Friday, April 16, 2010

Little Kings, Hudepohl, Schoening, Burger and Moerlein coming home!

A co-worker and I were reminiscing recently about Little Kings Cream Ale, prompted by a story a few weeks ago in the Cincinnati Enquirer. I won't incriminate him by retelling his exploits with the little green bottles, but I will somewhat shamefully admit to a few of my own. Their small size meant they were perfect for smuggling into places we knew we shouldn't: high school football games, rock concerts, Kings Island (ladies, the voice of experience recommends that you don't ride The Beast with them in your purse), and it was not uncommon back in the day to hear the familiar tinkle of Little Kings bottles rolling down the floor of the local cinema. Good times!

Why am I dredging all this up? Because Little Kings, Schoenling, Hudepohl, Burger and Moerlein are all coming home to Cincinnati, thanks to the efforts of Christian Moerlein CEO Greg Hardman.

Christian Moerlein Brewing Company Announces Plans to Open Brewing Operations in Cincinnati's Historic Over-the-Rhine Brewery District

First Moerlein to be Brewed in Over-the-Rhine Since the Start of Prohibition in 1919
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CINCINNATI, OHIO – April 16, 2010 – Christian Moerlein Brewing Company and its wholly owned subsidiary Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing Co. is announcing plans to expand brewing operations to Cincinnati’s historic Over-the-Rhine Brewery District. The site of the new brewing operation will be the former Husman Potato Chip plant located 1621 Moore Street just north of Liberty and east of Vine. “We are proud to be part of the continued renaissance and economic development of Over-the-Rhine,” said Greg Hardman President and CEO of Christian Moerlein Brewing Company.

“Our goal is to strategically implement a phased in production over the next two years from both existing production on some of our specialty beers and from the continued rapid growth our brands,” said Greg Hardman. The company has entered into a lease agreement with an option buy for the 125,000 square foot facility that will enable the company to expand their business for many years to come; additionally, the buildings sound infrastructure and historical significance were main considerations in choosing the Over-the-Rhine location. The site was also the malt and lager house of the former Kaufman Brewing Company from 1869 through 1919 (till start of prohibition).

Initial plans call for minor renovations of offices and general clean up of the facility so the company can relocate its corporate offices from its current Middletown location. It is envisioned the company will employ up to 25 at this location in 2011.

The history of Christian Moerlein dates back 157 years to when the brew master Christian Moerlein, an immigrant from Truppach Bavaria, Germany brewed his first beer in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine Brewery District in 1853. Christian Moerlein ceased operations at the start of prohibition and did not resume operations after prohibition ended in 1933. In 1981, Christian Moerlein was brought back to the Cincinnati market by the Hudepohl Brewing Company as one of the first commercially sold American craft beers and the first American beer to certifiably pass the German Purity Law of 1516 known as the Reinheitsgebot. Local ownership of the brand was lost when out of town owners purchased the brand assets of the Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing Company in 1999 and later moved production to Maryland. Beer industry veteran and greater Cincinnati resident Greg Hardman purchased Christian Moerlein in 2004 bringing back the local ownership along with an additional commitment to bring back the local brewing heritage. Brewing operations are scheduled to begin in the new Over-the-Rhine location beginning in 2011.

Christian Moerlein Brewing Company would like to thank the Over-the-Rhine Foundation and its Executive Director Mike Morgan for dedicating an amazing amount of time and creativity in seeing this vision come to fruition. The OTR Foundation filled a much needed role, which was making necessary connections with all parties, assisting in negotiations and untangling numerous real estate issues. “Through the OTR Foundations efforts, it literally saved us time and resources we would have had to allocate otherwise. I’m not sure we would have moved along on this project without their assistance,” said Greg Hardman.

Additional thanks goes to the City of Cincinnati who assisted through Senior Development Officer Jeff McElravy by coordinating numerous city agencies regarding water and sewer usage and availability, transportation planning and the city pre-development team in helping much needed answers to make our decision to move forward.

Since our inception in 2004, growth initiative firm Cincinnati Growth Partners have been at the front end of our strategic decision making process. From our initial purchase of the Moerlein Brand and all remaining brand assets of the former Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing Company, to the Moerlein Lager House in the Cincinnati Riverfront Park and the current production brewery, Mark Signorelli Managing Partner and his team have been vital assets to our strategic growth and decision making processes.

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Christian Moerlein Brewing Company is the brewer of handcrafted Moerlein Lagers & Ales including Moerlein OTR Ale, Moerlein Lager House, Moerlein Barbarossa Double Dark Lager, Moerlein Northern Liberties IPA, Moerlein Fifth & Vine Oktoberfest Marzen, Moerlein Christkindl Winter Warmer Ale, Moerlein Friend of the Irishman Stout and Moerlein Emancipator Doppelbock। More information on Moerlein Lagers & Ales can be obtained at http://www.christianmoerlein.com/.

Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing Co. is the brewer of Hudy Delight, Hudy 14-K, Burger Classic and Little Kings Cream Ale and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Christian Moerlein Brewing Co.

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