Akron's Thirsty Dog honoring first woman brewmaster in North America

Local brewery pays tribute to woman brewmaster

AKRON - Wednesday marks International Women's Day, with an outpouring of support for women's equality and empowerment across the nation.

In Akron, WKYC Channel 3's Jasmine Monroe discovered a great story about the first woman brewmaster in North America. 

Back in the 1950's people came to the brewery, now known as the Thirsty Dog Brewing Company in Akron, and ordered a Burkhardt Mug Ale. But what they didn't know is it all started because of a woman.

In 1874, a man by the name of Wilhelm Burkhardt came to Akron with his wife Margaretha to become brew master and eventually part -owner of what once was called Wolf Ledge Brewery.

They were German immigrants who settled in the German part of Akron called 'Goosetown.'

8 years later, things for Wilhelm took a turn for the worst. He died at the age of 32, leaving Margaretha with two sons...and a brewery. 

Instead of selling the brewery, Margaretha decided to keep it and run it herself, despite the world's view on gender discrimination.

Margaretha was the first woman who opened and operated a brewery in North America prior to probation. But back then for a woman to be successful in business. they had to hide it.

"If you look at the sandstone, it says M. Burkhardt Brewery, including all the advertising," explained Thirsty Dog Brewery owner John Najeway. 

So in honor of Women's History Month, Thirsty Dog, the old M. Burkhardt brewing company, will tap a special beer in honor of Margretha Burkhardt.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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