The Christian Heurich Brewing Company was a Washington, D.C., brewery founded in 1872 and incorporated by Christian Heurich in 1890. First located near Dupont Circle on 20th Street NW, it expanded to a much larger site in Foggy Bottom in 1895 after a major fire. The new brewery was located along the Potomac River at 26th Street and D Street NW where the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts now stands. The Heurich brewery was the largest in Washington’s history, capable of producing 500,000 barrels of beer a year and 250 tons of ice daily.

The Christian Heurich Brewing Co. closed in 1956, because of declining sales, and because the owners knew that the government would seek to acquire the site for the approaches to the new Theodore Roosevelt Bridge. For five years after the closure, Arena Stage staged productions in the former brewery, which it nicknamed “The Old Vat.” The brewery and all of its buildings were torn down in 1961.

In 1894, workers started construction on a new, larger brewery by the Potomac River at 26th and D Streets. The new brewery was completed in 1895; it offered room to expand to a possible capacity of 500,000 barrels annually, up from 30,000 at his 20th Street facility, and it housed an ice plant that could produce 150 tons a day. His business did not take immediate advantage of the extra capacity, but Heurich was evidently prepared for greater sales volume in the future. While the new brewery buildings were being built, the old facility was used to age the beer previously brewed until it was ready for sale, thus reducing the disruption in business. Once the new brewery was ready, the original one was abandoned.
The brewery

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