Henry Weinhard

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Henry Weinhard
Henry Weinhard.png
BornFebruary 18, 1830
DiedSeptember 20, 1904(1904-09-20) (aged 74)
OccupationFounder of Henry Weinhard's
Spouse(s)Louisa Wagenblast

Henry Weinhard (February 18, 1830 – September 20, 1904) was a German-American brewer in the state of Oregon. After immigrating to the United States in 1851, he lived in Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and California before settling in the Portland, Oregon, area. He worked for others in the beer business before buying his own brewery and founded Henry Weinhard's and built the Weinhard Brewery Complex in downtown Portland.

Early life[edit]

Henry Weinhard was born in the Kingdom of Württemberg (now part of Baden-Württemberg in Germany) on February 18, 1830.[1] Raised in Lindenbronn, he later moved to nearby Stuttgart where he was an apprentice in the brewing trade.[1] In 1851, he immigrated to the United States, landing in New York City.[1][2] Weinhard moved to Philadelphia where he worked for a year in the brewing business before moving west to Cincinnati, Ohio.[1] After two years there he moved west again to St. Louis, Missouri, where he stayed until 1856.[1] During this time in America he worked as a brewer for others while preparing his own beer recipes.[2]


In 1856, Weinhard moved to California and settled briefly in Sacramento. The next year in March he relocated to Vancouver in what was then the Washington Territory where he began working at a brewery owned by John Meunich and helped construct a new brewery.[1][2] Weinhard worked there for six months and then founded a brewery with George Bottler across the Columbia River in Portland, Oregon.[2] This partnership did not last long and he sold out to Bottler and returned to working for Meunich.[2] In 1859, Weinhard bought Meunich’s business and named it the Vancouver Brewery.[1][2]

In 1862, Weinhard bought the Henry Saxer Brewery in Portland and then partnered with Bottler again to build a new brewery in what is now Northwest Portland.[1] That year he also moved permanently to Portland.[2] Weinhard sold his Vancouver operations in 1864 and bought out Bottler of his share of the business in 1866.[1] He also bought Portland’s oldest brewery, the Liberty Brewery, and continued expansion of the Portland operations, then called the City Brewery.[2] By 1890 the brewery was the largest in the Pacific Northwest and had grown from producing 2,000 barrels per year to 40,000 barrels that year.[1]

Later years and family[edit]

Weinhard's grave marker with bottle caps

In 1859, Weinhard married Louisa Wagenblast, and they had two daughters.[1] A Mason, he was also a member of several German societies in Portland.[1] This included helping to found the Portland German Aid Society, with other civic activities including providing funds to build a church adjacent to the brewery.[2] Other business interests outside of the brewery included stakes in the Portland Hotel, the West Side Railway,[2] and the New Grand Central Hotel.[3] In 1887, Weinhard offered to pump free beer into the Skidmore Fountain for its dedication; the city declined the offer due to the fear of rowdy horses.[2] Henry Weinhard died on September 20, 1904, in Portland at the age of 74 and was buried in River View Cemetery.[2] The brewery he built remained in operation in Portland until 1999.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Scott, Harvey Whitefield. History of Portland, Oregon, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Prominent Citizens and Pioneers. D. Mason & Co., Syracuse, New York, 1890. pp. 637-638.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Henry Weinhard (1830-1904) Archived 2016-08-27 at the Wayback Machine The Oregon History Project. Oregon Historical Society. Retrieved on June 17, 2016.
  3. ^ Jones, Edward Gardner (1894). The Oregonian's Handbook of the Pacific Northwest. The Oregonian Publishing Co. p. 150.

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