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Sunday, November 11, 1832   Gustavus Bergner

Gustavus Bergner, the founder of the Bergner & Engel Brewing Co., was born in Crimmitschau, Germany.  He arrived in America with his father in around 1850, and was naturalized on Halloween day, 1853.  He cut his teeth in the brewing business by working at his father Charles William Bergner's Philadelphia brewery on 7th street, below Girard Avenue.  The education was to be short-lived, however as his father died on November 15th of 1852 .

Upon his father's death Gustavus brought in Christian Muehleck as a partner.  Together they moved the brewery to Dock Street and expanded it. On June 8th of 1863 they opened the Library Street Hall at 412 Library Street and used the saloon/hotel as a depot to sell their beer.  They ran both enterprises for a few years until the Library Street landlady sued them for breach of contract.  The beer men won their lawsuit in January of 1866 but in May of that year Muehleck died after a short illness, leaving Bergner to continue alone.

Bergner brewed at the Dock Street location for four more years and in that time amassed a sizable reputation.  In 1870, at age 38, Bergner was offered a partnership in the reputable Engle and Wolf Brewery, Charles C. Wolf having retired.  With Bergner on board, the Engel & Wolf plant was expanded even more, and output was greatly increased.  By 1872 the firm had been renamed the Bergner & Engel Brewery, and was one of the largest in eastern Pennsylvania.  

In around 1853 Bergner married fellow German emigre Catharine Christine Wehn.  Their union produced a son and a daughter.  

Gustavus Bergner died on May 6th of 1883 at the age of 50 years.

Learn more at the links below

Associated Breweries

Bergner & Engel Brewing Co., Plant 1 of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

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