Table of Contents
George Ehret – The Founder of Hell Gate Brewery
In 1857, George Ehret immigrated from Germany to New York and quickly achieved master brewing status. After working three years at Anton Hupfel’s brewery, he opened his own establishment in 1866.
He quickly rose to become one of America’s largest brewers, producing 33,512 barrels by 1871 and selling 74,497 seven years later.
Early Life and Education
George Ehret arrived in America in 1857 and quickly made a name for himself as an accomplished brewer by the age of 22. He first worked for Anton Hupfel in Manhattan, rising through their ranks to master brewer, while saving up money to open his own brewery a decade later.
He named his business the Hell Gate Brewery and set out to produce a beer similar to Munich lager. With great success, he became one of America’s most prominent beer barons.
Ehret was an accomplished brewer as well as an artist specializing in botanical illustration. He collaborated with renowned naturalist Carl Linnaeus on binomial nomenclature, with which his work appeared in numerous European collections. Later, he moved to England where his plant illustrations gained notoriety – producing plates for publications like Trew’s Plantae Selectae (1750-1773) and Hortus Amoenissimorum Florum (1750-1786).
Ehret was an internationally renowned botanist and artist, widely regarded as one of the leading botanical artists in Europe. He painted plants from life while also sketching sketches for many of his paintings.
He was an early pioneer of botanical illustration, depicting many exotic species now common to Europe. A gifted draughtsman, his work showcased breathtaking realism, grandeur and vibrant hues.
After Ehret moved to Regensburg, he met Johann Wilhelm Weinmann and formed an influential collaboration. Together they published several publications such as Phythanoza Iconographia and Hortus Cliffortianus – widely considered one of the masterpieces of early botanical literature.
As George Ehret’s reputation grew, he began investing in real estate. His fortune amassed rapidly; he purchased 181 parcels of Manhattan property, including prime corner lots on Park Avenue.
Achievements and Honors
Ehret was an accomplished botanical artist and one of the earliest Europeans to develop Linnaean style botanical artwork. His career as a journeyman gardener saw him produce many botanical drawings during his years working in different cities throughout Europe.
He achieved great success as a botanical artist and illustrator, producing numerous high-quality illustrations for various plant publications and collectors. His work was widely regarded as some of the finest in Europe.
After serving in the Union Army, Ehret returned to work at Anton Hupfel’s Brewery in New York City and quickly rose through the ranks until he achieved foreman status. Inspired by Hupfel, Ehret decided to open his own brewery and with Hupfel’s guidance built Hell Gate Brewery; which prospered under his direction until Prohibition came into effect in 1920.
George Ehret, the founder of Hell Gate Brewery and an immigrant from Germany, came to America as a young man and quickly acquired expertise as a brewer.
He was an accomplished real estate entrepreneur, owning 181 parcels of Manhattan land – many of which were prime corner lots.
After the Civil War, Ehret’s real estate was confiscated under the Alien Property Custodian’s Act. This sparked much speculation about his business ventures.
Despite these obstacles, Ehret persevered and built his brewery to become one of the largest in America. To ensure a reliable supply of pure water, he dug an artesian well through 700 feet of solid bedrock and constructed a pumping station on the East River that provided 1 million gallons of salt water daily for condensing purposes.
George Ehret was a wealthy brewer in his day, with an estate valued at approximately $40 million. Unfortunately, his fortune was destroyed during both World Wars and Prohibition’s introduction in 1920.
He was a typical German-American who was passionate about their country and in agreement with American values. His family had established itself in Manhattan, with their brownstone mansion on Park Avenue bearing testament to their Teutonic roots.
He had an intimate knowledge of plants and the ability to illustrate them beautifully. His drawings have been commissioned by renowned naturalists such as Sir Hans Sloane, Dr. Mead, and the duchess of Portland; his botanical artwork is considered among the best in the field and showcased in some of the world’s premier art collections today.