (934/942 North 3rd St post 1857)           1843 1865*

          401c       Thomas O'Neill & Co.                                                                                  1866 1866

          401d       J. W. Proctor & Co., Phoenix Brewery                                                         1867-1868*

          401e       (Mary A.) Gaul & (George) Carey                                                                 1868 1870*

          401f        (George) Carey & (George) Riehl                                                                  1871 1877

          401g       George Carey & Co. (Robert Conway & Julia Carey)                                    1877 1892


PA      480a       Koehnle & Gerkin (321/323 Fairmount Ave)                                                   1874 1875*

          480b       Koehnle & Son                                                                                                 1875 1877

          480c       Joseph Koehnle                                                                                                1877 1880

          480d       Peter Wolters                                                                                                    1880 1882

          480e       Peter Wolters Enterprise Brewery (315/323 Fairmount Ave)                          1883 1886

          480f        Philadelphia Brewing Co.                                                                                 1888 1888


PA      502         Luders, (John) Marbacker (also sp Marbacher) & Co.,

                        Northern Liberties Brewery (119 North 4th St)                                                1814 1820


PA     510e       Ferdinand Schaefer (aka: Frederick Schaefer) (338/340 Brown St cor 4th)          1883-1891

          510f        Ferdinand Schaefer (aka: Mrs E. N. Schaefer) (723 N. 4th St, cor Brown)         1893-1894

          510g       The Gallivan Co. (former vinegar & cider makers at 401/403 Brown,

                              expanded around corner to encompass 723 North 4th)                                1895 1896

          510h       Baltic Brewing Co. (401/403 Brown & 4th Sts)                                                    1896 1902


PA      511a       Christian Muellerschoen (495/497 North 3rd St)                                                    1878 1882

          511b       (Anna) Mary Muellerschoen                                                                                1882 1891

          511c       Muellerschoen's Weiss Beer Brewery, Andrew Rudolph                                       1891 1902

          511d       Muellerschoen's Weiss Beer Brewery, John C. Muellerschoen                              1902 1920


PA      630a       Trupert Ortlieb, Weiss Beer Brewery

                        (1312 Germantown Ave cor 1248 North 3rd St)                                                  1866 1879

          630b       August Weiler                                                                                                    1880 1884


PA      569a       Louis Schweitzer (715 North 3rd)                                                                        1859 1860

          569b       (Louis) Schweitzer & (Henry) Grim                                                                       1859 1860

          569c       Zell & Regenald                                                                                                 1866-1868

          569c       John Kuhn                                                                                                        1871 1875

          569d       Caroline Kuhn                                                                                                    1876 1877

          569e       (John) Grundler & Co. (Fred Vetter)                                                                  1877 1882

          569f        John P. Schoettle                                                                                              1883 1890


PA      598a       Anton Stroebele (849 North 4th & 856 North Charlotte St)                                1870 1888

          598b       John Roehm (849/851 North 4th & 856 North Charlotte) (see PA 544)             1888 1897

          598c       Consumers Brewing Co., John Roehm Brewery                                                  1897 1903

          598d       Consumers Brewing Co., Roehm & Spaeth                                                         1903 1904

          598e       Consumers Brewing Co., North Plant                                                                  1904 1909

          598f        Henry Hess Brewing Co.                                                                                    1909 1912

          598g       Premier Brewing Co.                                                                                          1913 1920

          598h       Trainer Brewing Co. (844/854 North Orianna (Charlotte renamed)                     1933 1937

          598i        Otto Erlanger Brewing Co.                                                                                 1937 1951


PA      605a       Charles Theis (63 Saint John, 411/413 post 1857 & Callowhill)                             1846 1869*


PA      608a       (Reinhold) Vollmer & (August) Born (341/343 North 3rd St)                                 1860 1864*


PA      610.1a    Adam Miller (927/931 North 5th St and 928 North Orkney)                                   1871 1882*

          610.1b    John J. Wolf                                                                                                     1886 1920*

          610.1c    John Jacob Wolf, Inc.                                                                                       1934 1938*


PA      625.1      Andrew Wolf (615 North 3rd St, rear)                                                                  ?-1860-?*