Must-See RVA! — Peter Stumpf Brewing Company

Must-See RVA! — Peter Stumpf Brewing Company

A look into the history of Richmond places that are still part of our landscape.

September 2019 — 1202 West Clay Street looking east
September 2019 — 1202 West Clay Street looking east

AKA, Home Brewing Company, Inc.
1201-1211 West Clay Street (Brewery)
1125 West Clay Street (Office)
Built, 1891
September 2019 — 1202 West Clay Street looking east

A brewer that began at Anheuser-Busch.

[RVCJ93] — Peter Stumpf’s Brewing Company Establishment — showing the Office at lower left & the Brewery at upper right
[RVCJ93] — Peter Stumpf’s Brewing Company Establishment — showing the Office at lower left & the Brewery at upper right

The Peter Stumpf Brewing Company, successors to the Richmond Brewing Company since July 1, 1892, owns and operates the new “Home” Brewery, situated at the corner of Harrison and Clay streets.

September 2019
September 2019

This brewery has an authorized capital stock of $200,000. Its buildings cost, with their complement of machinery, $150,000. Its premises cover a square and a half, with buildings for its brew house, malt house, bottling department, office building, stables, cooperage and cold-storage departments.

September 2019
September 2019

It is equipped with the latest machinery known to the business, including a refrigerating apparatus of the C. F. Ott patent. Its malt house has a capacity of 5,000 bushels.

(Find A Grave) — Peter Stumpf
(Find A Grave) — Peter Stumpf

The directors of this company are: Peter Stumpf, president; John D. Doyle, vice-president; Joseph Stumpf, secretary and treasurer; Ernest Meyer and George C. Guvernator.

(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1905) — Plate 57 — showing the combined complex at the height of its business
(Library of Congress) — Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Richmond (1905) — Plate 57 — showing the combined complex at the height of its business

Messrs. Meyer, Doyle and Guvernator established the business here. These gentlemen were induced to venture upon this enterprise by reason of the demand for beer of home manufacture. Mr. Peter Stumpf and Joseph Stumpf, his brother, are both experienced in the business.

[IOR] — Anheuser-Busch Brewing Assn, St. Louis Mo, USA
[IOR] — Anheuser-Busch Brewing Assn, St. Louis Mo, USA

Before this venture of theirs they represented the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association here for a number of years. Mr. Guvernator was formerly in the furniture business. He is proprietor of a hotel at Atlantic City. Mr. Doyle is also a hotel keeper of Atlantic City. Mr. Meyer is an experienced German brewmaster, long engaged in the business in the city of Philadelphia.

(Facebook Peter Stumpf Brewing)
(Facebook Peter Stumpf Brewing)

Although so recently established, this company has already developed a trade in the city and State up to its full capacity and production. Its leading brands, “Home Beer” and “Weiner Export,” are general favorites and are equal in strength and purity to any in the market. [RVCJ93]

(VCU) — 1889 Baist Atlas Map of Richmond — Plate 1 — showing Stumpf’s beer depot at the intersection of Union & Grace Streets
(VCU) — 1889 Baist Atlas Map of Richmond — Plate 1 — showing Stumpf’s beer depot at the intersection of Union & Grace Streets

Stumpf was born in Offenbach, Germany and emigrated to New York in 1869 at the age of 18. He quickly broke into the brewing trade, and by 1886 he had relocated to Richmond, where he made suds for the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association.

September 2019 — 1201 West Clay Street looking west
September 2019 — 1201 West Clay Street looking west

By 1892 he broke out on his own and moved his operation to West Clay Street, where he was successful enough that he developed franchises in Petersburg, Newport News, and Phoebus. He also owned or controlled a number of saloons here in Richmond which were “tied” bars, establishments that sold only the parent company’s product.

September 2019 — finial detail at 1201 West Clay Street
September 2019 — finial detail at 1201 West Clay Street

He retired from the business in 1897 at the unusually young age of 46, a year after marrying his wife, Hermine Morganstern. Perhaps it was for health reasons or maybe he was simply wealthy enough that he could afford not working. Either way, it didn’t last, and he died in 1903 at the age of 52. (Find A Grave)

(Peter Stumpf Brewing Company is part of the Atlas RVA! Project)


Print Sources

  • [IOR] Industries of Richmond. James P. Wood. 1886.
  • [RVCJ93] Richmond, Virginia: The City on the James: The Book of Its Chamber of Commerce and Principal Business Interests. G. W. Engelhardt. 1893.

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