The Jackson Brewery was first established on West McMicken Street (then Hamilton Road) by the Kleiner Brothers in 1859, a period in Cincinnati’s history when the German lager was gaining consumer favor over local ales and porters. Constructed into the hillside to provide the cavern-like areas necessary for lager production, the brewery by 1885 produced 100,000 barrels annually and employed 62 people. One of the more profitable beers made during this period was the Jackson Pure Old Lager.
Raids of suspected alcohol production facilities by the federal authorities upholding dry laws was a common occurrence during Prohibition. In 1920 the Jackson Brewery along with several other Cincinnati breweries and saloons were assessed fines for unlawful brewery production, distribution, and sales. According to the January 30, 1929 edition of the New York Times, Joseph Sperber, Jackson’s brew master, would also be charged with conspiracy for soliciting for advance knowledge on plant raids and attempting to bribe Bert B. Buckley, Ohio’s State Treasurer.
After Prohibition, the brewery manufactured several varieties of beer, such as Jackson’s Bohemian Style, 1862 Beer (named in honor of the brewery’s foundation date), and Jackson Cream of Cincinnati Ale, as an attempt to revitalize sales to pre-prohibition levels but revenue remained sluggish. The brewery ceased production in 1942 and would later serve as a distribution center for the Gibson Wine Company.
Image courtesy of Valley Vineyards.