In the early 1900s, Christian Heurich’s beer was so popular that it made him the largest employer in D.C. outside of the federal government for a while.
But until recently, you couldn’t taste it.
A 1938 fire burned up much of the brewery’s archives, Heurich died in 1945 and was buried near his Hyattsville dairy farm, and the brewery closed in 1956. The taste of some of the D.C. area’s most famous beers was lost to history–until now.
That is, until a D.C. homebrewer and historian named Pete Jones found a file in the National Archives which contained a letter from Christian Heurich, Jr., asking for an increase in Korean War-era tin rations.
As WAMU reports, Jones shared the file with the Heurich House Museum in Dupont Circle, and scientists from the Oregon State University’s Fermentation Science Department were able to use lab reports included with it to recreate Heurich’s flagship Senate beer.
Although Senate won awards in the early part of the 20th century, it would be a little out of place in today’s microbreweries, with lighter and more bitter lager flavor than is popular today.
But you can judge for yourself at the next event at the Heurich House Museum, which hopes to eventually offer it at nearby bars and restaurants as well.