Historic Beer Birthday: George F. Gund

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Today is the birthday of George F. Gund (April 5, 1855-March 11, 1916). He was the son of John Gund, the founder of John Gund Brewing, of La Crosse, Wisconsin, and the brother of Henry Gund and John Gund Jr., who founded Lexington Brewing, in Lexington, Kentucky. George Frederick Gund founded Gund Brewing Co., of Cleveland, Ohio.

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And here’s a short biography of George F. Gund:

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This caricature of Gund is from the “Clevelanders “As We See ‘Em,” published in 1904.

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Here’s a history of the brewery from the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History.

The GUND BREWING CO. was a small independent brewery located at 1476 Davenport St. on the city’s near east side. It was known as the Jacob Mall Brewing Co. when Geo. F. Gund (1855-1916) purchased it in 1897. Born in La Crosse, WI, Gund served as president of the Seattle Brewing & Malting Co. in Seattle, WA, from 1895-97 before moving to Cleveland and buying the Mall brewery, where he served as president and treasurer. On 1 Jan. 1900 the firm name was changed to the Gund Brewing Co. Geo. Gund also served as a trustee of the U.S. Brewers’ Assn. and as secretary of the Cleveland Brewers’ Board of Trade. In 1899 he testified before State Attorney General Frank S. Monnett against the combination created by the Cleveland-Sandusky Brewing Corp., charging that the combination loaned money without interest to saloon keepers who would take its product, and leased buildings and then turned out the customers of independent breweries. Prior to Prohibition, Gund Brewing brewed Gund’s “Finest” and Gund’s “Clevelander,” which it promoted with the slogan “A Wonderful City—A Wonderful Beer.” During Prohibition, the Gund interests turned toward previously established real estate and coffee businesses. The Gund Realty Co. (inc. 1922) and the Kaffee Hag Corp. (inc. 1914) were headed respectively by Anna M. Gund, Gund’s widow, and his son Geo. Gund both were based at the brewery address. After Prohibition, the brewery was operated by the Sunrise Brewing Co. (1933-39), then by the Tip Top Brewing Co. It closed in 1944.

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The Jacob Mall Brewing Co. when George Gund bought it in 1897.

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