Today is the birthday of Andrew Henrich (October 31, 1856-May 2, 1910). He was born in Wisconsin, and was the first of his brothers to move to the Seattle, Washington area, but his brothers Alvin, Julius and Louis soon joined him. He bought the Bay View Brewery in Seattle, and later his brother Alvin bought the North Pacific Brewery (also known as the old Slorah brewery), and renamed it the Alvin Hemrich Brewing Co. in 1897. Two of his brothers soon joined him in the enterprise, and it was renamed again, this time to Hemrich Brothers Brewing Company. They did well enough that he began buying out other area breweries. When prohibition closed the brewery, they were ready, having retooled their plants for near-beer and also having divested into some other businesses.
Andrew Hemrich received an elementary education at Alma, which was continued in the practical duties of life, as at the age of ten years, he began work in his father’s brewery, and three years later was sent to La Crosse, as an apprentice to learn the brewing business. This was followed by two years in breweries in Milwaukee, one year at Denver, Colorado, and one year at Eureka, Nevada. In 1876, with two companions, all well mounted, he made a trip of 1,700 miles through the Yankee Fork mining district of Idaho, but the claims being all covered and the country being in constant danger from the attacks of hostile tribes of Indians, the party continued to Butte, Montana, then but a small mining settlement. In 1877 at Glendale, thirty-five miles from Butte, Mr. Hemrich partnered with Frank Gilig in starting a small brewery, selling their product at $21 per barrel. This he continued for eighteen months, then sold out and engaged in mining, in which a short experience exhausted his accumulated savings. He then gave up mining and going to Bozeman resumed his trade as foreman of a small brewery and there remained until February, 1883, when he came to Seattle and forming a co-partnership with John Kopp started a small steam beer brewery with an annual capacity of 2,500 barrels. This was the nucleus of the present Bay View brewery.
In 1884 Mr. Kopp sold out his interest to the father of our subject, John Hemrich, and in 1885, the latter’s brother-in-law; Fred Kirschner, entered the firm, then known as Hemrich & Co. With the growing demand the capacity of the brewery was increased from time to time up to 1887, when the brewery was rebuilt and with improved machinery the firm engaged in the manufacture of lager beer, with a capacity of 80,000 barrels per year. The product was sold throughout the Northwest. In April, 1891, the business was incorporated as the Bay View Brewing Company, with a capital stock of $300,000, and so continued up to the spring of 1893, when the company consolidated with the Albert Braun Brewing Company, and the Claussen-Sweeney Brewing Company, under the incorporate name of Seattle Brewing & Malting Company, with a capital stock of $1,000,000, Mr. Hemrich continuing as president. In 1892 our subject was one of the organizers and incorporators of the Victoria Brewing & Ice Company, of which he is vice-president. He has also extensive mining interests in the Cascade mountains, twenty miles east of Snoqualmie Falls. The claims cover 6,000 x 600 feet on one ledge, and 4,500 x 600 feet on a parallel ledge, gold-bearing, running from $5 to $105 per ton. Mr. Hemrich is also president of the Eureka Coal Company, and owns valuable improved and unimproved property in the city of Seattle.
He was married in Seattle, in 1885, to Miss Amelia Hucke, of Essen, Germany. They have four children: John, Alvin, Ernest and Katherine.
And this account of Andrew is from “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of the City of Seattle and County of King, Washington,” published in 1903:
With a deep and abiding interest in the city of Seattle, in its progress and improvement, Andrew Hemrich has done much for its advancement, laboring earnestly along lines that have contributed to its material upbuilding. He is therefore known as one of its valued citizens. He is furthermore prominent in business affairs and a recognized leader in the ranks of the Republican party, on whose ticket he was elected to the office of state senator in 1898, so that he is now serving.
Mr. Hemrich was born in Alma, Wisconsin, October 31, 1856, and is a son of John and Catherine (Koeppel) Hemrich, both of whom were natives of Germany, the father having been born in Baden, while the mother’s birth occurred in Bavaria. In youth they came to American and the father traveled across the country in a covered wagon from Rochester, New York, to Iowa, stopping for a while at Mount Vernon, Indiana, thus making his way to Keokuk, Iowa, where he engaged in the brewing business. He followed that pursuit until 1852, when he loaded his brewery appliances and fixtures upon a barge which was towed to Alma, Wisconsin. There he again established a brewery, which he successfully conducted for thirty years. In 1884 he came to Seattle, where his son Andrew had previously located, and joined him in the organization and incorporation of the Bay View Brewing Company, which was conducted under the firm name until 1893, when it became the Bay View branch of the Seattle Brewing and Malting Company. About 1891 John Hemrich retired from active business life, enjoying a well-merited rest until called to his final home in 1897. His wife still survives him and resides at the old home in Bay View. He was a very active and energetic business man, reliable in all his trade transactions and his industry and capable management brought to him splendid success. In politics he was a Democrat and during the war of the rebellion served as sheriff of Buffalo county, Wisconsin. To him and his wife were born ten children: Edwin, who died at the age of six years; George, who passed away at the age of eighteen; Louise, who became the wife of John Lick, and died at the age of twenty-four; Matilda, who married John Lick, and died at the age of twenty-nine years; Andrew, whose name introduces this review; John, who is living retired; Emma, the widow of Frederick Kirschner; William, who is connected with the Bay View Brewery; Alvin and Louis, who are members of the firm of Hemrich Brothers.
During his boyhood days Andrew Hemrich pursued his education in the common schools, which he attended until fourteen years of age. He then left home and went to the wild mining regions of the west, spending about ten or twelve years on the prairies of Colorado, Nevada, Idaho and Montana. He was there engaged in mining and was also connected with brewing interests, establishing a brewery at Glendale, Montana, which he conducted for several years. He then sold his plant there and accepted a position as manager superintendent of the Bozeman Brewing Company of Bozeman, Montana. He occupied that position for two years and upon resigning he came to Seattle in accordance with plans perfected to establish a brewery business in company with John Kopp.
Mr. Hemrich arrived in this city February 18, 1883, and has since been one of its residents, active in its business affairs and a recognized leader in political circles. The same year he established a business at Bay View under the firm name of Kopp & Hemrich, which business was conducted for two years, at the end of which time he was joined by his father, John Hemrich, and his brother-in-law, Frederick Kirschner, in the organization and incorporation of the Bay View Brewing Company, which was conducted under that style until 1893. The business was then merged into the Seattle Brewing and Malting Company, whose trade has grown from a modest beginning to mammoth proportions, and it is now the largest establishment of the kind on the coast. In addition to the plant at Bay View, there has been a colossal new brick structure erected at Georgetown. It required three years in its construction and has just been completed. It now has a capacity of three hundred thousand barrels per year. The brand “Rainier” is as famous on the coast as the Pabst and Schlitz brews are in the middle and eastern section of the country. Mr. Hemrich was chosen president on the organization of the new company and still serves in that capacity. He has excellent business ability and executive force, his plans are readily and substantially formed and he is determined in their execution and carries forth to a successful conclusion whatever he commences, brooking no obstacles that can be overcome by persistent, honorable and earnest effort.
Mr. Hemrich has long been deeply interested in important measures for the improvement and upbuilding of Seattle. He was one of the organizers and is vice-president of the Seattle and Lake Washington Water-way Company, and many other interests of importance owe their successful existence to his wise counsel and active co-operation. No movement or measure calculated to prove of benefit to the city solicits his aid in vain, for he had ever been a generous contributor to every interest for the general good. In political affairs, too, he is well known, and has labored earnestly and effectively for the improvement and growth of the Republican party, of which he has long been a stalwart and earnest supporter. He was elected in 1898 on that ticket to the office of state senator and is still occupying this position. He has given due consideration to all matters which have come up for action and has left the impress of his individuality upon the legislation enacted during his term.
In November, 1884, Mr. Hemrich was united in marriage to Miss Maria Hucke, a native of Germany, and to them have been born five children: John, Alvin, Ernest, Katie G. and Charles. The family have a fine residence at Bay View, which was erected by Mr. Hemrich in 1892. He has been and is distinctively a man of affairs and one who has wielded wide influence. A strong mentality, an invincible courage and a most determined individuality have so entered into his makeup as to render him a natural leader of men and director of things.