tv Heurich Brewing Company CSPAN July 1, 2017 10:20am-10:39am EDT
existed. everybody knew it. if he simply got rid of them, it was a fait accompli. president nixon said in his theirs, if he had burned tapes, as i urged him to do, that he would have survived, and i think that is right. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern .n c-span's q&a each week, american artifacts takes you to museums and historic places to learn about american history. the here and house -- the hiring heurich house. we learn how world war i impacted the brewing company and the family. >> hi. welcome to the heurich has museum, the home of washington,
d.c.'s most successful brewer. he lived between 1842 and 1945, was born in a small town in germany and died here in washington, d.c., at the age of 102. he was the oldest brewer in the world at that time. now we are in the basement at the heurich house. we are in the original man cave room. it was built originally to be 's beer drinking room. the original time on furniture we still have here in the middle of the room. because christian was basically 60 years old when he had his children and the dining room was really the only place for the family to have meals, this
became the german breakfast room, and this is where the kids would have their breakfast and lunch. more casual dining space, and when the conversion happened, they ordered furniture from christian plus hometown in germany. we have a set of table and chairs, sideboards, a couple of other pieces including a bench. all of them have figures in them that are historic figures from the place where christian group up, the founders of his home province in germany. lot ofom still retains a its original features. we have murals on the wall that .ave been restored this one right here in back of me says he who has never been drunk is not a good man. on the wall over there with the roomn top says there is
, andhe largest hangover the cat is there because the word in german is captain yammer , which is cats screech -- the word in german translates to cats screech. in 1872 to washington to purchase and start a brewery here. he saved up money and got a partner to do that. they started by renting a failing brewpub in that location. within a year, hiring had divorced from his partner and ended up purchasing shall -- ll, who died.e heurich married his widow.
he ended up improving the marketing, forming relationships with area businesses and really turning it into an operation. if we look at pictures of the brewery over those years, you can see just how fast the changes were. part of what encouraged the larger buildings he ended up building on the site was the fact that he suffered multiple fires at that location. it was just a fact of life when you were brewing beer that you were going to -- any sort of business at that time, any home, you know, had a potential hazard for fire. it was used for heat, used to manufacture and boil the mash for the beer, so just a spark up.d cause something to go there was mall hanging around, and there would be small and
large fires. there were a few fires that almost bankrupted him, the damage was so great. luckily, by the last fire, he had sort of built the business been ifh and had capital it did not ruin him, but wasot the picture that this going to be a problem, and it was a hazard to his livelihood, so he decided to build a fireproof brewery at the same using this was fireproof technology, and he built this state-of-the-art brewery down at the site we now know as the kennedy center right on the potomac. that was unveiled in 1895 to much fanfare. people were invited in, and it ended up becoming the largest brewery in washington, d.c. it had the capacity of 500,000
barrels. they never quite made that much, but it was a gigantic manufacturing miss -- manufacturing facility. they had 11 labels with many different beers, many different iterations on different labels. heurich's logger, senate fail, old georgetown. multiple different brands. he was a household name in washington, d.c., at the time. when he moved to washington, it was a time where there were a lot of german-americans coming here, and what they were bringing was here. beer was part of the german culture, so there were brewery's being set up all over the city, and i think what made heurich wasetitive was he really
trying to create a more state-of-the-art this and this or a more sophisticated business, i guess. that meant he would go out and form relationships and have bars and restaurants that were his clients, people who he knew were linked to his products. it is something that now we take for granted because at this point, craft brewing in america has become this industry, and there are best practices and all these things, but he was a businessman coming here starting him scratch trying to figure out what would help him make it here. he did succeed, and i think -- you know, we know that he suffered from periods of exhaustion during this time when he was building of his business and would have to take large amounts of time off and go to europe and take the cold water here and do these things to sort
because heze himself was working nonstop to build up this business. the biggest challenge to his brewery and probably heurich personally where the trying times he and his family had to go through, happened in 1917, which is prohibition came to , later in thely year in 1917, and i think he could see its progress. earlier in the year in march, america entered into world war i. the entry into world war i sort of made prohibition inevitable. in order, you know, to change the country's sentiment, there was a lot of propaganda being released, and a lot would focus
on the german-american community. pointrica, up until that when we had not entered the war, there was sort of no reason to necessarily take a side. at that point, germany is the enemy. prominent german-americans in washington, d.c., had a difficult time. s had a difficult time. we have recollections from thestian and amelia about department of justice man, mr. underwood, coming to the house and looking through every note and cranny of her house, is how she said it, and will he be they realize we've done nothing wrong. the department of justice suspected it might be enough for spying.
newspapers at the time accused him of -- he had a dairy farm in maryland a reporter poked around. later that same time, the times published a story saying he had committed suicide. editor andith the they said he would retract the story. he said just keep me dead here it me out of the newspapers. this is one of the hardest times. has made his life in
america. he chose to come here. he said that germany was his mother, but america was his bride. he is being challenged and accused of not supporting his country. the country had been talking about prohibition. it had been talking about moving germany is action, becoming our enemy during world war i, the connection between beer and germany was so closely tied. it was a matter of time. that was going to bring prohibition pastor and stronger. haves a blow to 1917 to america be at war with his home country.
the way that he attempted to keep his business going, he was in his 80's. he could of it all go. he wanted to keep his staff employed. he actually cleaned out barrels in the worry, had them sterilized. create ato nonalcoholic apple cider. half, theear and a cider fermented. they were allowed to sell a bit of it. prohibition, it was pretty sad. keep itsn't able to
open. he had to shut the doors. he still had an ice making plant. it really was the end of his buried. he never knocked down the building during that time. i don't know if it was for thought or if he didn't have the heart. be 102. to when prohibition ended, he put his own it capital. inhe made all of this money investments. he floated the reopening of the brewery. it he hired a new head brewer. this was the only brewery in washington to survive prohibition. say that in the end, prohibition did kill the brewery anyway.
people had lost their taste for beer. brewing wasn't really happening. the 50's when they had to close, it was these large conglomerate breweries. ,he standard recipe beer that people didn't have the desire for it. ,fter he died, his wife decided the kids didn't want house. she was trying to figure out what to do. she decided she was going to give the building and the property to the historical society. it is now the historical society of washington dc. she gave it to them.
she continued to live into the house until she died. society tookl possession in 1966. they built up their own organization. at that time, they moved downtown. of the grandchildren created the foundation. it it's what we are today. it's what owns the property. it operates the museum. take the session of the house. us, the family has been so involved. all kinds of artifacts have come back into the building. journals, diaries, photos.
the furniture had been scattered. slowly come back in. every day, we get more material. we get more documentation to help us. ofre are a great amount buildings in d.c.. moste probably one of the restrictive in terms of preservation. not only is this building a interior, we have 23 buildings in washington to help our interior. it's probably the most heavily marked. amazing open this space in dupont circle. it's really rare for there to be a big garden in the backyard. the reason it still exists is
because washington has the height act. that means buildings can only go up to a certain footage. they are not allowed to go any higher. they are basically. purchased.r has the garden has to remain a garden. they have to remain the heights they are. this is giving away the rights to build up. we hope that you were able to get a feeling for the family. they were an important family in washington dc. stories. lots of at one point, everyone knew who they were. they really help hold up washington dc.
there a part of washington the rest of the country doesn't see or understand. not just the federal government and the smithsonian. there are people who have lived here for generations. this is their hometown. important toy is the growth of the city and the economy of the city. >> you can watch this another american artifacts program by visiting our website at www.c-span.org. , today atay weekend war,on the civil historians discuss the york city during the war, from divided loyalties to its southern economic ties and the draft riots. >> it seems clear that these draft riots were in