Brewing Industry in Wheeling in 1886
— from THE WHEELING DAILY INTELLIGENCER, " Special Natural Gas Edition", September 14, 1886.
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BEER, ALE AND WINE
WHEELING'S FIVE BREWERIES
And their Annual Product — The Grape Growing and Wine Pressing Industries — Bottling — Extensive and Modern Establishments of Steady Growth
Not the least productive of Wheeling's manufacturers, by any means, is the brewing of beer and ale. This industry is one of the oldest in the city, but never until recent years did the breweries assume the vast proportions they now bear. With the growth of the country they have extended their trade and increased their capacity until now their are few cities which possess as extensive establishments. Few cities of Wheeling's population can show an annual production of 278,000 barrels of beer and ale, yet this city's product in the year ending June 30 last was somewhat in excess of these figures.
The trade of these establishments, three which manufacture beer and two ale, extends in all directions for a hundred miles, and reaches much territory more naturally covered by the breweries of larger cities, even entering into competition with some famous beers at their own homes and meeting with considerable success. The high and even quality of Wheeling beer is admitted everywhere, and the beverage is popular, never losing its hold were it has once been introduced and fairly tried. The good quality of the Wheeling beer is established by the success with which it holds the home market. Its purity can be vouched for by anybody who has ever inspected the process of its manufacture in the breweries. It is made of hops and barley, and none of the adulterations which cheapen the manufacture are employed.
The locality is a favored one for brewing, the surrounding hills furnishing the extensive cellars and caves necessary for the proper preparation and storage of malt liquors.
In wine considerable business is also done, the surrounding hills growing grapes as lucious and plentiful as those of France or Italy. The native wines are popular from their known purity. Thousands of gallons are produced yearly, and the home consumption is not equal to the product. Much of the yield of the local vineyards is annual sold in other cities.
REYMANN BREWING CO.
The Leading Manufacturer of Beer in this Section
Of the entire product of the five Wheeling breweries in the year ending last June, a great deal more than half was turned out by the Reymann Brewing Company at its extensive brewery at "Manchester," over the creek. At the head of this company is that well-known liberal and public spirited citizen, Mr. A. Reymann, whose munificence has given the city many of her most valuable institutions. Mr. Hermann Grimm is Secretary, Mr. Fred Happy, Manager, and Mr. Charles Schmidt, Assistant Manager. The brewery was founded and built up by Mr. Reymann. The brewery, on Wetzel street, at the east end of Seventeenth street, is one of the handsomest in architectural design and style of finish in the country and is completely fitted up with all the late improved appliances for the different processes. The difference departments are roomy and conveniently arranged, and everything is kept scrupulously clean. The machinery and appliances have been introduced without regard to cost, the only thing kept in view being the obtaining of the best results. The ice machines have a capacity for cooling as much beer as the brewery can turn out if pushed to it utmost capacity -- considerably more than its production last year.
The company has also an extensive bottling department, where its popular beer is bottled for local use and for shipment where beer in barrels cannot be used to advantage. It is in special demand in the "no license" counties of West Virginia and adjoining states.
The company has an agency with ice houses and extensive capacity for storing and handling beer at Piedmont, on the B. & O. road, and others at points where its trade can be centralized. A new building is now in process of erection, and considerable improvements are in view.
THE SCHMULBACH BREWERY
And Other Manufacturers of Ale, Beer and Porter.
At its brewery at the east end of Thirty-third street the Schmulbach Brewing Company (Henry Schmulbach, President; W. F. Fasnacht, Secretary) produced in the year ending June 30, 1886, 118,658 barrels of lager beer. The company's business has grown so that it contemplates an early enlargement of its capacity. Its beer is popular on account of its purity and even quality, and has its votaries who pronounce it the best beer made. The company has a large bottling house adjoining the brewery. It makes a special brand of beer called "export" for bottling, which has greater strength than the ordinary lager. A fine and extensive malt house in another part of town and branches at Steubenville and elsewhere increase its trade facilities greatly.
This company is a stockholder in the Manufacturers' Gas Company, and was the second concern in the city to have the new fuel used in its various departments. The results are eminently satisfactory. A brewery is one of the establishments which derive the most beneficial results from the gas, the equable temperature it enables them to maintain being a great desideratum.
M. Balzer last year made 1,139 barrels of ale, beer and porter; Kilian Kress 2,127 barrels, and A. E. Smith 2,619 barrels. Mr. Smith's product is largely cream ale, which supplies a fine local trade.
The aggregate production of wine in the immediate vicinity of Wheeling cannot be definitely stated. There are several large producers, however, whose combined manufacture reaches several thousand gallons. Of these Rev. Father P. Kreusch has extensive vineyards on Wheeling hill; Theodore Schreiber operates in connections with his green houses on the north end of the Island, where he has large cellars; Frank Walters, two miles east, makes a famous brand of red wine from Virginia seedling grapes, besides Catawba; Schuehle, Kehrer & Co. make their wine at Martin's Ferry, but have an office on Water street; S. Hartmann, on Boggs' run, and George Busch, 1062 Market, are the other operators.