One of the Christian Moerlein sales reps offered me samples of a few of their beers that have gone under recent recipe changes. I then decided to take these reviews as an opportunity to try to tell the story of Moerlein and help everyone know the company a little better. To tell the whole story I’ve split it up over three posts, 1 for each beer and each period of Moerlein’s history.
- Barbarossa and the pre-prohibition Christian Moerlein
- OTR Ale and the rebirth of a brand
- Northern Liberties and the reformulation of Moerlein
When we last left the Christian Moerlein company they had closed down due to prohibition. With the return of legal drinking in America the company did not return. Other Cincinnati breweries including Hudepohl, however, did. By 1981 Hudepohl had bought the rights to the Moerlein name and released the Christian Moerlein Select Lager.
This was exciting both for the return of a Cincinnati brand but also because it was the first American brewed beer to fully confirm to the reinheitsgebot. The reinheitsgebot is a 1518 Bavarian purity law limiting beer ingredients to water, hops, and malt. Yeast was not included since it had not yet been discovered, you can go learn more on the reinheitsbegot at my post from last year.
That remained the state of Christian Moerlein for almost 20 years, we’ll hit the next stage in its history later this week. For now, onto the OTR Ale!