Today is the birthday of Christian Hess (January 30, 1848-July 27, 1912). Hess was born in Germany, and that’s about all I could find out about the man who co-founded, along with George Weisbrod, the George Weisbrod & Christian Hess Brewery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, usually shortened to just the Weisbrod & Hess Brewery, and also known as the Oriental Brewery.
Both Weisbrod and Hess were German immigrants, and originally their intention was simply to make enough beer to supply their Philadelphia saloon on Germantown Avenue. Some sources say they began as early as 1880, but most put the founding at 1882. The brewery was going strong until closed by prohibition. They managed to reopen in 1933, but closed for good in 1938.
A brewery poster from 1905.
In the Philadelphia Brewing Co. tasting room upstairs, an old photo of the employees of the original brewery on the premises, Weisbrod & Hess Oriental Brewing Company.
The brewery two years closing, in 1940.
The brewery was designed by famed local architect Adam C. Wagner, and this is an illustration of his design for the brewery from 1892.
An ad from 1899.
And a calendar from 1912.