Every year the Brewers Association updates their chart of the historical U.S. brewery count. This year I decided to create a chart for the historical Cincinnati brewery count.
I love this chart, it shows you the heights we used to stand upon, the crush of prohibition, the lows of the 70s, and the resurgent climb we are currently making. You should go check it out on their page because it’s interactive and they have other related charts.
I was recently visiting Ei8ht Ball when I noticed a new poster on the wall; the poster was a map of downtown Cincinnati with a series of numbers laid out across it. These figures corresponded to a legend which had a list of brewery names and the years each brewery was open. Seeing this poster triggered the classic light bulb moment. I snapped a shot of that list, got home, dug out my copies of Over-The-Barrel to compare to the list, and began working this chart.
Historical Cincinnati Brewery Count
Now you may be thinking that the Brewer’s Association showed 0 breweries open during prohibition, and I’m showing a tiny blip there for Cincinnati. The Bruckmann Brewing Company did not make beer during prohibition, but it did make it before prohibition, and after prohibition. During prohibition, it remained open making a cereal beverage, aka “near beer” with less than .5% alcohol, and a medicinal “tonic.” Sure they didn’t make “beer”, but I want to count them anyway!
With a 215 year high of 38 breweries and low of 0 breweries (that dip in 1811 was between the closing of the Dover Brewery and the opening of Embree’s Brewery), we come out with the lowly average of just 12 breweries. What’s awesome is we’re now double that average! If every brewery in planning opens, we’ll blow away that 1861 high water mark of 38!
I’m excited to keep this chart up to date over the years and see how Cincinnati keeps growing!
If you want to learn more about Cincinnati beer history, go follow my friend BeerMumbo! Also, check out The Queen City Chapter of the Brewery Collectibles Club of America and National Association Breweriana Advertising for more information on, and old ads from, these breweries.