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Cincinnati Brewing Co

Cincinnati Brewing Co., 336 South Front Street, Hamilton, was operated by Peter Schwab, Hamilton's most famous brewer during his nearly 40 years in the business. Schwab -- pronounced Swope -- showed both his audacity and business acumen in naming his firm the Cincinnati Brewing Co. With that name, he captured for his Hamilton brewery some of the prestige of the Queen City, recognized in the last half of the 19th century as one of the world's finest brewing centers. Through aggressive selling and competitive pricing, Schwab's Pure Gold Beer gained a market that stretched from Washington, D. C., to St. Louis, and from Detroit and Pittsburgh into southern states. The operation, also called the Schwab Brewery, occupied a 200x400-foot tract at the northwest corner the railroad and South Front Street at Sycamore Street, and extended west to Monument Avenue.

Peter Schwab was born May 27, 1838, in Bavaria and came to the United States in 1850, to New Orleans and Cincinnati before settling in Hamilton. In 1868, Schwab joined Ferdinand Van Derveer and Herman Reutti in buying the brewery on South Front Street that had been started in 1858 by John W. Sohn. Schwab left the partnership in 1870, but in 1874 bought the business from his former partners. The brewery's capacity was 50 barrels a day and in his first year, Schwab sold only 12,000 barrels. By 1890, he had increased capacity to 400 barrels a day and had added an ice plant. That year he was advertising his Pure Gold brand as "the beer that made Milwaukee jealous." The company continued to prosper and expand until Schwab's death Sept. 13, 1913. The brewery closed in 1919 with the start of prohibition in Ohio.

For the next 49 years, the property was the Valley Ice Co. The buildings were demolished in 1969 and a Kroger store and Super-X drug strore were built on the site. In 1976, after buying the 27,770 square foot building and 76,562 square foot lot from Kroger for $382,000, the City of Hamilton began converting the property into police headquarters and municipal court. The new facilities were opened in April 1977.

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