WXIX Fox 19
Full Broadcast Story and additional video HERE
"You would have had a lot of horse drawn carts . You would have seen people moving in and out. You would have seen large amounts of material moving in and out of the buildings."
IN THE HEYDAY BREWING IN CINCINNATI WAS A MAJOR INDUSTRY - THE ST LOUIS OR MILWAUKEE OF THE TIME.
[ "It was the third or fourth biggest brewing center in the country. And it was comparable or bigger than some of those."
THIRTY TO FOURTY THOUSAND PEOPLE LIVED IN OVER-THE-RHINE AND WERE EMPLOYED BY THE BREWERIES OR RELATED COMPANIES SUCH AS BARREL AND BOTTLE MAKERS. THEY WERE PAID ANYWHERE FROM 1.50 A DAY FOR LABORERS TO FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR FOR A BREWMASTER.
"There was just a huge bustle of activity as well as just the large population."
YOU CAN STILL FIND THE NAMES OF THE EARLY BREWERS MASTERS SCATTERED AROUND THE REGION AS PARKS, STREET NAMES AND BEER LABELS.
"Christian Morelein was number one, followed by Conrad Weindisch, Gottleb Mulhauser."
"The Heudepolhs, the Burgers."
AND THE BREWERIES THEY BUILT STILL TOWER OVER CINCINNATI'S BREWERY DISTRICT WITH THEIR UNIQUE STYLE.
"You see a lot of brewery details actually in the carving. You see the beer barrels, and the hops, you see the brewers star."
CINCINNATI'S BOOMING IMMIGRANT POPULATION PROVIDED A READY MARKET WHEN A YOUNG GERMAN BREWER INTRODUCED HIS LAGER BEER IN 1857.
"And it was all the rage. All the German Americans, recent immigrants had been drinking it in their homeland because it was a much smoother product but gave a lot of flavor and at that time beers sales grew exponentially."
CHRISTIAN MORELEIN WENT ON TO BECOME THE LARGEST OF THE 32 BREWERIES IN CINCINNATI AND FOURTH LARGEST IN THE UNITED STATES. AND THE PEOPLE OF CINCINNATI DRANK A LOT OF BEER - AT ONE POINT IT WAS ESTIMATED THAT IT WAS 40 GALLONS FOR EVERY MAN WOMAN AND CHILD IN THE CITY.
BUT IT ALL CAME TO AN END.
IN 1919 THE UNITED STATES ENTERED A PERIOD OF PROHIBITION.
"Pulled the life blood of the economic fabric away from Over-the-Rhine."
SOME BREWERIES ATTEMPTED TO SURVIVE BY SELLING ROOT BEER OR USING THE GRAIN FOR CEREAL. BUT ONLY A HANDFUL MADE IT THRU PROHIBITION.
**DAN STANDUP** DURING THE POST WAR ERA CINCINNATIANS COULD FIND THEIR FAVORITE LOCAL BREW BY THE SIGNS IN THEIR CORNER PUB.****
BUT BY THE 1980'S MOST OF THE HOME-GROWN BREWERS WERE GONE - DONE IN BY THE POWER OF NATIONAL ADVERTISING AND INDUSTRIAL EFFICENECY OF NATIONAL BRANDS.
AND THE BREWS THAT ARE ARE MADE IN CINCINNATI ARE LIMITED.
"Sam Adams is brewed in Cincinnati but they claim it is a Boston Beer."
BUT THE BEER DRINKERS WE FOUND AT THE HOUFBRAUHAUS SAY CINCINNATI'S GERMAN INFLUENCED BREWS STILL HAVE A FUTURE.
"I drink that because it tastes the most like regular German Beer, like its spot on like they have it over there."
AND LIKE THIS RESTORED MULHAUSER BARN IN WEST CHESTER THAT HELD THE BREWERS GRAIN AND DRAFT HORSES THE BUILDINGS IN OVER THE RHINE HAVE A FUTURE AS WELL.
"It's such a unique draw. You get peoples interest with that."
MORE CRAFT BEERS WITH CINCINNATI HERITAGE ARE ON THE HORIZON.
"I have a doppel coming out that is just like the beer the Christian Morelein produced for the German Immigrants."
AND FUTURE OF THE BREWERY DISTRICT IS CONSIDERED AS BRIGHT AS THE ALES THAT FLOWED FROM THESE BUILDINGS.
"I definitely see breweries returning to the district."BACK