Preservationists Race to Save Cincinnati's Brewery District

I happened across a fascinating article in the Cincinnati Enquirer anyone interested about beer should spend a few minutes reading:

More than a century ago Over-the-Rhine's streets were lined with hundreds of saloons, teeming with lager-drinking Germans who were immersed in a beer brewing culture.

Vine Street alone was home to more than 135 saloons where beer barons like Christian Moerlein mingled with laborers. Today, that deep-rooted brewing heritage has been nearly erased from the city's landscape - the breweries demolished or left to decay.

Now preservationists are racing to save the remaining crumbling relics - considered the largest collection of their kind nationally.

Last week I rattled on about losing Henry's here in Portland--well, Cincinnati had dozens of breweries in the good old days before prohibition. At the end of the post I'll include a cool video that shows the underground lagering caverns those old breweries dug in the days before refrigeration. Cincy was a seriously beery city--a "beervana" of a past era.
In 1872, according to an annual report of Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, 32 operating breweries in Cincinnati produced more than 436,000 barrels of beer and contributed to a labor payroll of $1.2 million.

"Some of these breweries would employ well over 100 people," Tolzmann says. "They were a vital part of the economic fiber of this community."

Here's that video, but do yourself a favor and go read the article, too: