Weinhard (1830-1904) learned brewing techniques in Germany and later came to the Columbia River in 1856. His Portland brewery has been sited here since 1864, though this brick building was not the original one. Its medieval Tuscan style became the local template for many of Portland warehouses and industrial buildings in the area.
Prohibition-era attitudes brought about a cloud of controversy for the brewery. Politician Oswald West stated, "There isn't a brick in the brewery down here that doesn't represent a broken heart." Oregon became non-alcoholic in 1916, years before Prohibition was enacted nationally; the brewery continued beverage production with substitutes for their alcoholic beverages like Luxo, a "cheery, beery drink."
For its modern makover, the original brewhouse and its cellar were retained and renovated. Because of the building's unique interior layout, with different ceiling heights designed to accommodate various brew vats, the remodel proved to be a real challenge. As things now stand, the brick brewhouse (with its primary smokestack now ventilating the underground parking garage) contrasts with the ten-story chocolate office tower with a cross-braced steel exoskeleton to the east. The two buildings don't just share the block; they're connected with an I-beam lattice for seismic support.
* The last bottle of locally brewed Weinhard's beer was capped here on August 27, 1999.