Parkersburg Brewery History - Mackey's Antiques & Clock Repair


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President Marcus Rapp 1896 Parkersburg Brewery Marcus Rapp, president and general manager of the Parkersburg Brewing Company, is a native of Germany. He While residing in Wheeling, Mr. Rapp married Miss Susannah Rothstein. Five children have been born to this union. In 1859, Mr. Rapp came to Parkersburg, where, in association with Mr. Hebrank, he started and conducted. for many years, the old brewery of Hebrank & Rapp, on the South side of the Kanawha, Mr. Rapp enjoys the distinction of having brewed the first lager beer ever brewed in Wood county. The capacity of the brewery of Hebrank & Rapp was 30 barrels per day.



Vice President & Treasure Conrad Goetz 1896 -  May 31, 1855, in Diessen, Germany, Conrad Goetz, treasurer of the Parkersburg Brewing Company, made his advent into the world. He attended school in the Fatherland until he was fifteen years old, when he came to America, shortly after locating in Parkersburg and obtaining employment in a brewery. Five years later found him at Reymann's brewery, Wheeling, from whence he returned to this city in 1879, re-engaging in the brewery business and in 1885 assumed charge of the bottling works of what is now the Parkersburg Brewing Company. Two years ago he became treasurer of this company, succeeding John Busch. In 1891 he established a bar and cafe at 426 Market street, which he still conducts. In 1885 he married Miss Mary Rapp, daughter of President Rapp, of the Parkersburg Brewing Company. He is treasurer of the Germania and a director of the Citizens Building Association.



Head Brewer Parkersburg Brewing Company, Frank Hemmrich 1896


Bookkeeper Parkersburg Brewing Company, Frank Kelly 1896


Traveling Agent Parkersburg Brewing Company, H. C. VanWinkle  1896


Workers at Hebrank & Rapp Lager Beer Brewery Picture Courtesy Scott C. Robertson


Workers at Hebrank & Rapp Lager Beer Brewery Bottling Works Picture Courtesy Scott C. Robertson Picture Courtesy Scott C. Robertson


Workers at Hebrank & Rapp Lager Beer Brewery Bottling Works Picture Courtesy Scott C. Robertson


Brewers at the Parkersburg lager beer brewery Picture Courtesy Nola Wilson


Brewers at the Parkersburg lager beer brewery Picture Courtesy Nola Wilson



Brewers at the Parkersburg lager beer brewery Picture Courtesy Nola Wilson



Parkersburg Brewing Co. delivering beer 1894


Rapp & Hebrank lager beer brewery 1859 440 Brewery Road later called Marrtown road

in 1896 there was a new brewery built at 648 7th st Parkersburg WV they changed the name to Parkersburg Brewery


Hebrank-Rapp brewery under construction. the brewery was built by Lewis Hebrank, and his cousin,

Marcus Rapp, 1859, behind house at 440 Marrtown road (next to old Foglesong's gas station


The new Parkersburg Brewery built in 1896 at 648 7th st Parkersburg wv


Henry C. Ruf and Bill Stetro get ready to haul beer


 1883 ad

1898 Ad


  The Parkersburg Brewing Co. 1909


The Parkersburg Brewing Co. 1909


The Parkersburg Brewing Company  

The Parkersburg Brewing. Company was incorporated under the laws of West Virginia June 24, 1889, with M. Rapp as President, C. Goetz, Vice President, and W.. H. F. Kelly, Secretary. The first beer from the new brewery was delivered in August, 1890, 'and the demand for the product has steadily increased from that time, entailing a constant enlargement of the plant and the 'introduction of improved machinery from time to time to meet the growing demand. The buildings of the company now cover several acres of ground, and are built Of the most solid masonry. A fine electro plant furnishes the light for all the buildings, and the latest improved ice machine supplies the large quantity of ice used in the manufacture of the thousands of barrels ..of beer made here. The first impression one receives on entering the plant is of the courtesy of the 'attendants, and the absolute cleanliness that prevails everywhere throughout the place. The buildings are most conveniently divided off. Everything is handy and convenient. 

The plant keeps fifty men constantly employed. Nothing but the finest seasoned imported hops enter into the composition of their beers, and the water is the purest artesian, which , with the sanitary precautions taken, make their beers the purest, most delicious, and most wholesome-the beer that replaces others but is never replaced. The brands of beer made by the Parkersburg Brewing Company are "Genuine Pilsener," "Extra Old Lager," and "Club Export." The latter is bottled for export and has obtained a high reputation for its medicinal qualities and for family use. 

The brewing is under the personal supervision of Head Brewer Frank Hemmrich, a thorough master of all the details of the art of brewing, whose long experience under German instruction makes him take frout rank with the best in America, who has been with the company ever since its organization.

Thle Bottling Department is under the management or Mr. G. L. Fries, an old Parkersburg citizen, 'being born and raised here, and is well known and popular with a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. This department is supplied with all the latest appliances and conveniences, and is kept constantly busy to supply the large demand.

Mr. Carl Goetz is collector and travel lug agent for the firm: and is a well known and popular salesman, with a large circle of friends throughout Southeastern  Ohio and West Virginia. 

Mr. Frank McKim is now bookkeeper, tile position formerly held by Mr. Goetz. The present officers of the company are: Daniel Schafer, President; J. H. Kelly, Vice President; W. H. F. Kelly, Secretary; Conrad Goetz, Treasurer and General Manager. Of these officers, Mr. Conrad Goetz and Mr. ."V. H. F. Kelly have been identified with, the firm from the beginning. Visitors to the plant are always welcome, and are shown every courtesy, and polite attendants take pleasure in explaining the ,minutest details of the brewing from the malt and hops to the great vats of finished product, ice cold, in the seclusion of the cellars, three of which are required to hold the stock kept constantly on hand.


Les Halfhill, great-great grandson of Louis Hebrank. provided some of these pictures and Additional History

History of Hebrank & Rapp - Parkersburg Brewery 1865- 1912 

Before the days of prohibition, Parkersburg had a brewery. the Parkersburg Brewing Co.  

the brewery closed 1912 but the building that housed the brewery remained . "It's been condemned for years. The stone building, which had three and a half stories with a full basement, the 133 by 130 foot brick structure was built in 1889 to house a brewery that had outgrown its facilities on Marrtown Road.

According to an 1896 newspaper article in The Daily State Journal's Industrial Edition, the original Hebrank & Rapp Brewery was started some time after 1864. One of the founders Marcus Rapp arrived in the area from Wheeling in 1859. Rapp, whom migrated from Germany, started the brewery with his cousin fellow German immigrant John Hebrank. Rapp  brewed the first lager beer ever brewed in Wood County, the article states. The brewery on Marrtown Road produced 30 barrels of beer a day. Increasing demand prompted the construction of a bigger facility in town, the article stated .  

"When it started doing well in Marrtown, they relocated to the one on Seventh Street," said Les Halfhill, great-great grandson of Louis Hebrank. Hebrank left the area several years later, but his son, Louis, remained in the business and joined Rapp in the construction of the Seventh Street structure. Construction. began in 1889,when the Hebrank & Rapp Brewery became incorporated as the Parkersburg Brewing Co. with a capital stock of $65000.00 the article stated. Halfhill said the artesian well, located in the facility, was one of the benefits of relocating to Seventh Street because it provided the brewery a year round, non-freezable water source. According to the 1896 article' the first beer from the new brewery was delivered in August 1890 and produced. 60,000 barrels a year with year round employment for 30 men. The beer was stored bottled and manufactured on site. Barrels that stored the beer were constructed on site. 

the brewery offered special brews such as the Genuine Pilsener, Extra Old Lager and Club Export. The Club Export was exported because it was apparently used for its "medicinal properties and its excellence for family use. In addition to brewing beer, they were also the first commercial ice producing business in Parkersburg and provided ice to all the businesses that wanted it here. 

John T. Fries, remembered his grandfather, Gustavus Louis Fries. Gustavus Louis Fries married one of Louis Hebrank's daughters and worked his way up through the ranks at the brewery, including working as a brewmaster before becoming president of the company before the business closed. in 1912 Fries compared his grandfathers work as a to that of a chemist. He remembered going with his father to pick up his grandfather at the brewery he worked at on Depot Street in Parkersburg in the 1930s. "I can remember going through the brewery, Fries said. I Relete that. brewery on Depot Street to a Chemical plant, because it has big vats or tanks you mixed the hops and so forth in. As brewmaster, I would compare him to a chemist." Despite the success of the Parkersburg Brewing Co. the business died in the early 1900s because of prohibition and Fries sold the business in 1938 to the Tri-Pure Water Co.

According to long time residents who remembered the building, the 133 by 130 foot brick structure housed a variety of businesses. Some of the businesses were a used car dealership in the late 1920s-1930s Royal Crown Cola bottling plant in the 1950s a candy wholesaler in the 1950s H & I Candy Co. a water and ice company; a fruit stand; a storage facility and a moving company, Dailey Transfer and Storage, which occupied the facility for about the past 40 years.  

Hank Oldaker, owner of Empire Builders, purchased the dilapidated building. At that time i wasn't. even interested in (the history of the building),I thought it was always a Royal Crown Cola  Bottling Plant," Oldaker said. While demolishing the structure,Oldaker found artifacts, which are some of the only objects left from the brewery, One of the support beams of the building had a plaque, probably placed there when the building was built. The plaque states, "The L. Schreiber & Sons Brewery & Building Iron works Cincinnati Ohio, Oldaker also found an' old Coca Cola bottle in the rubble, which was imprinted with the words, "Coca-Cola, Athens 0hio. According to Gary Traugh, who collects Coca-Cola products and has studied the history of bottling plants in the area, the bottle was made between 1910 and 1915.

Hank Oldaker, owner of Empire Builders demolished the old Parkersburg Brewery and hauled away the derbies in June 2004

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