Saturday, December 21, 2013

Jackson Brewery


Jackson Brewery Building location on West McMicken Avenue

The history of brewing at this location can be traced back to 1829 when a German man named Schmeltzer starts the Andrew Jackson Brewery.  It is the oldest recorded site for commercial brewing in Cincinnati.  The brewery was sold to the Kleiner brothers in 1832 and is named The Jackson Brewery.  In 1873 George Weber takes over the brewery and in 1884 becomes the George Weber Brewery.  On July 4, 1887 a stray Roman candle ignites the malt house and burns the brewery to the ground.  George Weber declares bankruptcy and sells the brewery.  What remains is sold and once again becomes the Jackson Brewing Company.  It operates under this name until Prohibition sets in.  After Prohibition the brewery is purchased by the Squibb-Pattison Breweries out of Detroit.  Unable to become profitable, it is sold in 1934 and once again becomes The Jackson Brewing Company operating under this name until it closes in 1942.

The Jackson Brewery Building (aka Metal Blast) located on Mohawk Street

The main brewing facility is known as the Metal Blast building from the company that once occupied it.  The facility was recently purchased by a group called Grayscale Cincinnati and plans to turn the old brewery into a theater for live performances, a music venue as well as space for a craft brewery, winery, or distillery complete with a tasting room.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Christian Moerlein Brewing Company

The Christian Moerlein bottling plant on 1916 Elm Street

Christian Moerlein was born in Bavaria, Germany in 1818.  He came to the United States in 1841 and settled in Cincinnati in 1842.  He started out as a blacksmith in Cincinnati but soon converted his shop into a brewery.  Moerlein partnered with Adam Dillmann to establish the Elm Street Brewery on the site of his blacksmith shop.  The brewery was located on Elm Street near Henry Street and they operated the brewery at this location until 1854 when Dillmann passed away.  After Dillmann’s passing, Conrad Windisch partners with Christian Moerlein.  In 1866 Moerlein becomes the sole owner of the brewery.  In 1868 Moerlein builds a new brewery on the corner of Elm and Henry and establishes it as the Christian Moerlein Brewing Company.

The Christian Moerlein icehouse on Henry Street
 
Christian Moerlein became one of the most prominent brewers in the country and his beer was shipped around the United States, Europe, and South America.  At the time it was the only beer exported from Cincinnati outside of the United States.

Christian Moerlein passed away in 1897.  The brewery continued operations until the start of prohibition.


The Christian Moerlein home (left) and office (right) on 2017-2023 Elm Street

At one time the brewery took up several blocks in Over-The-Rhine.  The buildings associated with Christian Moerlein and the brewery operations that remain are the Christian Moerlein home on the corner of Mulberry and Loth, the Barrel House located at 1910 Elm Street, the bottling plant at 1916 Elm Street, the icehouse on Henry, the company stable located on the corner of Henry and Dunlap, his home on 2017 Elm Street, and the office located at 2019 Elm Street.  Based on records found by Digging Cincinnati History, there are some questions as to the actual use of these buildings.

The Christian Moerlein home on the corner of Mulberry and Loft

In 1981 the Christian Moerlein name was revived in a craft beer brewed by Hudepohl and in 2004, the Christian Moerlein Brewery was reestablished by Greg Hardman.


Recently the brewery structures have found new use.  In 2013, the Rhinegeist Brewery opened its doors in the old barrelhouse on 1910 Elm Street.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Lafayette Brewery


This brewery got its start when Friedrich Billiod left Peter Jonte Brewery and partnered with Thomas Billiod in 1835.  In 1847, the brewery burned to the ground but Friederich rebuilt it much larger and better.  In 1862, Friederich passes away and his wife Margaretha operates the brewery until it is sold to William Fey.  In 1869 the brewery is sold to Alexis Darusmont.  He operates the brewery until his death in 1873 and his wife Margaret takes over operations until the brewery closed in 1878.  Albert Schwill & Company, a leading producer of malt purchased the brewery in 1882.

It is interesting to note that Friederich’s bookkeeper was Heinrich Roedter, the Captain of the German Volunteer Military Company, “The Lafayette Guards”.  It is said that the military company named itself after the brewery.  Roedter later became the editor of the German newspaper, “Volksblatt”.
    

The Lafayette Brewery building still stands at 24 West McMicken. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hudepohl Brewing Company


The brewery began in 1885 when Ludwig Hudepohl II and George Kotte purchased the Koehler Brewery, which was called the Buckeye Brewery.  When George Kotte died in 1893 his widow became a partner in the brewing operations and when she passed in 1900, Ludwig Hudepohl II became the sole owner and changed the name to the Hudepohl Brewing Company.  In 1920 Ludwig Hudepohl II passes away.  His widow and son-in-law, William Pohl assumed operation of the brewery.  At the start of prohibition, the brewery attempts to stay in business by producing soft drinks and near beer.

After the repeal of prohibition brewing starts once again and in 1934, Hudepohl purchases the Lackman Brewery.  In 1947 Hudepohl renovates the Lackman Brewery on 6th Street and moves its brewing operations to that location in 1958.  By 1967, Hudepohl builds a modern brewery on West 6th Street and closes its plant on East Clifton Avenue.


When Burger closes in 1973, Hudepohl purchases the brewery and continues to brew many of the popular Burger brands.  In 1986 Hudepohl and Schoenling merge to form the Hudepohl-Schoenling Company.  By 1999 Hudepohl is sold to a group of investors and by 2001 brewing of Hudepohl brand names cease.  In 2004, the new Christian Moerlein Brewery purchases the Hudepohl brand and the brewing of the many popular Hudepohl beers begins once again.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Kauffman Brewery


John Kauffman got his start in 1844 working at his uncle’s Franklin Brewery on Lebanon Pike (now Reading Road).  The brewery moved to Vine Street in 1845 when it became the Vine Street Brewery.  The brewery expands its operations and construction began in 1859 and the name of the brewery is changed to Kauffman and Company.  In 1882 the brewery is incorporated and the name is changed to the John Kauffman Brewing Company.  The brewery operates under this name until it closes due to Prohibition.  At its peak, the Kauffman Brewery was the fourth largest in Cincinnati and imported beer all across the country.


The Kauffman Brewery building is still standing at 1622 Vine Street and is now known as the Guildhaus apartments.  Underneath the building is a lagering tunnel that stretches to what is now the new Christian Moerlein Brewery.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The new Christian Moerlein Brewery


The Christian Moerlein Brewery on Moore Street in Over-The-Rhine

The new Christian Moerlein Brewery was founded in 2004 by Greg Hardman.  It is named after the Christian Moerlein Brewery that was established in 1818 and operated until prohibition.  The original brewery was the most successful brewery in Cincinnati.  Between the original and new brewery, Hudepohl reintroduced the Christian Moerlein name in 1981.  The Christian Moerlein brew was the first American beer to pass the Bavarian Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot).

One of the lagering tunnels under the Moore Street brewery

In 2012, the new Christian Moerlein Brewery opened on 1621 Moore Street in the former location of the Kaufmann Brewery and the Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing Company.  This location is now the home of their brewery and operations.  Along with the Christian Moerlein ales and lagers, the brewery also makes some of the old Cincinnati favorites like Hudepohl, Burger, and Little Kings.  


The Moerlein Lager House at The Banks

Early in 2012, Christian Moerlein opened the Moerlein Lager House at The Banks in Smale Riverfront Park.  The Lager House is a restaurant serving some old style German favorites as well as a microbrewery, which produces the line of Moerlein craft beers.  The Lager House contains many historic photos, paintings, and artifacts from many of the Cincinnati breweries of the past and is the home of the Beer Barons Hall of Fame.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Crown Brewery


This brewery got its start as the St. Louis Brewery.  It was founded in 1852 by Jacob Fuchs and Andrew Sommer at 51 Hamilton Road known as McMicken Avenue today.  The St. Louis Brewery stayed in business until 1859.  In 1865, the Bauer Brewery was started by Leonard Bauer and was in operation until 1871 when it became the George Bach Brewery.  The George Bach Brewery changes hands in 1875.  Partners Friedrich Schmidt and Henry Adam start The Schmidt and Adam Brewery.  A year later Adam sells his share to Louis Prell and the name changes to The Schmidt and Prell Brewery.  When Louis Prell dies in 1876, Friedrich partners with his brother Heinrich to start the Schmidt and Bro. Brewery.  The two brothers were previously in business together at the Peter Herancourt Brewery in the West End.  Heinrich died in 1891 and Friedrich takes over the operation and renames the brewery the Schmidt Brothers Brewing Company.  When Friedrich dies in 1898, his wife takes over the brewery and runs it until 1904.


In 1904, Friedrich’s widow sold the brewery to George Lampe and Gerhardt Schmidt and they formed The Crown Brewery.  They brewed beer up until prohibition and attempted to stay in business through prohibition by making root beer and a near beer product called, “Tang”.  Despite their efforts, the brewery closed in 1925.

The brewery buildings at 125, 132, and 134 East McMicken still stand.  Underneath these buildings are lager cellars.  The lager cellars were used as a way to store beer in cooler temperatures prior to the days of refrigeration.  There also is a tunnel that runs beneath McMicken Avenue from one building to the other.  Prior to the days of prohibition there was a law that taxed beer at a higher rate if the bottling and brewing were not separated by a public right of way.  Instead of attempting to roll barrels of beer across a busy street, breweries would often create these tunnels as a way to get beer from one place to another.

Along with the breweries, the home of Friedrich Schmidt still stands at 1711 Lang Street in Over-The-Rhine.


The Crown Brewery and the lagering tunnels are part of the Over-The-Rhine Brewery Tour.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

John Walker Brewery


This brewery started in 1826 when John Walker received the brewery as a payment for a debt.  Walker was unsuccessful at selling it so he started the John Walker Brewery.  The brewery was once located at the corner of Sycamore Street and Reading Road.  In 1836 John Walker got a partner in the business and the name changed to the John Walker & Company.  John Walker died in a brewery accident in 1853 and his wife took over the operations of the brewery until her death in 1858.  After her death, Walker’s nephews operated the brewery.  In 1878 Peter Andrews and Conrad Shultz purchased shares of the brewery from the nephews and changed the name to J. Walker Brewing Company.  The brewery remained in operation until 1912.

In 1879, Walker’s nephews started their own brewery in the West End called The Walker Bros. Brewery, also known as The Champion Ale & Porter Brewery.  This brewery lasted only a few years before closing.


The brewery structures are no longer standing but the home that John Walker built is still located on the northeast corner of Sycamore Street and Liberty Street.  John Walker built the home in 1847 and his nephews added the storefront in 1861 and used it as an apothecary.  The home is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Gambrinus Stock Brewing Company


The brewery began in 1832 as the Jonte and Billiods Brewery owned by Peter Jonte and his cousin Friedrich Billiod.  In 1835, Friedrich left and started his own brewery, the Lafayette Brewery and this brewery became the Peter Jonte Brewery.  In 1855 Peter Jonte sold the brewery to Christian Boss and David Ray becoming the Boss and Ray Brewery.  In 1858 Christian Boss buys the brewery and changes the name to the Christian Boss Brewery.  By 1876 the brewery changes its name to the Gambrinus Stock Brewing Company.  The brewery is named for the mythical god of beer, Gambrinus and it was the first brewery in Cincinnati to bottle its own beer.  As a result of prohibition, the brewery closed its doors in 1919 and never reopened.  .  After the repeal of prohibition, the Vienna Brewing Company opened in the former Gambrinus Stock Brewing Company building in 1933, but by 1940 the brewery closed.

The brewery was located at Abigail Street (now 12th Street) and Sycamore.  The main brewery buildings were torn down in 1980 but the brewery stables built in 1870 at 310 Reading Road and the Christian Boss home at 1324 Broadway Street still stand today.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Queen City Brewery Tour


Brewing in Cincinnati can be traced back to 1812 with The Embree Brewery, which was established by Davis Embree along the banks of the Ohio River. With the increased German population in the mid-1800’s, the city saw a rise in brewing and the number of breweries.  At its peak, there were around 36 breweries in Cincinnati with production of over one million barrels of beer making Cincinnati the 3rd largest brewing operation in the country.  With the start of prohibition in 1919 many of the breweries in Cincinnati closed their doors.  Others tried to survive by producing near beer or malt beverages.  With the end of prohibition in 1933 few breweries survived and several reopened.  By 1973 only two breweries remained in Cincinnati and by 1986 the last major brewery in Cincinnati closed.  The brewery landscape of today has changed quite a bit with the arrival of one national brand, the resurrection of one of the most popular breweries and name brands of yesterday, and several microbreweries as well as some handcrafted beers.  There is also an active effort to preserve the history of brewing and the former brewery buildings in Over-The-Rhine and Cincinnati.


Leading the effort in preserving the history of Cincinnati brewing is the Over-The-Rhine Brewery District.  This is done through events such as Bockfest and the Prohibition Resistance Tours.  The mission of the Over-The Rhine Brewery district is to preserve the remaining brewery buildings and lead in redevelopment efforts in the community.  The organization has created a master plan for the brewery district and will lead to many great things including the Brewing Heritage Trail.  Similar to the Freedom Trail in Boston, the Brewing Heritage Trail will run through the Over-The-Rhine Brewery District past many of the old brewery structures and will tell the history of the brewing industry in the area.


The purpose of this tour is to highlight many of the remaining brewery buildings in the area and to provide an overview of the history surrounding these structures.  This by no means is intended to be a detailed view of the brewing history of the area – there are people far more knowledgeable on the subject than me and many books have been written on this subject.  This tour is more to give you the general idea of the brewing history in Cincinnati over time.  For a more in depth view of the brewing history and to see many of the brewing structures close up I highly recommend taking the Prohibition Resistance Tour offered by the Over-The-Rhine Brewery District and checking out one of many books on the subject.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

Piatt Park


Establish in 1817, Piatt Park is Cincinnati’s oldest park.  Brothers John and Abram Piatt donated the land to the city.  The park stretches along Eighth Street from Elm to Vine Street – an area more commonly known as Garfield Place.  The park is flanked by the William Henry Harrison statue along Elm Street and the James A. Garfield statue along Vine Street.  Along Race Street are two granite fountains created by local artist Stuart Fink.  The fountains were dedicated in 1989 and the carved granite shapes represent the symbols for water, air, and land.  In between trees, benches, and a walkway line the park.



Sunday, August 4, 2013

Federal Reserve Plaza


The plaza is located on the Southwest corner of East Fifth and Main Streets next to the Federal Reserve building.  The plaza is not open to the public but the sculptures in the plaza area can be seen from the sidewalk.


The untitled water sculpture was created in 1972 by Oliver Andrews.  It contains two stainless steel pieces and is described as:
"The tall piece symbolizes man's relationship to nature with its organic grace and gentle cascade. The shorter prismatic piece with its sharp angles and more powerful cascade represents man's relationship to his work and his growth through forceful effort."


The second piece is located in a garden and is titled, “Latitude and Longitude”.  It was created in 1995 by Rebecca Seeman and is described as:
"In a raised flowerbed of the plaza stand two companion pieces. They are like lines of a drawing in space, and their forms are reminiscent of armillary spheres, instruments once used to display the relationships of celestial bodies."

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Traveler’s Column


This bronze sculpture was commissioned in 1967 and was created by Italian artist Arnaldo Pomodoro.  It was originally located on the Skywalk at Opera Place Mall.  When the Skywalk was dismantled in 1994, the sculpture was put in storage.  With the renovation of the Krippendorf Building in 2002, the sculpture was once again put on display on the southeast corner of Sycamore and Seventh Street.