Last week I rattled on about losing Henry's here in Portland--well, Cincinnati had dozens of breweries in the good old days before prohibition. At the end of the post I'll include a cool video that shows the underground lagering caverns those old breweries dug in the days before refrigeration. Cincy was a seriously beery city--a "beervana" of a past era.
More than a century ago Over-the-Rhine's streets were lined with hundreds of saloons, teeming with lager-drinking Germans who were immersed in a beer brewing culture.
Vine Street alone was home to more than 135 saloons where beer barons like Christian Moerlein mingled with laborers. Today, that deep-rooted brewing heritage has been nearly erased from the city's landscape - the breweries demolished or left to decay.
Now preservationists are racing to save the remaining crumbling relics - considered the largest collection of their kind nationally.
In 1872, according to an annual report of Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, 32 operating breweries in Cincinnati produced more than 436,000 barrels of beer and contributed to a labor payroll of $1.2 million.Here's that video, but do yourself a favor and go read the article, too:
"Some of these breweries would employ well over 100 people," Tolzmann says. "They were a vital part of the economic fiber of this community."