The John Kauffman Brewing Company is a defunct brewery at 1622 Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati, Ohio. Known for its Gilt Edge, Columbia, and Old Lager beers, it closed in 1919 when Prohibition was enacted.


The Franklin Brewery was founded on Lebanon Road near Deer Creek by John Kauffman in 1844. 1 It moved to Over-the-Rhine in 1860 by Kauffman and his nephew, George F. Eichenlaub, and Rudoff Rheinboldt, operating as Kauffman & Company.

Kauffman & Company produced about 1,000 barrels per year by 1861. 1 2 In 1863, the company became the Kaufmann Brewery to reflect its primary operations. 2 By 1871, it was the fourth largest in the city, producing up to 25,000 barrels per year. 1 2 Kauffman produced over 50,000 barrels per year by 1877, selling Gilt Edge Bohemian, Pale Lager, Columbia, and Standard. 2 A popular slogan used by Kauffman appealed to the sickly during the time: “A liquid food for the invalid a wholesome beverage for the healthy!”

When Eichenlaub retired in 1865, followed by Rheinbold in 1877, 1 2 Kauffman became the sole owner of the brewery. Kauffman’s son, John, studied brewing in Augsburg, Germany, later working for his father’s company. Emil Schmidt, Kauffman’s son-in-law, became superintendent of the site in 1877.

John Kauffman Brewery

Kaufmann Brewery became the John Kauffman Brewing Company in 1882. 1 The brewery was very profitable and had a paid-in capital stock of $700,000. It expanded with an employee dormitory in 1876 and a new brewery production building at 1622 Vine Street in 1888. The office and family residence were located at 1625 and 1627 Vine Street (both were demolished in 1922).

By 1890, Kauffman produced 55,000 barrels per year, peaking in 1894 when Kauffman produced 70,000 barrels of beer per year. 2

John Kauffman passed away in 1892 and his wife Marianne Eichenlaub Kauffman took over operations and became president. 1 Kauffman Brewery closed in 1919 when Prohibition was enacted, never reopening.