Bavarian Brewery Co.

The Bavarian Brewery building represents a longtime beer-making tradition in Covington, Kentucky. German and Irish residents of the city in the mid 19th century, amongst other immigrant groups, not only provided a market for beer, but also contributed an ample supply of manpower and brewmasters to perfect their product.

In 1838, Cincinnati brewer, Peter Jonte, a French immigrant, was making beer at Sixth and Scott Streets in Covington.  In 1845, Jonte sold the business to Charles Geisbauer, who sold it in 1881 to John Brenner and John Seiler in 1881 who called it the Covington Lager Beer Co.  In 1918, the renamed Covington Brewery was closed.  One of the breweries buildings still remains today at the southwest corner of Pike and Scott Streets.

The Bavarian Brewing Company was a brewery established in Covington, Kentucky in 1866 by Julius Deglow.  First known as the Deglow & Company Brewery, it would become known as the Bavarian Brewery after 1869.

The brewery was originally located on Pike Street in the Lewisburg area before the business expanded to include the 12th street property by 1877.  It’s campus once occupied 6.5 acres between Pike and 12th streets in today’s West End.

In 1884, William Riedlin Sr. was owner of the brewery, and began making it one of the largest beer-making operations in the state of Kentucky.  Along with its competitor, the Wiedemann Brewery Co., in Newport, Kentucky, Bavarian Beer would be available in local saloons and beer gardens for over a century.

The company merged with International Breweries, Inc. in 1959, and operated as the Bavarian Division of International Breweries, Inc. The facility closed in 1966, and the building remained neglected for decades.  However, it was rehabilitated and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in the late 1990s.

At the same time, the site became a part of the popular entertainment venue, Jillian’s.  The complex was closed in 2004.  The building was purchased by Columbia-Sussex in 2008 when the Commonwealth of Kentucky was debating the possibility of expanding gambling interests. The brewery building was considered a likely location for a casino. Unfortunately, casino gambling never came to fruition in Kentucky, and today the building remains vacant.

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