Distiller purchases Heim Brewery building

J. Rieger has released renderings of it’s planned visitor’s center, which will be the anchor of it’s expansion in the East Bottoms neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri.

By Michael Bushnell
Northeast News

Ryan Maybee and Andy Rieger announced at a Tuesday morning East Bottoms press conference that their craft distilling company J. Rieger has purchased the historic Ferd Heim Bottling Plant, with plans to drastically increase their production and the public presence in the now burgeoning East Bottoms neighborhood.

The bottling plant was built in 1901 as part of Heim Brewery, an iconic early 20th century local beer. Following the passage of the Volstead Act in 1919, however, the brewery began to fall on hard times and ultimately closed in the 1920s. The Heim Bottling Plant was designed by Charles A. Smith, a prominent Kansas City architect, and constructed by the local firm of Hucke and Sexton.

The bottling plant was once part of the Ferd Heim Brewery, the largest brewery west of the Mississippi River when it was completed in 1901. In addition to the brewery, the four Heim brothers built the city’s first Electric Park just to the north of the brewery in order to increase the brand’s visibility and to sell directly to the public in the park’s beer gardens. The park was so popular the brothers constructed a rail line from downtown directly to the park in order to increase attendance at what was commonly known as Kansas City’s Great White Way.

The plans for the reimagined bottling plant include a huge first-floor gallery that will allow visitors to see the distilling process as it happens. Also on the first-floor, visitors will be able to sample the various Rieger products and tour the newly-expanded distilling facility that will feature four stills and five 2500 gallon fermenting tanks. Daily tours, tasting areas, a visitor space with a museum and gift shop will also be a part of the expanded development. Roughly 30 news jobs will be created by the expansion.

The news comes on the heels of major announcements from both The Local Pig and Urban Provisions; both occupied retail space at the corner of Montgall and Guinotte Avenues, directly across from the old bottling plant. Urban Provisions recently moved to the Crossroads District and Local Pig is planning a move to the City Market in the old Winslow’s BBQ space. Alex Pope, owner of The Local Pig, noted Tuesday that while his departure from the East Bottoms may be imminent, the decision was difficult to say the least.

“We looked at retrofitting this building as well as the possibility of picking up the old Town Topic, but it just wasn’t to be,” said Pope on KCUR’s Central Standard program on Tuesday morning.

In addition to the old bottling plant, Rieger also purchased a one-acre plat directly across the street to the west which will be used for parking. Work is slated to start on the expansion later this week.

Comments are closed.

  • Prosecution seeks 89 years in Mesh, Leggio Arson Death

    22 hours ago
    by

    By Michael Bushnell and Paul Thompson Prosecutors have released a 31-page memorandum requesting a sentence of 89 years for convicted […]


    Affordable Housing Policy hits the docket in KCMO

    September 19th, 2018
    by

    Paul Thompson Northeast News The City of Kansas City, Missouri is taking big steps to ensure that the dream of […]


    Drizly now operating in Kansas City

    September 19th, 2018
    by

    Paul Thompson Northeast News Alcohol delivery in Kansas City, Missouri is now live, thanks to a new ordinance passed by […]


    Healing House ribbon cutting marks beginning of new era

    September 18th, 2018
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News Bobbi Jo Reed is glowing. She’s standing in front of a microphone, before a large […]


    KCMO scrap metal ordinance held for a month, stakeholders to provide more input

    September 13th, 2018
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News A proposed Kansas City, Missouri City Council ordinance that would provide more regulation for salvage […]


  • Parks Director McHenry announces retirement

    September 12th, 2018
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News Forty-four years after it all began, Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Director Mark McHenry […]


    Northeast Newscast Episode 60 – the expansion of J. Rieger & Co. with co-founder Ryan Maybee

    September 12th, 2018
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News Northeast News managing editor Paul Thompson visited the J. Rieger & Co. distillery this week […]


    Collapsed: a story of structural and interpersonal deterioration

    September 12th, 2018
    by

      By Paul Thompson Northeast News Janice James sits at her kitchen table in front of a jam-packed manila folder […]


    National Cheeseburger Day is Tuesday, September 18

    September 12th, 2018
    by

    Johanna Pounds Editorial Assistant Northeast News The Northeast News invites readers to join them in celebrating National Cheeseburger Day on […]


    NEKC Chamber hosts International Taste and Tour

    September 12th, 2018
    by

    Bryan Stalder Northeast News The Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce hosted the International Taste and Tour at the Don […]


  • What’s Happening

  • Local Weather