THE AMERICAN BREWERY

The American Brewery is not only a monument to the development of brewing, one of Baltimore’s major industries, but also to the Germans who worked and lived in the area. John Frederick Wiessner, a German immigrant, leased the land in 1863 in order to erect a brewery. Although there were already 21 breweries in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, Wiessner’s Brewery rapidly expanded, employing many Germans that had been brewers prior to their emigration to America. In 1887, Wiessner constructed the present building to enlarge and modernize his brewery. The height of the building and the internal organization of space were determined by the requirements of brewing, but its exuberant exterior reflects the tastes and decorative detail popular during the Victorian age in which it was built. The American Brewery was one of the largest and finest breweries in the state. The Wiessners were forced to sell during Prohibition, and the Allegheny Beverage Company was the last company to occupy the brewery. In the mid-1930s, a modern brewery was created behind the old facade. “American Beer” was produced here until 1973.