Saturday, November 3, 2012

Schaller Bros' Main Street Brewery

This brewery came to my attention because of this photo posted on Facebook. The poster asked if the remains in the middle could be part of a brewery tunnel, so prevalent in Over-the-Rhine:
This pic was taken on the vacant lot between Hughes and Rothenburg School. - Urban Properties OTR (Facebook). See their page for a video clip as well!
So I went off digging through the old maps, comparing them to present day maps. First, I checked for any vacant lots near Rothenberg School, a beautiful public school built in 1914, at the corner of Main Street and Clifton Avenue.
Rothenberg School - Flickr User oldohioschools
Check out more detail pictures
2012 CAGIS Map - Main Street Brewey was located at 1622 Main Street
According to Robert Wimberg's book, Cincinnati Breweries, the first brewery was at this site around 1851, and run by John A. Schaefer until 1869. At the time, the establishment was purchased by John S. Schneider and John G. Elsenheimer, with Schneider becoming sole owner in 1870.

Michael Mueller joined the business in 1871 and in 1875 bought out Schneider. At that time, the brewery employed twenty-five men, producings 5,000 barrels per year. August Froekling became a partner in 1879, but in 1882, the Schaller brothers, Michael, Peter and William, bought the Main Street Brewery. Peter left the business in 1891.
1891 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source
In 1900, J. Edward Sohn and his son joined the Schaller Brothers' Main Street Brewery, while Michael Schaller, Jr. also joined the family business. Michael Keck was the brewmaster and developed such beers as "Old Gold" and "Eclipse". Prohibition should have closed the brewery, but they continued to produce beer until legal action closed it in 1922.
1904-1930 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source
The brewery did reopen after the repeal of Prohibition but finally closed again in 1941. It was demolished sometime before 1950. In it's place was built a bake shop, in business until the 1970's.

1950 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source
The land and the remaining buildings are now owned by the Cincinnati Board of Education and being demolished for a parking lot for the Rothenberg School.

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