THE HISTORY OF THE BAVARIAN BREWERY
Spanning Over 150 Years
THE BAVARIAN BREWERY EXHIBIT
The Cincinnati area has a proud brewing heritage. One of the most significant vestiges of a Pre-Prohibition brewery that remains in the area today is the former Bavarian Brewery. In conjunction with these efforts to preserve and reuse this former brewery, efforts have also been made to preserve the history of the Bavarian Brewery dating back to 1866, and that links to the Over The Rhine (OTR) area of Cincinnati decades earlier. It resulted in The Bavarian Brewery Exhibit located in a portion of the former brewery that was re-purposed into office space for the Kenton County (KY) Government Center. The main attraction is a giant story board, measuring 10 x 25 feet, resembling a mirror image of the main structure that consisted of the Brew, Mill and Stock Houses. It contains 22 windows, with some 90 photos and images plus 50 photos of former brewery workers, along with accompanying descriptions, which tells the history of the brewery. In addition, there are three display areas that contain various brewery artifacts and former advertising memorabilia. (See Breweriana.) Diagrams of the exhibit and a display are to the right. To review plans of the exhibit and examine contents of each window in the exhibit and the barrel display, please click here. This exhibit was unveiled at the dedication of the Kenton County office complex on November 15, 2019. This permanent exhibit and the displays are available for public viewing during regular workdays from 8 am to 5 pm. They are conveniently located off of the lobby entrance. For directions to the Kenton County Government Center and the Exhibit, please see Contact / Visit Us.
L. Ried Schott
Jack Gore, Architect
Kenton County Fiscal Court
Photo Credits: Kenton County Public Library, Behringer-Crawford Museum and the Schott Family Collection, William P. Schott, L.R. Schott, Bob Hebbeler, Robert Musson and Gary Schmeh.
This permanent exhibit was provided through a collaboration of of those acknowledged on the sidebar and a generous donation of one of the decedents of the former owner and operators. The aforementioned museum is the curator of the exhibit and displays. They have responsibilities to maintain the exhibit, supplement the artifacts on display and rotate them periodically. The exhibit is designed so that the windows can be replaced with different images and information, and the contents in the display cabinets can be changed. Therefore, to improve and modify the exhibit, any donation or loan of any artifacts related to the Bavarian Brewery would be greatly appreciated. Such items can be provided to the Behringer - Crawford Museum (firstname.lastname@example.org).
As part of the Exhibit, and also on this website, there is an area providing A Tribute to the many men and women who worked at the Bavarian Brewery. The brewery had a Rathskeller in its earlier years that was used for social, business and civic events, as well as a Tap Room. In reestablishing a place where various community events can be held as provided in the former brewery, there will be a Riedlin-Schott Room for such purposes in the south wing of the Kenton County Government Center. It is named after the families that owned and operated the brewery. This room will have various brewery photographs and there will be two additional display cabinets containing other brewery artifacts in the hallway outside its entrance. This room will be located on the second floor, which is the same level where the brew kettle was once located, and above the main exhibit. (It is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2020.)
A MORE DETAILED HISTORY OF THE BREWERY
The Bavarian Brewery Exhibit is primarily pictorial, with limited commentary. To complement it, a major portion of this web site contains a much more detailed history of the brewery with a great deal more information and many more photos. In doing so, it allows the storied past of the Bavarian Brewery to be shared, which was owned and operated by a family corporation (the Bavarian Brewing Co., Inc.) that was once the largest employer in Covington, to be connected and linked with the present. This history of the brewery includes various locational, socio-economic and political insights along with technological changes and major events that lead to its growth, as well as to its demise. The scope of this required considerable research that went well beyond previously published material. It involved; a review of newspaper articles and advertisements of over 100 years, an unpublished manuscript document about the history of the brewery by a C.B. Trousdale in 1954, a careful analysis of insurance maps over different time periods and a rather thorough review of photographs from both the Kenton County Library and that once belonged to the owners of the brewery. It also incorporated certain materials and recollections from the descendants of the former brewery owners. Rather than use photos that often included numerous scratches, creases, blemishes, fingerprints, etc., considerable effort went into restoring many of the photos to look as they once did when after they were taken. An example of such a restoration is below.
In presenting a detailed history of the Bavarian Brewery, it was necessary to divide it into various parts, chronologically. This involved determining various time periods, from several years to over a couple decades. To explore the interesting history of the Bavarian Brewery, you are invited to explore these periods that cover over 150 years, accompanied by numerous photos in the detailed write-ups by periods. They are easily accessed from the top menu under History. However, for anyone that desires a shorter review, this is also available as A Historical Summary.
The background photo is of a Bavarian Brewery Underground Lager Cellar, which still exists.