Before the Era of Brew Pubs, There Were Local Breweries
By providing their communities with a convenient source of beer, local breweries gave tavern owners and other customers another option besides relying exclusively on larger commercial breweries.
The Consumer Brewing Company was Arlington's local brewery of note.
Built in 1896 in Rosslyn under the direction of noted local architect Albert Goenner (who was also responsible for the building of the original Arlington County Courthouse), the building was located above the site of the old Aqueduct Bridge. Rosslyn at this time was a notorious area, home of many taverns, gambling establishments, brothels, and the like. The building itself was a distinctive red brick structure with turrets on the ends, a clock tower in the center, and a large smokestack at the back. Around 1904, the business was reorganized and William McGuire became president of the brewery, changing the name to the Arlington Brewery, which continued operations until 1920 when Prohibition went into effect. The building subsequently served as a lithographic print shop and warehouse until its demolition in 1958, when the property was used for the construction of a Marriott motel.
The photograph above is a view of Rosslyn and the Aqueduct Bridge from Georgetown. The brewery and smokestack is in the upper right section of the image.
Much of the material for this particular blog post was taken from an excellent article written by Virginia Room volunteer Willard J. Webb for the October 2000 edition of the Arlington Historical Magazine. Willard passed away on Nov. 23, 2010, and is still greatly missed.
What About You?
What are your Consumer Brewing Company memories? We want to hear from you!