Beer may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you visit the quaint little town of Hermann, MO. Wine, antiques, food, shopping, architectural beauties, the views, the river, the Katy Trail, the history that encompasses this small town, now these are Hermann. However, back in the day 1896-1898 to be precise, beer from the Hermannhof Winery, formerly known as the Kropp Brewery, served a very important role in the making of this community: so Hermann wine truly does come from the same place as Hermann beer.
The Gasconade County Courthouse which is situated on a hilltop overlooking the Missouri River just as you cross the bridge into Hermann is thought to be the only courthouse in the United States constructed by private funds. A total of $50,000 was willed to the county government by Charles D. Eitzen for this project.
Construction of the courthouse consisted of 400,000 bricks which came from the Vallet Brickyard just east of Hermann. Beer from the Kropp Brewery (Hermannhof Winery) was brushed onto the bricks to give them a uniform color and a fine gloss. While vinegar could have been used for the same purpose, beer was cheaper at the time and readily available. During construction of the courthouse and treatment of the brick with a healthy smothering of beer, workmen were not allowed to partake in a beverage for themselves.
In 1905, the building was damaged by fire resulting in reconstruction of the present dome which you see today. When touring the courthouse inside, you will find paintings and a mural by local artists such as Catherine Mahoney.
Throughout history, beer has been used for many things other than refreshment. The yeast in beer is said to enrich soil bringing forth a healthier more robust plant! Beer can also be used to lighten your hair, polish your gold jewelry, and can be poured into a bath to soften your skin. So when you’re in Hermann, add a visit to the courthouse onto your list of things to do.
As we all know, you cannot turn beer into wine so the Kropp Brewery became the Hermannhof MO Winery taking advantage of the steep hillsides, rich, rocky soil, sunshine, and fresh air to grow some of the finest grapes around. Wine also has alternate uses: It can be used to dye fabric, clean fruits, and veggies, or marinate meat. However, the award winning wines of the Hermannhof should be savored and enjoyed as a beverage of choice as you reflect on the rich history of Hermann which has given it such flavor.
When you stay at our Hermannhof MO Bed and Breakfast & Winery, know that you will have the finest selection of award winning wines, breath taking views, and you will be within walking distance to the courthouse, the river, shopping, and more.