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Historic Beer Birthday: Christian Weyand

Today is the birthday of Christian Weyand (May 11, 1826-August 7, 1898). He was born in France as Cretien Weyand, but came to the U.S. when he was 21, settling in the Buffalo area of New York. He was originally a shoemaker, but when he was forty years old, he co-founded the Main Street Brewery, along with a partner, John Schetter, who he eventually bought out in 1873. In 1890, the brewery was incorporated as the Christian Weyand Brewing Co. and remained in business until closed by prohibition in 1920.

Here’s a short biography from Find-a-Grave:

Weyand, Christian, was born in Lorraine, France, May 11, 1826, attended the common schools, and in the spring of 1847 came to America and settled in Buffalo, where he has since resided. He followed the shoemaker’s trade for some time, and then in 1866 engaged in the brewing business with a partner.

In 1873 he became sole owner of the establishment on the corner of Main and Goodell streets, and in a few years built up one of the largest and best breweries in Western New York. In May 1890, the Weyland Brewing Company was incorporated with C. Weyand. president; John A. Weyand, vice-president and manager; and Charles M. Weyand, secretary, and treasurer. Mr. Weyand is probably the best-known brewer in Buffalo. He is a prominent, public-spirited citizen, widely esteemed and respected, and has always enjoyed the confidence of all who know him. May 9, 1852, he married Magdalena Mayer of Buffalo.

And this is his obituary from the American Brewers Review:

This short history of Christian, and the brewery, is from the “1897 Brewers Convention Buffalo NY,” published by the Buffalo Brewers Association:

Christian Weyand Brewing Company.

In 1866, Christian Weyand established the business now conducted by The Christian Weyand Brewing Company. Mr. Weyand is a native of France, having been born in the province of Lorraine a little more than seventy years ago. There he spent his youth and received his education; but in his twenty-first year he left Lorraine for the wider opportunities of the New World, landing in New York just fifty years ago. He soon found his way to Buffalo, but it was nearly twenty years before he began the business with which his name is now so intimately connected in the minds of all Buffalonians. During these years he worked as a shoemaker — at first as an employee, and later in a shop of his own.

Mr. Weyand, with a partner, began the brewing business in a small way, with little capital and a poorly equipped plant; but the purest and best of barley malt was used from the start, and improved machinery was introduced as fast as the necessary capital could be secured. In 1873. Mr. Weyand assumed entire charge of the business, and applied himself vigorously to the task of building up a model brewery. His efforts met with entire success, and in a few years his establishment became one of the first in its line in Buffalo — a city that boasts of many fine breweries. In 1890, he organized the business into a stock company, called The Christian Weyand Brewing Company, of which he is president, his son, John A. Weyand, vice-president and manager, and another son, Charles M. Weyand, secretary and treasurer. Since then the business has materially increased, and in 1896-97 it became necessary to make extensive additions to the plant. The new buildings on the corner of Main and Goodell streets, built of buff terra cotta elaborately ornamented in Renaissance style, are exceedingly handsome; and it is now one of the best-equipped breweries in the country.

This is purported to be a photograph of the house at the “Southeast Corner Main and Goodell Streets” from the 1912 “Picture Book Of Earlier Buffalo.” But as Michael F. Rizzo and Ethan Cox, authors of “Buffalo Beer” point out, “the structures in the background and to the left of the subject must have been the Christian Weyand brewery. Indeed, the least occluded building to the left was, I think, their office address on Goodell.”

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