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Historic Beer Birthday: George Schmitt

Today is the birthday of George Peter Allen Schmitt (June 14, 1833-May 4, 1897). He was born in Zell-in-der-Pflaz, Bavaria. Originally trained as a carpenter, he came to America when he was 19, in 1852, eventually shifting careers to importing wines. That proved successful enough that he partnered with Henry Elias to open the Central Park Brewery, and after changing partners a few times it became known as the Schmitt & Schwanenfluegel Brewery, which was in New York City, near Central Park at 1065 Avenue A, between 56th & 57th. Schmitt passed away in 1897, and his son, also George Schmitt, kept it going briefly, but he also died the following year, in 1898.

The brewery was originally known as the Henry Elias Brewery, who founded it near 15th Street & Broadway in 1855. Elias, in 1865, partnered with George Schmitt, and became known as Henry Elias & George Schmitt Brewery, a.k.a. the Central Park Brewery (and was readdressed to 1065 Avenue A, between 56th & 57th). In 1868, Schmitt partnered with Christian Koehne to keep it going and it became the Schmitt & Christian Koehne Brewery. Then in 1885, Koehne left and Louis Von Schwanenfluegel came to the business and it became known as Schmitt & Schwanenfluegel Brewery, which it remained until it closed in 1906. During that time it was also known as Consumers Park Brewing Co. and also Central Park Brewery.

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