Kauffman Brewing Company

The John Kauffman Brewing Company, a defunct brewery at 1622 Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati, Ohio, was known for its Gilt Edge, Columbia, and Old Lager beers.


John Kauffman founded the Franklin Brewery on Lebanon Road near Deer Creek in Cincinnati in 1844, which relocated to Over-the-Rhine in 1860 by Kauffman and his nephew, George F. Eichenlaub, and Rudoff Rheinboldt, where it operated as Kauffman & Company. 1 By 1861, the brewery was producing 1,000 barrels of lager per year. 1 2 The company became known as the Kauffman Brewery in 1863 to reflect its primary business.

By 1871, Kauffman was the fourth largest brewery in the city, producing up to 25,000 barrels of Gilt Edge Bohemian, Pale Lager, Columbia, and Standard per year, and increased to over 50,000 barrels per year by 1877. 1 2

Kauffman became the sole owner of the brewery after Eichenlaub retired in 1865, followed by Rheinbold in 1877. 1 2 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 operations in 1877.

John Kauffman Brewery

Kaufmann Brewery became the John Kauffman Brewing Company in 1882 and expanded with the construction of an employee dormitory in 1876 and a new brewery at 1622 Vine Street in 1888. 1 The office and family residence remained at 1625 and 1627 Vine Street, respectively. By 1894, Kauffman was producing 70,000 barrels of beer per year. 2

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

After John Kauffman passed away in 1892, his wife Marianne Eichenlaub Kauffman took over operations and became president. 1 Kauffman Brewery closed in 1919 when Prohibition was enacted.



  1. Wimberg, Robert J. “The John Kauffman Brewing Co.” Cincinnati Breweries. 2nd ed. 1989. Cincinnati: Ohio Book Store, 1997. 86-90. Print.
  2. Hampton, Steve. Prohibition Resistance Text. Cincinnati: n.p., 2010. N. pag. Print.


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John Kauffman is my ancestor, and I remember my mom telling me that my grandma had some kind of ownership to the brewery. I would love to learn more about my past!

Fascinating history! My paternal grandfather, Isadore Clayton, along with his brother Morris, both Russian immigrants, bought 1622 Vine Street in the early 1900’s.
It became Queen City Carpet Company for approximately the next 50 years . My father took over the company with his partner when my grandfather retired.
I am fairly certain none of my family members had ANY idea that the underground brewery even existed!

Steve I to recently found three Kauffman’s beer bottles. In a old privy I dug off Eastern Ave. It’s a interesting bottle. It reads Kauffman’s Cincinnati Ohio in cursive writing. Above that looks like a naked man riding a pheasant in front of the sun, holding a cup up. Lol

I found another one in a bottle dump the same one you describe but the top was of. however, I did find another but this one was blob top not crown. As well as slug-plate lettering on it.

John Kauffman was my grandmothers uncle.,her father was John’s brother. They didn’t always see eye to eye, and after one dispute John tried to make amends by offering my great grandfather a check for $1,000…but great grandpa threw it in the fire place. I come from a long line of stubborn people.

There was apparenly part of this company located in Chattanooga Tennessee. They produced the Chattanooga ice and Beer .
I have several of the ICE and Beer bottles produced there.

i found some old kauffman beer bottles in a wall of a house wondering if any one knows how old they are ? brown bottle just say kaukkman cincinnat ohio in

John Kauffman, whom I am named after, is my great great grandfather. I own a lot of memorability passed down over the years through the family.
…and yes, Julie, the rumor about Al Capone you heard is true.

my grandfather and great grandfather was born in Cincinnati, OHIO. rumer in the family was he sold beer to Al Copone. My grandfather also was a distrubitor for Kauffamn, Brewery.

John Kauffmann is my ancestor…if he abandoned this brewery who does it belong to….my mothers maiden name is Kauffman….John B Kauffmann ‘s brother is Victor Kauffmann…both born is France…So many OF my relatives are blood DECENDENTS …WHO OWNS THE BREWERY NOW ? The two bro. are my gr. gr. grandfather and gr. gr. Uncle.

My Great-grandfather, Hugo Eichler, was the brewmaster at Barbies Brewery(Sunshine)here in Reading in the early 1900″s. According to records he lived in Cincinnati in1883 ,at the corner of Vine and Clifton, and was employed as a brewer, and I’m guessing it was at John Kauffman brewing.

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