A large fire at the historic Jackson Brewery in Over-the-Rhine occured on December 15, 2019. https://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/hamilton-county/cincinnati/over-the-rhine/two-alarm-warehouse-fire-in-otr-sunday-morning
The community needs your support to insure the building is preserved.
The Jackson Brewery is one of the most significant pre-Prohibition brewery structures remaining in Cincinnati and America. The building was built in the 1860s, although brewing on the site dates to the 1840s. It is a stellar example of the "early lagering period" architectural style, similar to most of the breweries built in America from 1850-1870. Beer was brewed on this site for almost 100 years, from c.1845 through 1942. The network of underground lagering cellars is one of the largest remaining in Cincinnati. You can follow major historic history themes through the stories that happened at this brewery, from immigration to the birth of labor unions to the industrialization of American industry to the decline of the urban core. This building is iconic, an incredible story of our history, and every effort should be put forth to save it.
The current owner has spent significant time and money over the past 5 years stabilizing the building from decades of neglect under previous owners, and has been working with numerous partners on redevelopment plans. In addition to the continued threat of losing the historic building forever, the owner faces significant financial hurdles to stabilize the building damage and restore its historic fabric.
The non-profit Brewery District CURC and other neighborhood partners are working with the building’s owner, and professional architects and engineers are currently developing a stabilization plan and budget.
We need your support to show the city of Cincinnati that the building is worth saving, and to raise funds to insure that this building is preserved for future generations, and can contribute to the neighborhood’s redevelopment.
Who We Are
The Brewery District CURC non-profit has been working since the early 2000's to preserve and protect Cincinnati's brewing heritage and to revitalize the historic Brewery District in Over-the-Rhine. Besides starting the first large scale historic tours in the neighborhood in 2006, our signature project is the Brewing Heritage Trail. The Trail is a first of its kind installation in the country and highlights buildings and life in the neighborhood that made Cincinnati the beer capital of the country with signage, wayfinding, and public art. The Jackson Brewery is a key piece of that history.
How Your Donation Will Be Used
Monies collected through this campaign will be held by the Brewery District CURC and used exclusively to assist the building's owner in stabilizing the building, and upon sale or redevelopment of the building the funds will be returned to the Brewery District CURC to use for additional preservation projects in the neighborhood.
The Brewery District continues to work on the next phases of the Brewing Heritage Trail and your support in that effort would also be appreciated. You can do so HERE.
The brewery was purchased by Meinrad and Fridolin Kleiner in 1854. Their great-great grandfather learned brewing in a monastery in the 1600s, then opened his own private brewery. The family became prosperous Prussian brewers over the next 150 years. That ended when the Kleiner brothers supported the 1848 Revolution. Although wealthy, the Kleiners were very ardent, idealistic supporters of democratic reform. Following the counter-revolution, the reinstated government seized their brewery and assets. Broke, they immigrated to the U.S. Meinrad came first, arriving in New Orleans. He stayed there working in restaurants and bars for awhile until he could afford to come to Cincinnati. They remained politically active in the U.S. Inspired by the democratic populism of Andrew Jackson, they named their brewery after him. (All of this is why you can still see the names Kleiner and Jackson in stone on the facade.) Meinrad Kleiner was elected to Cincinnati City Council in 1861. He remained a loyal Democrat, but broke with his party to support the Union and the brewery raised money to support the families of Union troops.
Kleiner Brothers' Jackson Brewery was popular locally, but it was particularly well known in southern markets. Possibly as a result of connections that Meinrad made while working there, the beer held an enviable share of the New Orleans market. If you got hammered in the French Quarter in the 1860s and 70s, you were probably drinking Jackson Beer. (If you're wondering, no, although connected to a Cincinnati brewer, the Jackson Brewery that was built in N.O. in the late 1800s has nothing to do with the Kleiners.)
Under George Weber's ownership, the brewery constructed a massive malt house at the corner of 12th and Clay. On July 4, 1887, fireworks set it on fire. That, ironically, was also a huge conflagration that sealed the end of Weber's tenure.
The brewery never did well after Prohibition. It opened in '33, was immediately in trouble with the precursor to the SEC, went bankrupt and re-opened in '34, and closed permanently in 1942.