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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.

The brewery was renovated from 2007 to 2009 with funds leveraged through the State of Maryland’s Heritage Structure Rehabilitation Tax Credit, the precursor to the current Sustainable Communities Tax Credit, along with federal Historic/New Market Tax Credits and other sources. Since the project’s completion in 2009, the restored American Brewery Building has served as a catalyst for development and a symbol of hope for a community committed to change and revitalization. The building now houses employment programs and clinical support services to support residents of this area.

The American Brewery is located at 1701 North Gay St. This Brewery features an event space that is used by the agency for staff offices, training programs and community events. Visit their website for more information on scheduling an event.

[photo] American Brewery
Photo by Jeff Joeckel, National Register of Historic Places


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