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.