Founded by Friedrich and Heinrich Schmidt who had operated a grocery store but opted to branch out into a new venture, the Schmidt brothers purchased Peter Herancourt’s Brewery at Central Avenue and Kindel Street for $1,500.1 2 The brothers brewed what they referred to as the “common ale” of Cincinnati.
Friedrich was born on August 6, 1840 in Hanover, Germany and migrated to Cincinnati in 1866.2 He worked as a blacksmith in Cincinnati before being employed at an iron foundry in Newport, Kentucky. He then worked with his brother, Heinrich, at a grocery store in 1868.
In 1875, Heinrich left the brewery.1 Friedrich sought after Henry Adam as a new partner, and together they purchased George Bach’s brewery on McMicken Avenue. In December, Henry sold his share of the company to Louis Prell, and the brewing company became known as Schmidt and Prell. Heinrich rejoined the company in January 1876 as an equal partner with Friedrich, and the brewery was renamed to Schmidt and Brother.1
Heinrich passed away in 1891, and Friedrich formed a stock corporation on April 1 under the new title, Schmidt Brothers Brewing Company. It’s popular slogan, “Crown Beer had a reputation second to none in the city,” helped sell the brand.1 2
Friedrich died in 1898 and his widow took over all operations, leading it until her death in 1905.1 Upon her passing, Gerhardt Schmidt and George Lampe purchased the facility and renamed it the Crown Brewery. One of the top-selling products was “Happy Days” beer, but it’s rise was short-lived. Probation began in 1919, and to keep the business active, Crown manufactured “Tang,” a near beer failed to gain traction. Crown folded in 1925.
- Wimberg, Robert J. “Schmidt Brothers Brewery/Crown Brewery.” Cincinnati Breweries. 2nd ed. 1989. Cincinnati: Ohio Book Store, 1997. 133-137. Print.
- Hampton, Steve. Prohibition Resistance Text. Cincinnati: n.p., 2010. N. pag. Print.