Citizens Association of Georgetown: July 5, 2017


While recently searching the web for photos of Georgetown’s once-gritty waterfront, I came across a rather remarkable image. The photo depicted the great flood of October 1942, when the Potomac River crested nearly 12 feet above flood stage at Wisconsin Avenue. Given the world war that was raging, photos of this flood are rare, and photographing such events was probably discouraged.

Second, the photo, taken from Key Bridge, revealed the location of Bremizer Brewing Co. at the corner of 34th and Water streets NW. I believe Bremizer’s was Georgetown’s first and only brewery, perhaps producing a craft beer long before such became popular.

Earlier photographs of that location show an empty lot, so the brewery building may have been built after the end of Prohibition in 1933. There are several individuals of that era who may have founded the eponymously named brewery, but identifying the brewmaster would require further research.

The Bremizer building still stands today, and a proposal to convert that and the adjoining building into mid-rise condominium residences has received concept approval. Based on the photo, the Citizens Association of Georgetown wrote to the D.C. State Historic Preservation Officer, asking that the former brewery building be considered as a contributing building with the Georgetown Historic District.

If the building is so designated, any demolition would be prohibited unless the Mayor’s Agent for Historic Preservation, after a public hearing, determined that the new building to be built on the site was one of special merit.

— Walter Groszyk