Brewery was established in 1934 with George H. Meyerratken as president
and Joseph Ruh and Vice President in charge of production. Ruh had been
the long-time brew master at Covington’s Bavarian Brewery. A new
building was constructed at the corner of 4th and Bakewell Streets and
the company was incorporated with stock valuing $350,000.
The brewery opened in 1935. Among its most popular products was the
Student Prince Brand. The name was derived from an operetta about a
German prince who attended the University of Heidelburg. In 1940, the
brewery’s premium brand, Heirloom, won a gold medal at the French
Grand Prix Contest for beer.
Initially, the brewery proved a great success. However, several factors
were working against it. The plant was not constructed near the main
railroad lines in Covington. This meant that all materials and finished
goods had to be brought back and forth from the rail yards to the plant.
This situation increased the overall cost of the product. Another set
back was the rationing of grain during World War II. This resulted in
a decrease in overall production. The 1937 flood also contributed to
a loss of revenue. Water reached the plant and did considerable damage
to the large metal storage tanks. In addition, the water also reached
the grain storage silo. As a result, all the grain was destroyed. The
flood shut the plant down for four months.
In 1947, Joseph Ruh left Heidelburg Brewery. Thomas F. Bahr was named
the new brew master. This new infusion of talent, however, could not
turn the tide of decline. In January 1949, the stockholders of Heidelburg
agreed to sell the company and the plant to Bavarian Brewery. Bavarian
used the plant as a distribution center until 1955, when the plant was
sold to the C. Rice Packing Company.
Kentucky Post, June 17, 1985, p. 4k