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Historic Brewery Tour of Richmond, VA

A cache by altbiers Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 4/2/2011
3 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

This is a fun tour of Richmond's brewing history, which is connected to our cities rich history. I hope you enjoy, it should only take about two hours to complete, but give yourself three to be safe. I tried to keep all the waypoints close together, so the sites are not in chronological order. The last spot, and where the cache is it a little bit of a drive, but the view is worth it.

One of the main breweries in Richmond home' was located here- N37 33.748 W77 27.631 1893-
The building on the north east corner was the brewery, look at the old corner stones. Richmond Brewery was one of two locally owned breweries when prohibition started. Unfortunately it did not survive Virginia's 17years of being dry. Near where you are standing is a sign with a zip code, the 1st number is now A, 2nd number B, and the 5th number is C

2nd location- N B7 BB.AAC W 77 A7.C6A
1858- The Euker Family owned a brewery here which survived the civil war.
1897-1969- Here is the home of Home Brewery. Brewers of beers like Richbrau and Climax Ginger Ale. Now it is apartments for VCU students.
Originally located in Carver near Harrison and Clay streets, Home Brewing's predecessors started shortly after the end of the Civil War when E. J. Euker built a brewery and several houses for his brewery workers, according to In 1873, Euker partnered with Henry Bowler to form the Clay Street Brewery, which lasted until 1877 when it was closed due to the depression of the era. The brewery was reopened by George Washington Robinson in 1879 as the Eagle Brewery but quickly failed and was closed in the following year.

Luckily for Richmond beer drinkers, Eagle was reopened as the Richmond Brewing Company see above photo(not to be confused with Richmond Brewery) in 1892. It was renamed it the Peter Stumpf Brewing Company in 1893. Stumpf did considerably better running the brewery than previous owners had and by the time of his retirement in 1897, the company had several franchises throughout Virginia and North Carolina and owned several saloons. When Stumpf retired, the company was renamed Home Brewing Company and continued to operate successfully as a brewery until Prohibition. To survive America's darkest era, Home Brewing Co. became Home Products Corporation and produced soft drinks until Prohibition ended in 1933. When the 18th amendment was repealed and beer was legalized, Home Brewing reopened with a vengeance, increasing its beer production to 50,000 barrels per year. In 1952, Home joined the competition and began canning its beer. By the early 1960s, Home was producing more than 100,000 barrels each year but was closed by 1969 due to higher operating costs and smaller sales. The large four digit number on the side of the Building- the 1st and 4th number are now D
3rd location- I have removed this location, the number 9 is the letter E.
4th location- N B7 BA.67C W 77 A5.ECA
1866- This was the site of John Dewinger's City Spring Brewery established in 1866 If you were to park there today, it will cost you a Lincoln. That number is now F.
5th location- N B7 BA.B67 W 77 A6.FC6
Around 1800- This was the original site of the 1st Richmond Brewing. Kind of a reverse of the Talking Head's song 'Nothing but Flowers' "Once there were parking lots / Now it's a peaceful oasis / you got it, you got it" More recently this was the main shoot em' up scene in Bruce Willis's movie "The Jackal". The building to the east was the background, but they built a faux front on this location to shoot up.
6th location- N B7 BA.DDD W 77 A6.CFB
1990- This is a drive by to location 7, but worth noting. Home of Richbrau, this brewery's name was taken from one of Home Brewery's beer names. Unfortunately it was a casualty of the recession in 2010 and closed down.
7th location- N B7 BD.EBB W 77 AF.94D
1845- Looking to the north west, where you currently see a high rise, was the home of John Cendening's Porter and Ale House est 1845 Turn around and face south east. In front of you is the only railroad triple crossing in the United States. One track on the ground, and two above. Now look at the wall, there is a sign for Patrick Henry, one of my great great etc grandfather's. There is a year, the middle, repeated number is now G
8th location- N BG BA.DGG W GG AF.GAG
The large building behind you is a treasured Richmond landmark, but it's location used to be the home of a brewery, or very close by (The breweries saloon was just three blocks east). It was one of the 1st satellite breweries for Anheuser Busch and managed by PETER STUMPF in the mid 1800's. The brewery then moved to the corner of Franklin & Union Streets (which no intersection exists today, but would have been just east of Chimborazo park) There is an old building sitting on some iron beams in front of you. This is the Winfree Cottage, a 2 room cottage owned by a freed black slave Emily Winfree. On the beams is a painted number. The 1st digit is now H.

9th location- N BG BD.H6F W GG AH.FEE
I hope you enjoyed the little drive here. Where you stand, on top of the hill, once stood the largest hospital in the United States.
From the history of Chimborazo "In addition to the wards and hospital buildings, there were 100 Sibley tents, five soup-houses, a bakery, a brewery, and five icehouses. Seven thousand to 10,000 loaves of bread were baked daily, and up to 400 kegs of beer brewed. Caves or vaults were dug at the eastern end of the hill to keep the beer. The hospital leased nearby Tree Hill farm for the pasturage of 100 to 200 cows and 300 to 500 goats."

POST CIVIL WAR- "Also in 1866, F. Frommel had acquired the use of the vaults at the eastern end of Chimborazo Hill and was operating a brewery there. Joseph Bacher acquired seven acres at Chimborazo including the vaults around 1870. Bacher, the third brewer to try to operate a successful brewery on the hill met with failure quickly. The vaults proved to be too warm to keep beer at the desired temperature and ice was too costly and scarce. Bacher went bankrupt, sold his seven acres to the city and returned to New England. In 1874, the City of Richmond began acquiring property for a park in the eastern part of the city that included the old hospital site."
Behind the earth you are looking at are enormous cellars which stored beer. Probably full of water today, the entrance was around the hill to the right.

Richmond periodically uses this entrance to check the cellars after heavy rain and land slides. Behind you is an small water fountain over 100 years old. It's 2nd number is now I. Check your year DIEF.

10th location- N BG BC.EHE W GG AH.E6D
1860ish- You are looking at the cellar entrance to the James River Steam Brewing Company owned by Yuengling. One history report is the Yuengling family tried to start brewing in Richmond, named the Eagle Brewery, before ending up in Pennsylvania. D.G Yuengling Jr., the eldest son, came back to Richmond and opened the James River Steam Brewing Company. The great depression of the late 1800's (caused by overinvesting in railroad expansion) closed all the breweries except this one in 1878. It closed a year later.

11th location- N BG BB.DD6 W GG BD.BCH
mid 1700's- So your journey is coming to an end where the earliest brewery on record is located and commercialized brewing in Richmond began. Looking directly across the water you will see an large white house (That is the Rice House owned by the Science Museum of Virginia). Along the river banks below this house and upstream lay Westham Foundry and a brewery. Coal from the Mid-Lothian mines (first commercial mines in America), and iron from the west was brought here and made into cannons and munitions. Governor Thomas Jefferson also used this location to store valuable documents and items incase Richmond got sacked in the Revolutionary War. Benedict Arnold sacked and burned Richmond in 1781, his army dismantled Westham Foundry and threw it into the river (and the brewery as well), as well as burning all the buildings.
The creation of the canal was to bring the ore into the foundry, here, the water level drop could be used as energy for the foundry.
From here, there is a parking lot next to you open during daylight. The catch is close to where you are looking at Westham

I hope enjoyed this little historic tour and saw parts of Richmond you never knew existed. For the FTF there is a travel bug and your choice of an antique token from the early 1900s. I am new so I dont have new geocache tokens. More goodies for the future finders are there as well. A lot of the information you have read was from the book Richmond Beers by Morris & Johnson.

Congrats to Heels&Wheels for being the FTF!

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Last Updated: on 11/22/2017 8:24:48 PM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (4:24 AM GMT)
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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