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& POST WORLD WAR II YEARS  (1946 - 1952)

The Second World War was over in Europe on May 7, 1945, but the final ending of the war came when Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945. However, it took months before many enlisted men returned home and rations were eliminated. Because European industries were largely destroyed or in need of repair, the U.S. was in a position to help supply many global needs. Meanwhile, as men who had served in the military obtained jobs at home and started families, the generation of the Baby Boomers began. This period saw the beginning of a large economic expansion in America. It benefited nearly all industries - including breweries - and the increased national wealth led to a strong increase in the American demand for beer. These national changes echoed locally at the Bavarian Brewing Co.


As mentioned in the previous section, there was some reorganization of the Bavarian Brewing Co. management toward the end of WWII. The executives beginning in 1946 were: Lou Schott, President; Will Schott, Vice President and Bill Schott, Secretary/Treasurer.  Joseph Vehr, the Office Manager/Comptroller, was a fourth Director. Therefore, two of the four Directors were father and son; Will and Bill. In addition, Ray Hoffman was hired as the General Manager in 1946. Hoffman had previously worked for the Consumers Brewing Co. in Newark, OH. Also in 1946, brewmaster Walter Gruner passed away and his son, Albert Gruner, succeeded him, with Henry Wetzel becoming the Assistant Brewmaster.

The President of Bavarian in 1946, Lou, was an older brother of Will's and they had a close relationship. Will even named his youngest son, Louis, after his brother Lou. It is interesting to note that even though Will Schott was married to Lucia Riedlin, the daughter of Wm. Riedlin who incorporated the brewery and is considered to be its founder and was President of the Riedlin Company during Prohibition, which included the brewery property, Will was never President of the brewery after Prohibition; always Vice President -  from 1938 until 1959.

The brewery was also dependent upon other employees for its success. Key Bavarian managers in the late 1940s were: Arthur Helmering, Route Superintendent; George Theele, Bottle Shop Foreman; Joe Ponzer, Sales Manager; Larry Schrand and Courtney Schrand, Bottling Superintendents; John Collins, Shipping Superintendent; James Caldwell, Chief Engineer; and, Jack Shannon, Branch Manager. Some of these men, and other important employees at the Bavarian Brewing Co., are shown on the side in front of the brew kettle. Please select the picture for individual names. After the Heidelberg Brewery was acquired by Bavarian in 1949, Walter Zannis became Brewmaster of Plant No. 2. In 1951, Carl Moeller became Master Brewmaster of both plants.

c. 1950. Key Managers at Bavarian Brewing Co. Source: Behringer - Crawford Museum.

After WWII, brewery management and ownership shifted away from an equal-division arrangement between the three Schott Brothers (George, Lou and Will). When George resigned, he apparently sold his brewery interest to his brother Will. Therefore, the majority ownership—about two-thirds of the Bavarian Brewing Co.’s privately held common stock—became principally vested with the families of William C. (& Lucia Riedlin) Schott and their two sons. The remainder of the stock, and about one-third of the ownership interest, was vested with Will's brother Lou and his family.

Will's sons also became more active in the brewery. His oldest son Bill joined the company beginning around 1940 and became a Director when George resigned in 1945. Will's youngest son Louis L. Schott joined in 1948 after serving in WWII and graduating from Dartmouth College. Louis became the Cincinnati Branch Manager in 1949. By 1951 he was Assistant Secretary and Assistance Treasurer to his brother Bill. In 1952, Louis became Treasurer and Bill became Secretary. Around that same time, Ray Hoffman also became Vice President, in addition to acting as the General Manager.


During the last year of WWII, Bavarian produced 85,447 barrels for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1945. After WWII, the demand for beer increased as men returned home from the war. However, restraints that limited the ingredients for beer reducing its production did not immediately disappear. Bavarian, as well as other brewers, had difficulty producing sufficient quantities of beer. This was indicated in a Bavarian ad in October of 1946, over a year after Japan surrendered, which said "Although government restrictions on beer making have been modified, it will still be a while before you can get all the Bavarian's you want." However, a year later, the shortage of ingredients was resolved. By the end of fiscal year ending September 30, 1948, Bavarian was producing 204,879.5 barrels of beer, an increase of nearly 120,000 barrels in just three years. They were operating 24x7 and were on pace not only to exceed the output of 216,000 barrels that the brewery achieved in 1914, but would soon exceed their maximum output for the plant. As explained and shown in the following, the main brewery was physically constrained.


With the growth of the brewery after WWII, it became evident that it was necessary to expand the brewery’s grounds by acquiring  adjoining properties that were disposed of during Prohibition. Consequently, arrangements had begun - possibly even before WWII - to acquire certain adjacent parcels. Two of these parcels acquired after WWII, Parcels a and b, are identified and discussed below. Parcels a and b were acquired by the Bavarian Brewing Co. from George Rehkamp around 1947. A description of these two parcels and a plat identifying them are below.

c. 1949. The aerial photo on the left above shows the main brewery complex and two parcels, A and B, which were previously part of the brewery. These two parcels were acquired shortly after WWII. The site plan on the right above indicates the brewery property and the specific uses of the buildings in the late 1940s.

Parcel a.  This parcel included the former Brew House (C) and the Mechanical Building (D) and was located directly across from the Boiler House & Bottling Department on the north side of Lehmer Street. It was acquired in late 1947 for $13,000 from George Rehkamp. Apparently, a portion of the Brew House was occupied by a neon sign works company, known as the Dixie Sign Co., and also at some point possibly by Lou's Signs. Some of their signage creations were made for the brewery; please see Signs: Neon, for some examples. The Mechanical Building fronted on Lehmer Street was occupied by a home improvement company. Although these two buildings did not share a common wall, there was a roof canopy between them. However, the old Brew House shared a common wall with the Office Building to the north. (When the old Brew House was demolished in 1956, it was done so carefully so that Office Building was not damaged. )

Parcel b.  This parcel was acquired simultaneously with the parcel above in 1947, or a little later, and was also believed to be owned by George Rehkamp. It included the old Ice Plant (F) built in 1895, which was used for auto repairs and a tin shop, according the the Sanford Insurance Map presented above. It may have also been used, at least in part, by the Kahnmann & Rehkamp Dairy. Some roof canopies extended between parcels a and b, which explains why these two parcels appear to be connected in the aerial photo.

A key property that was not reacquired at the same time as the two parcels noted above was the newer Ice Plant (8), which was occupied by Monarch Ice Cream and eventually obtained by Bavarian several years later. Former brewery buildings that were not reacquired located north of the aforesaid parcels that front on W. Pike Street included the former Office Building (9) mostly used for the offices of the Kahmann & Rehkmap Dairy, and the former Bottling Department (7) used by another dairy company - the Hanneken Dairy. These two properties would remain separately owned in the future and would never form part of the brewery property again. It is noteworthy that the failure to acquire the Ice Plant (8) at the same time as Parcels a and b, was an obstacle for the Bavarian Brewing Co. to expand its main plant. 

Bavarian may have had the option to demolish the buildings on the parcels they acquired and expand their facilities. However, it would take at least a couple of years to do so. Around the same time these acquisitions occurred, Bavarian learned that another brewery could be purchased nearby. This would allow Bavarian to more quickly increase their supply to satisfy their demand. So, Bavarian decided to rent their reacquired yet outdated buildings parcels to other businesses and pursue a brewery acquisition. Bavarian made arrangements to acquire the Heidelberg Brewing Co. in 1948 and acquired it in early 1949. It became known as Plant No. 2, as described below and in section 8B.  Bavarian's main plant, which was located just several blocks south of this second plant, was known as Plant No. 1. However, this acquistion created challenges within a few years.  (See Turnaround Efforts.)


The brewery site as it existed in the late 1940s is outlined in yellow in both the aerial photo and the site plan below. The main brewery property in the aerial photo is shaded in light yellow. As shown, the Bavarian Brewery complex was located between W. 12th and W. 11th / W. Pike Streets, and west of Main Street. An employee parking lot was situated in the northeast corner, but all the brewery buildings owned by Bavarian after Prohibition were located between W. 12th Street and Lehmar Avenue. The later road is not very visible on the photo below, but is viewable on the site plan.Not included as part of the brewery site were several former buildings that had been sold before 1933, because they had become obsolete and were no longer needed for brewing purposes. This was briefly discussed within periods  5. Riedlin Co.'s. and 6. Reopening of the Brewery.

Loayout of Plant No. 1

The brewery complex after Prohibition and post WWII (shaded in yellow) was concentrated between W. 12th and Lehmer Streets and west of (short) Main Street. The older buildings that were obsolete for brewing purposes (shaded in brown), wer sold during Prohibition.  As shown, there was one large grouping of various structures that dominated the complex. In addition, there was a smaller grouping of structures on the west side of the site.

There were tow groups of connected buildings. the larger group contained the Brew-Mill House (10), the STock House (C) and the Stock House Addition (11). The smaller group consisted of the Bottling Dept. (House) (6) and the Boiler House (5). However, they were only separated by a driveway, and there was a tunnel between the Stock House and the Bottling Dept. that enabled underground beer lines and utilities between these two groups of buildings. The main group of buildings supported brewing, fermenting and storage along with mechanical equipment and administrative offices.  These buildings had had a total of three Fermentation Cellars (A-C) on the uppermost floors and five beer storage Stock Cellars (A-E) on the lower floors. A smaller grouping of structures was located on west side of the brewery site, which were involved in powering the brewery and in distributing beer for sale in bottles and cans. Please know that all the structures in each grouping had doorways to each adjacent structure along with staircases. Therefore, it was possible to go from inside one end of these connected structures to the opposite end.  Each of these structures is identified on a Plot Plan and are described in more detail accompanied by floor plans in Plant No. 1 Floor Plans & Equipment.

Improvements (Plant No. 1)

In their efforts to be profitable and keep up with the demand for Bavarian's Old Style Beer, the brewery took various measures. Shortly after WWII, the company began a modernization program to purchase and install new equipment, increasing production capacity and making operations more efficient and economical. To achieve this, the Board approved expenditures of $150,000 in June of 1947 to replace the boilers and sundries brew house equipment.


In December, 1947, approvals were made authorizing $75,000 for the purchase and installation of new fermenters, evaporator condensers, compressors and refrigeration equipment. And in November, 1948, approvals were provided to install new tanks, including those steel- and glass-lined storage tanks installed in the Bottling Department, as shown in photos in section 8A. Bavarian's Plant No. 1.


Ground Level Views (Plant No. 1)

In addition to the aerial views above, ground view photos of the brewery property taken in the late 1940s and early 1950s are shown on the accompanying photos. The first photo shows the main office entrance off of W. 12th Street. However, access to the rest of the brewery complex was primarily from Lehmer Street, which  laid between W. Pike and W. 12th Streets. The next photo shows a portion of the Brew House on the right and the side of the original Stock House on the left. The last photo shows the Stocks Houses, Retail Shipping Office and Wash House from Lehmer Street.