Abner-Drury


Company Names, addresses, dates1:
  Edward Abner, 421 9th NW (1878)
  Edward Abner, 413 & 415 9th NW (1879-1881)
  Edward Abner, 415 9th NW (1882-1900)
  Edward Abner, 708 E NW (1883-1886)
  Peter Drury, 1100 20th street NW (1889-1893)
  Abner & Drury, 25th nr F NW (1898-1901)
  Abner-Drury Brewing Co, 25th, F and G streets NW (1901-1917)
  Abner Drury Co, 25th, F and G streets NW (1921-1923)
  Abner-Drury Brewery Inc, 25th and G St NW (1934-1936)

Notes:

Edward Abner (b. January 1834 in Weisbaden Germany)
Edward Abner worked as a brew master for Robert Portner during the civil war. He formed the Abner-Drury brewery years later (1898) and it lasted until 1937, after which it was purchased by Christian Heurich. 2 He is listed as a saloon owner in DC directories from 1886-1900.

Peter A. Drury (b. July 6, 1864 in Ireland )
Peter A. Drury was listed as a brewer in the 1900 and 1910 census, and as the president of a bank in the 1920 & 1930 census. He had a son named Abner. He is listed as a saloon owner as well as a liquor merchant in DC directories from 1889-1893.

Abner-Drury Brewery (b. 1898, d. 1936)
The Abner-Drury Brewery, from 1910 till 1929 was considered the "Prince of Ales" in the "Foggy Bottom" district of Washington D.C.. Then it was closed for prohibition. When prohibition was lifted in 1933 "Abner - Drury", in it's rush to become the first to sell beer in D.C. opened its doors shortly after midnight on the first day of repeal. In doing so they sold their beer too green so it made half the town sick, therefore getting the reputation of selling bad beer. The old brewery closed it's doors forever 2 months afterward.4
Abner-Drury beers included Royal Pilsen (light), Old Glory (dark) and Progressive Brew (low alchohol)3.
When prohibition first hit, Abner-Drury made soft drinks until 1922.5
My directory searches show that it stayed as the Abner-Drury brewery until 1936. In 1937 and 1938, "The Washington Brewery" was listed at the same address of 2524 G Street NW. John Easby Smith was listed as the president, with John Reilly and John Dibb as the vice presidents (a lot of Johns, but no Abners or Drurys), so presumably the brewery had been sold. It doesn't show up at all after 1938.
I have an advertizement for Abner-Drury beer that indicates it was bottled by the Northwestern Bottling Company.


Bottles:

abner_02 book # 1
These bottles are from before Edward Abner teamed up with Drury. Left is a green 9" blob top and right is a teal 9.5" blob top with lightning stopper. They are both embossed:
round slugplate: E. ABNER / WASHINGTON / D.C.
back: THIS BOTTLE / IS NEVER SOLD
The right bottle is also embossed with a fancy "EA" trade mark on the base, which is shown on the next row.
abner_07 Bottom view of the teal bottle depicted in the row above
abner_06 book # 2
This is a 9.5" amber blob top with ceramic stopper, embossed:
front: ABNER & DRURY / BREWERS / WASHINGTON D.C. / PURE MALT AND HOPS / TRADE MARK / REGISTERED / MOHL LINK & CO / AGENTS / BALTO. MD / THIS BOTTLE IS REGISTERED / NOT TO BE SOLD
abner_09 This is a top view of the above bottle's ceramic stopper. It says:
around outside: MOHL Link & Co / BALTO BRANCH
in the center: TRADE MARK (large "A & D")
abner_14 book # 4
These are 9.75" crown tops. Left is aqua and right is amber. They're both embossed:
trade mark: PURE MALT AND HOPS in ribbon around A&D monogram
below trade mark: WASHINGTON, D.C. / REGISTERED / ABNER & DRURY / BREWERS
rear heel of amber bottle only: V.G.CO
abner_04 book # 6
These are 9.75" crown tops. Left is aqua and right is amber. They're both embossed:
These three aqua machine made crown tops are similar except for their sizes.
Left bottle is 9.4" embossed CAPACITY 16 OZS FL , center bottle is 9" embossed CAPACITY 10 OZS FL , right bottle is 8" embossed CAPACITY 5 1/2 OZS FL . The markings are otherwise identical:
front (vertical): ABNER-DRURY
back (vertical): WASHINGTON
base: TRADE MARK / AD / REG US PAT OFF
abner_08 book # 9
These are 9.5" honey-amber machine-made crown tops, embossed:
front: ABNER DRURY
base: WASHINGTON / DC
abner_01 book # 10
This is a 9.5" amber machine-made crown top, embossed:
front: ABNER-DRURY COMPANY / WASHINGTON, D.C. / REGISTERED
back: CONTENTS 12 1/2 FL. OZ.
abner_03 book # 11
This is a 9.5" dark-amber lady-leg machine-made crown top bottle embossed:
front shoulder: ABNER-DRURY BREWING CO / (AD logo) / WASHINGTON, D.C.
front heel: REGISTERED NOT TO BE SOLD
abner_10 book # 12
This is a 9.5" amber machine-made crown top, embossed:
oval slug plate: ABNER-DRURY BREWING Co / WASHINGTON / D.C.
below slug plate: REGISTERED / THIS BOTTLE / IS NEVER SOLD
base: 19
abner_05 book # 13
This is an 8.2" aqua machine-made crown top bottle embossed:
front shoulder: A.D.C.
front heel: ABNER-DRURY CO / WASHINGTON, D.C.
rear shoulder: CONTENTS 7 FL. OZ.
rear heel: THIS BOTTLE NEVER SOLD / 2IN 1
abner_13 book # 14
This is an un-embossed amber machine-made bottle with a label. The label is marked:
center: CONGRESS / LAGER BEER (picture of the US Capitol building with "ABNER DRURY" below it)
around edges: ABNER DRURY BREWERY, INC. WASHINGTON, D.C. / DOES NOT CONTAIN MORE THAN 5 PERCENTUM ALCOHOL BY VOLUME / PERMIT NO U403 CONTENTS 12 FLUID OZ. / TAX PAID AT THE RATE PRESCRIBED BY INTERNAL REVENUE LAW
friar book # 15
This is an un-embossed clear machine-made bottle with a label. The label is marked:
top: Friar CREAM ALE
center: Friar / CREAM ALE / ABNER DRURY BREWERY INC. WASHINGTON
left: CONTENTS 12 FL OZS INTERNAL REVENUE TAX PAID PERMIT NO U-403
right: A RICH ALE OF HIGH QUALITY AND FLAVOR


Other Items:
sign_01 This is a 9.5" x 13.5" metal sign - probably tin with brass plating. It is imprinted with:
top & bottom: ABNER - DRURY's / ROYAL PILSEN / ON DRAUGHT.
around circle: PURE MALT AND HOPS
inside circle: A&D / TRADE MARK
outside circle: (hops leaves) / WASHINGTON, D.C.
small letters on left: BRILLIAN SIGNS / (COPYRIGHTED)
small letters on right: RODWELL SIGN CO / BUFFALLO NY / AUG 14 / AUG 14
I suspect the "AUG 14" means August of 1914.
abner_16 abner_17 This is a photograph of an old bar, probably in Washington DC. I show it here because the sign depicted above the elbow of the gentleman inthe photo looks just like the sign above. This is shown in the 2nd photo, which is a close-up.
abner_12 This is a 13.5" x 19" metal sign - probably made of tin. It has a black background, with the forground painted red and a faded color that looks like it may have been green. It says:
large letters: ROYAL PILSEN / OLD GLORY
top of logo: TRADE AD MARK / REG US / PAT OFF
logo: PURE MALT AND HOPS in ribbon around initials "A&D"
below logo: WASHINGTON, D.C.
opener_03 This is a bottle opener (top & side views shown). It says: "ROYAL PILSEN, ABNER DRURY (in circle), OLD GLORY". On the side it says "OVER THE TOP TRADE MARK MADE IN U.S.A.".
opener_01 This is another bottle opener. It says: "ABNER (AD in diamond) DRURY / Ginger Ale".
opener_04 This is a bottle opener & cork screw. It says:
('AD' logo in a diamond) PRINCE OF ALES
I assume by the "AD" logo being so similar to the one on the opener above, that this is indeed an Abner-Drury artifact. This opener adds evidence to the claim that Abner-Drury was referred to as the "Prince of Ales".
opener_02 This bottle opener is from the collection of Jon Olivarri. It says: "ROYAL PILSEN / ABNER DRURY, WASH. D.C." on one side, and "OLD GLORY / ABNER DRURY, WASH. D.C." on the other.
abner_15 This is a 19"Lx12"Wx10.5"H wooden beer crate, stamped with black letters. It says:
sides: ABNER DRURY / BREWERY, INC. / WASHINGTON, D.C. / PHONE WEST 0435-6
ends: ROYAL PILSEN / OLD GLORY
label This is an Abner-Drury ginger-ale label, which was affixed to an Abner-Drury Ginger Ale advertisement on the back of a 1922-1923 Poli's theatre pamphlet. This was during prohibition, which explains why it's for Ginger Ale and not beer.
label_04 This label says "CONGRESS / LAGER BEER / ABNER DRURY". Around the outside edge it says "ABNER DRURY BREWERY, INC. WASHINGTON, D.C. / DOES NOT CONTAIN MORE THAN 5 PERCENTUM ALCOHOL BY VOLUME - PERMIT NO U403 / CONTENTS 12 FLUID OZ. / TAX PAID AT THE RATE PRESCRIBED BY INTERNAL REVENUE LAW".
label_06 This label says "friar / (picture of a friar) / CREAM ALE / ABNER DRURY BREWERY INC. WASHINGTON, D.C."
Inside the gold band on the left it says: "CONTENTS 12 FL. OZS INTERNAL REVENUE TAX PAID PERMIT NO U-403"
Inside the gold band on the right it says: "A RICH ALE OF HIGH QUALITY AND FLAVOR"
label_02 This label says "ABNER DRURY / PURE MALT AND HOPS / AD / TRADE MARK / WASHINGTON, D.C./ Old Glory". Around the inside edge it says "TAX PAID AT THE RATE PRESCRIBED BY INTERNAL REVENUE LAW". Around the outside edge it says "ABNER DRURY BREWERY, INC. CONTETNS 12 FLUID OZ. / DOES NOT CONTAIN MORE THAN 5 PERCENTUM ALCOHOL BY VOLUME - PERMIT NO U403".
label_07 This label says "CONTENTS 12 OZS. / Dunkelbocker / Spezial prozess / MUNICH STYLE / HIGHER ALCOHOLIC CONTENT / ABNER DRURY BREWERY INC. / WASHINGTON, D.C. / INTERNAL REVENUE TAX PAID
label_03 This label says "ABNER DRURY / PURE MALT AND HOPS / AD / TRADE MARK / ROYAL PILSEN / WASHINGTON, D.C.". Around the inside edge it says "TAX PAID AT THE RATE PRESCRIBED BY INTERNAL REVENUE LAW". Around the outside edge it says "ABNER DRURY BREWERY, INC. CONTETNS 12 FLUID OZ. / DOES NOT CONTAIN MORE THAN 5 PERCENTUM ALCOHOL BY VOLUME - PERMIT NO U403".
label_05 This label says "ABNER DRURY / (AD logo) / ROYAL / PILSEN / BEER / ABNER DRURY BREWERY INC. / WASHINGTON, D.C.
Around the outside edge it says "CONTENTS 12 FL. OZS. / INTERNAL REVENUE TAX PAID PERMIT ???-403"
wash_brew_label This is a beer label from a beer that was bottled by the Washington Brewery, which is the brewery that took over after Abner-Drury.
abner_cap_01 This is a bottle cap. It is marked:
PURE MALT / AD / TRADE MARK / REG US PAT. OFF. / ROYAL PILSEN / SELECTED HOPS / ABNER DRURY / BREWERY / INC. / WASHINGTON DC
abner_11 These are salt & pepper shakers that look like small (4.25") beer bottles. The labels say:
left (salt) upper label: ROYAL PILSEN / BEER
left (salt) lower label: ROYAL / PILSEN / (A D Trademark) / Choicest Hops and / Finest Barley Malt / ... / ABNER DRURY BREWERY INC / WASHINGTON, D.C. / INTERNAL REVENUE TAX PAID PERMIT NO U-403
right (pepper) upper label: OLD GLORY / BEER
right (pepper) lower label: OLD GLORY / (A D Trademark) / Choicest Hops and / Finest Barley Malt / ... / ABNER DRURY BREWERY INC / WASHINGTON, D.C. / INTERNAL REVENUE TAX PAID PERMIT NO U 403
truck This is a picture of an Abner-Drury delivery truck.



1 Boyd's Directory for the District of Columbia (various years)
2 The Shortest Dynasty 1837-1947 by Michael Gaines
3 Advertisements in the Washington Star newspaper between 1905 and 1914
4 Description from an eBay listing - unsubstantiated
5 Book: Washington at Home by Kathryn Schneider Smith, p.59




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This page last updated on April 14, 2017.