The Christian Heurich House, better known as the Brewmaster’s Castle, was once the home of one of the largest employers in Washington, D.C. Today, it continues to serve as one of the grandest places to grab a beer in the country.
Built in the 1890s by European beer brewer Christian Heurich, the gothic edifice was made to be the brewer’s grand palace. Heurich came to the states in 1866 but had been brewing beer since childhood, learning the art from his father. When he arrived in the U.S., Heurich threw himself into building a beer brewing empire. He created a massive fireproof brewery, where the Kennedy Center stands today, that could pump out over 500,000 barrels a year, becoming the second largest employer in D.C., eclipsed only by the government itself.
Using the wealth from his massive brewing business, Heurich built his grand home with his second wife. The home was inspired by the elaborate Victorian trends of the late 1800s, featuring stone arches and a tall tower rising above the rest of the three-story house on one side. Heurich lived in the elaborate home until his death in 1945 at the age of 102. The Christian Heurich Brewing Company closed down just over a decade later and was demolished in 1962.
Heurich’s home, however, has had a second act as a national historic landmark. The first two floors have been preserved, and the spirit of the brewing business that led to the construction of the house is preserved as well. Regular beer events are held in the space like Oktoberfests and a monthly beer tasting called “History and Hops,” where visitors can have a beer while taking tours of the available space in the house. Prost!