Burkhardt built two large six-story Roxbury Puddingstone buildings and a large stable forming an L shaped enclosure around the adjacent Houghton and Company Vienna Brewery. Gottlieb, or George Burkhardt and his son, Gottlieb Jr., ran the brewery until Gottlieb Senior died in 1884. It continued brewing until Prohibition closed it in 1919. It stayed open, however, until 1929 producing cereal and other grain products during the dry period. Burkhardt made both beer and ale. Their labels were Tivoli Beer, Extra Lager Beer, and; starting in 1912, Red Sox Beer, to honor that year’s World Series Champions. They also made Augsburger Lager & Augsburger Dark, Salvator Lager, Brown Stock Lager and Bock style Lager. They produced over 100,000 barrels a year of beer alone, plus Golden Sheaf Ale, Cream Ale, Brown Stock Ale, Old Stock Porter, India Pale Ale and; also starting in 1912, Pennant Ale.
A third brewery, Habich “Norfolk” Brewery, active from 1874 to 1902, was located at 171 Cedar Street and occupied the same College site. Habich was the first Boston Brewery to make Lager beer in the 1850’s.
Beer making in Boston was in its heyday in the early 1900’s. Try to imagine the clatter of horse-drawn, iron-wheeled, wagons bringing raw materials in and finished product out of the 24 breweries in Roxbury and Jamaica Plain which were located on or near Columbus Avenue, Heath Street and Amory Street. Add the pungent odors of hops, yeast, slowly cooking grains and the coal and wood smoke billowing from each of the 24 smokestacks and you begin to sense the impact these breweries had on their neighborhoods.
And why were they located here? There are two simple reasons: abundant and crystal clear water from the aquifer along the Stony Brook along with artesian wells bubbling to the surface around Mission Hill; and the relatively cheap land after the City of Roxbury merged with Boston in 1868. These conditions, combined with the demand for the new German type Lager beers, drove the expansion of the industry locally.