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Damn Shame- Ortliebs Brewery

October 11, 2012

So it looks like the Ortliebs Brewery building, the centerpiece of Northern Liberties, is going to be demolished by developer Bart Blatstsein, the same asshat who tore down the 20-plus building Schmidts Brewery complex down the street.

Sure, the building is in terrible shape, but I’m sure the now-beautiful Bergdoll Brewery condos (below) weren’t too pretty before they got their makeover in the 80s. Now they’re the jewel of Fairmount, just behind Eastern State Penitentiary.

It’s a damn shame, Philadelphia. You and I both know what will go up in place of the 100 plus year-old buildings: 3 or 4 story condos with gaudy bay windows reaching menacingly over the sidewalk, made of sticks and cardboard.

It is unbelievable to me that something like this happens so often in such a “forward thinking” city with such a rich brewing history. The Gretz Brewery is next for sure.

As novice urban spelunkers and brewery history buffs, my buddy and I spent many late night hours exploring all of the brewery buildings mentioned above. One of my favorite stories is when we entered the Ortliebs brewery late one night. We were immediately met by a squatter who had set up a nice place for himself. He told us he was entertaining company, but if we came back another day he’d give us a personal tour. So we left and came back the next day with a gift bag: A can of cold beer, a bag of chips, a tastycake, and a joint. He wasn’t home when we arrived, so we left the package for him with a note and went in on our own. Not long afterwards, we were 5 stories up on the roof and my buddy fell through the rotten boards. We knew it was precarious so I was already holding him by the shirt collar; only one of his legs managed to stick through the boards, but it was a quite a scare. The only goodies we found that night was a box of 16 mm film rolls with advertisements from the 50s. Gotta get them online someday.

These men are rolling over in their graves. Shame, shame Philadelphia.

Read the details at Hidden City Philadelphia

More photos at Eyes On The Street

Above: A patron at Callahan’s Bar in South Philly, crying over his bicentennial can of Ortliebs.

Glad I just got this t shirt from 12 oz tees.

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One comment

  1. […] ain’t just churches. The old Schmidts complex was torn down, I mentioned the Ortleibs Brewery previously, and now there’s word the Gretz Brewery is also slated to get the ax. C’mon Philly. We […]



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