Construction workers in Norfolk, Va. dug up an unexpected artifact on the site of a luxury apartment complex: a beer bottle still intact from a century ago, the Virginian-Pilot reported on Sunday.
The bottle was discovered by workers at The Loft luxury apartment complex by the Breeden Company, a real estate firm from Virginia Beach. They found the beer bottle among other buried treasures predicted to be over a century old, according to the Pilot.
The bottle was of the now-defunct Old Heurich Brewing Co., which had a Virginia branch of their company located in the town of Norfolk.
“It’s interesting to be here in the city of Norfolk, digging down and seeing 100-plus years of artifacts,” Bo Taylor, superintendent for The Breeden Company, said. “You begin to wonder, why is it here? And how did it get here?”
According to the Pilot, the area surrounding the construction site was historically industrial, so finding well-preserved and sturdy items such as horseshoes and gears is not that surprising. But what sets this find apart is how such a delicate piece of history survived 100 years in the soil in one piece — beer bottles tend to break.
The bottle is a dark glass bottle with a long neck, emblazoned with an ornate “H” and maple leaf, a symbol of Norfolk and of the Washington, D.C. area. The Christian Heurich Brewing Co. was a popular beer at the turn of the century, appearing in news reports from 1904 and 1909 concerning catastrophic runaway horses. The brand, started by German immigrants, was in operation from 1872 until 1956.
Clearly, Norfolk was a beer city long before the era of micro-breweries in every neighborhood. https://t.co/XpkLK5gjV1
— The Virginian-Pilot (@virginianpilot) December 27, 2021
The luxury apartment building, which is expected to be finished soon, plans to display the bottle along with other artifacts discovered on the site, including a Norfolk Coal and Ice Company sign, medicine bottles, and horseshoes.