Historic Beer Birthday: Henry Foss

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Today is the birthday of Henry Foss, a.k.a. John Henry Foss (June 23, 1817-August 13, 1879). Foss was born in Hanover, Germany but emigrated to Ohio. In 1842, he married Elizabeth Rumpeing, but she passed away in 1854 after twelve years of marriage. He then married Adelaide Foss later the same year, and they had 13 children together. In 1867, he became involved with the Louis Schneider Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio, becoming a partner and it eventually became known as the Foss-Schneider Brewing Co. It closed during prohibition, but reopened when it was repealed in 1933, though closed for good in 1939.

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Here’s a biography of Foss, from the “History of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio: Their Past and Present Including Early Development, Antiquarian Researches, Their Aboriginal History, Pioneer History, Political Organization, Agricultural, Mining and Manufacturing Interests, A History of the City, Villages and Townships, Religious, Educational, Biographies, and Portraits of Pioneers and Representative Citizens, Etc.,” which was published in 1894.

Henry Foss was born in Germany, June 23, 1817, and died in Cincinnati August 13, 1879. After attending the common schools until he was between thirteen and fourteen years of age he was given to understand that from that time he would be expected to “paddle his own canoe,” so he at once commenced the life of a farm laborer, and, to the credit of his industrious habits, it is said that he followed this kind of work faithfully until he was nearly twenty years old. But at that time he somehow or other began to get dissatisfied with the result of his six years’ hard work, so he thought he would “take stock” to see how much he had made, and calculated how much he would be worth in forty years, if he continued at the same business at the same wages — about twelve or fourteen dollars a year. He had nothing at the start; he had wasted no money; had only kept himself clothed, and still he had nothing to show for all his labor but a few dollars, barely sufficient to take him over the sea to the New World. Yet, nevertheless, he was determined to go with a party that was about to leave the village for America. Leaving home on the tenth day of May 1837, the party, consisting of himself and three others, traveled by wagon to Bremen, where they took passage on the ship “Richmond” bound for Richmond, Va. After paying his passage money he had but five cents left, so that it was no trouble for him to conclude to rely solely upon his efforts in the New World of the West — in fact, there was no choice in the matter. After being at sea for several days they encountered a storm of great severity, during which they lost their mainmast and much of their rigging, and were driven back so far that the distance lost was not regained for fourteen days. Besides the above disasters the cook’s galley, with all the cooking apparatus, was swept clean overboard, so that it was three days after before they had a particle of anything warm to eat or drink. At last, however, after twenty-two days. they landed safely at Richmond, Va., our subject having, we suspect, had enough of “life on the ocean wave” to satisfy him, as he never re-crossed it.

After looking around for a day or two, Mr. Foss went to work on the James River canal, at seventeen dollars per month and board. At this he continued for about seven months, when, having saved something like one hundred dollars, he thought he was rich at once, and would soon buy all the land he wanted. Like thousands of his countrymen he judged that the West was the place for him; so he joined a party of twenty-two possessed of the same idea. Clubbing together, the party procured a large team, and started over the mountains to the Kanawha canal, by which they arrived at Wheeling, where they took steamer for Pittsburgh, and at once proceeded down the river to Cincinnati. On landing here Mr. Foss found things so dull that he determined to proceed to St. Louis. Finding matters much the same there, he began to think he had made a mistake in coming west; but he passed over into Illinois with the expectation of going to work on a turnpike at Belleville. It was so swampy there, however, that almost every one who worked there was seized with fever and ague. In this emergency he returned to St. Louis, and from there again came to Cincinnati, where he was advised by his friends to go to work on the Whitewater canal, at Brookville, some forty miles from the city. He walked this distance with his knapsack on his back, and at once began to work at seventeen dollars per month and board. At the end of three months he went to Cincinnati. and sent fifty dollars home to his parents to help smooth the path of life for them. After working on the canal two months longer he was made foreman of a squad of quarry men; while at this work he conceived the idea of learning the stone-cutting trade, and after instructing another in his duties, he went to the yard to learn the trade. In nine mouths the locks of the canal were completed, at the end of which time Mr. Foss came to the city, and was employed at dressing stone until he saw an opening at the locks of the Licking canal, Kentucky. After working there about six mouths he commenced as a stone mason, and having a good eye for mechanics he soon proved an efficient workman, and thereafter could either cut or lay stone. After continuing in this way two years, during which he had sent $500 home to bring out the whole family, and saved $500 besides, on the arrival of his parents and his brothers and sisters they found that Henrv had rented and furnished a house complete for them to go into.

With the $500 in hand he commenced business for himself on a small scale, which he gradually increased from year to year until he employed from fifty to sixty journeymen, and nearly as many laborers. In 1848-49, in connection with Henry Atlemeier, he built the House of Refuge; and while thus engaged the cholera was raging so fearfully that the funerals moving from the city to the cemetery formed a constant procession. The architect of their job. Henry Walters, and many of their workmen fell victims to the epidemic. In 1851 he built the foundations of the Hamilton and Dayton depot, which consumed some 5,000 perches of stone, and completed the job in about three months. He built the church on the corner of Mound and Barr, and adjoining gymnasium in 1857-58, also the foundations of St. Philomena church on Congress and Butler streets; St. Joseph’s, on Linn; Holy Trinity, on Fifth; likewise that of the large block on the corner of Ninth and Walnut; and the church of the Holy Angels (all of stone), Fulton; and the south wing of Bishop Purcell’s seminary, besides a vast number of dwelling houses. He continued this business until 1856, when he sold off his teams and building apparatus generally, and built a distillery on the Plank road, now Gest street, for himself and his partner, with a capacity of 900 bushels per day. After its completion his partner was somewhat alarmed at their great undertaking, so, to make the matter lighter, sold a quarter interest to two other gentlemen, retaining a quarter himself. After conducting the business together for about three months, hard times came upon them, and Mr. Foss’ original partner again became alarmed for fear all would be lost; but not so Mr. Foss, who at once bought the interest of that gentleman, and continued the business with the owner of the fourth interest. The scale soon turned in their favor, and, after eight years of success, having considerable surplus money, Mr. Foss bought the interest of his partners, and carried on the business alone for about two years, then sold out to Mr. John Pfeffer, concluding that he would work a little in his garden, and take things easy the rest of his life. But to his surprise he did not know what to do with himself, and, after laying off about two months, he came to the conclusion that doing nothing was the hardest work in the world. He then formed a partnership with Adam Heitbrink for the purpose of building the foundation of the city Work House. After this was finished he formed a partnership with William P. Snyder and John Brenner, and went into the manufacture of. lager beer, ‘ the capacity of their works at the commencement being about sixty-five barrels per day. This was in December, 1867; in the spring of 1868 it became necessary to enlarge their works, and their business continued to increase. The further connection of Mr. Foss with the great brewing establishment, now known as the Foss-Schneider Brewing Company, is contained in the personal history of his son and successor, John H. Foss, president of that company, and which is contained in this volume.

Mr. Henry Foss was married in 1842, to Miss Elizabeth Rumpeing, a German lady, who was every way worthy to be his wife. Of this union five children were born, all of whom, together with their mother, have died, the latter in 1854. Mr. Foss was married again, during the same year, to Miss Adelaide TeVeluwe, of Zutfen Lechtenforde, Holland, and by her eight children were born to him, seven of whom—John H., William, Edward, Philomena, Lizzy, Rosey and Bernidena—are still living, as is also Mrs. Foss.

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Here’s a short history of the brewery, from “100 Years of Brewing:”

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Historic Beer Birthday: John Schneider

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Today is the birthday of John Schneider (May 16, 1833-February 28, 1907). Schneider was born in Bavaria, and made his way to America in 1852. He settled initially in Cleveland, and worked all of his life as a journeyman brewer around Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. Late in life he became “a stockholder in the Standard Brewing Co.” of Cleveland, and was named director and 2nd president.

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Brewery History has reprinted an autobiography Schneider wrote around 1904 and it’s an interesting read.

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The Standard Brewing Co. of Cleveland, Ohio

Peared Creation also has a nice history of the Standard Brewing Co., which was founded in 1904, when Schnedier began his association with the brewery.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Christian Moerlein

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Today is the birthday of Christian Moerlein (May 13, 1818-May 14, 1897). Moerlein was born in Bavaria, and came to America around 1840, establishing the Christian Moerlein Brewery in 1853.

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Here’s a short biography from Find a Grave:

Brewer. Born in Truppach, Bayreuth, Oberfranken, Bayern, Germany. He immigrated to the United States in 1841 settling in Cincinnati, Ohio a year later. Christian married his first wife Sophia Adam in 1843 and had three children with her. After losing Sophia and 2 of those children to the cholera epidemics of the time, he married his second wife Barbara Oeh in 1849 and had another 9 children. In 1853 Moerlein established a brewery bearing his name in Cincinnati and became the most prominent brewer in that city. The brewery became one of the largest in the country and remained in operation until Prohibition. Today a line of beer is again being marketed under his name.

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Here’s what the early 20th century book “One Hundred Years of Brewing” wrote about Christian Moerlein:

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Digging Cincinnati History has a nice post about where all the Moerlein buildings are today, along with some history of the brewery. In 2004, local resident Greg Hardman bought the Christian Moerlein brand and continues to operate it as Christian Moerlein lagers & Ales, and also opened the Moerlein Lager House, where they serve food and house beers.

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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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Historic Beer Birthday: Joseph Schaller

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Today is the birthday of Joseph Schaller (March 19, 1812-June 25, 1888), Schaller was born in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, but appears to have emigrated to Cincinnti, Ohio in 1837. He was a co-owner on the Eagle Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio, which was known by various names names, such as the Schaller & Schiff Brewery and later the Schaller-Gerke Brewery. In addition, before he retired from brewing, he helped his three sons start the Schaller Brothers Main Street Brewery.

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Accounts seem to vary about his involvement, and especially with the names of the brewery as they changed, but here’s the timeline from the Queen City Chapter’s page, entitled Cincinnati Brewing History-Preprohibition 1811-1919:

1829: William Lofthouse and William Attee operate THE EAGLE BREWERY located on Fourth Street from 1829 until 1843. William Lofthouse becomes the sole proprietor of the brewery after William Attee dies in 1843 and he operates the brewery until his own death in 1850. His widow leases the brewery to Joseph Schaller and Johann Schiff who continue to use the EAGLE BREWERY name and operate the facility from 1850 to 1857.

1854: Joseph Schaller and Johann Schiff purchased land on the Miami-Erie Canal near Plum Street and construct a new brewery which they operate from 1854 to 1866. They continued to use the EAGLE BREWERY name. In 1866 Schaller buys out Schiff and he becomes a partner with John Gerke. The brewery name becomes SCHALLER & GERKE, EAGLE BREWERY. They continue in business together until 1882.

1861: Joseph Schaller buys out his partner, Johann Schiff, and continues to operate THE EAGLE BREWERY. In 1866, John Gerke becomes a partner in the business and the brewery operates until 1882.

1882: After John Gerke‘s death, his son, George, takes his place in the brewery and the business is incorporated as THE GERKE BREWING CO. In 1904, a new building is erected but is soon sold to the French-Bauer Dairy and the Gerke Brewing Co. is out of business by 1912.

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For example, Lagering Cellar 1861 has some Gerke Brewery History that includes Schaller.

Joseph Schaller came to America as a young man. Working as a laborer in Cincinnati and on the Erie Canal, he saved his money to start a vinegar works. He purchased the old Lofthouse Brewery (located on 4th Street) with Johann Schiff in 1850. While not trained as a brewer, he hired well. They quickly grew the business and built the Eagle Brewery at the corner of Plum and Canal in 1854.

The brewery was located at the Plum Street bend of the Miami & Erie Canal, and had large arched windows unique to Cincinnati breweries. These windows are duplicated in the doors to the elevator room you came through. Partnering with John Gerke, he grew the brewery to be one of the largest and most modern in the city, producing about 140,000 barrels of beer a year. Before retiring, he helped his three sons start the Schaller Brothers Main Street Brewery. Gerke continued brewing until 1912. Brewery was replaced with the French Bauer Ice Cream Factory in 1917, which still exists as the Court Street Center building today.

Gerke continued brewing until 1912.

Schaller & Schiff, Eagle Brewery (4th Street) 1850 – 1857
Schaller & Schiff, Eagle Brewery 1854 – 1866
Schaller & Gerke, Eagle Brewery 1866 – 1882
Gerke Brewing Company 1882 – 1912

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The first brewery on this corner was the Eagle Brewery from 1854 to 1866, owned by Joseph Schaller and Johann Schiff. In 1866, Schiff left the company and John Gerke joined in. The name was changed to Schaller & Gerke, Eagle Brewery and they continued together until 1882. The Schallers left the business then to purchase the Main Street Brewery and after the death of his father John, George Gerke continued the business at Canal and Plum Streets.

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Founded in 1854 as the Eagle Brewery closer to the Ohio River, Joseph Schaller and John Gerke built a new brewery at the bend of the Miami and Erie Canal in 1866. Beer was brewed there until 1910. The brewery equipment was sold at auction October 15, 1913.

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But the Schaller Brothers Main Street Brewery continued long after Joseph passed away, and they kept the Main Street Brewery name until 1896, after which time it was called the Schaller Brewing Co. After closing for prohibition, it reopened in 1933 and remained in business until 1941.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Robert Meinrad Juerze

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Today is the birthday of Robert Meinrad Juerze (March 15, 1847-?). In 1889, he was named president of the Gerke Brewing Co., in Cincinnati, Ohio. Unfortunately, that’s it for the information I could find about Juerze. No bio, no photos, just a line in an old trade magazine that included his birthdate.

The Eagle Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio, which was known by various names names, such as the Schaller & Schiff Brewery and later the Schaller-Gerke Brewery and finally the Gerke Brewing Co. Here’s a timeline from the Queen City Chapter’s page, entitled Cincinnati Brewing History-Preprohibition 1811-1919.


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The first brewery on this corner was the Eagle Brewery from 1854 to 1866, owned by Joseph Schaller and Johann Schiff. In 1866, Schiff left the company and John Gerke joined in. The name was changed to Schaller & Gerke, Eagle Brewery and they continued together until 1882. The Schallers left the business then to purchase the Main Street Brewery and after the death of his father John, George Gerke continued the business at Canal and Plum Streets.

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Founded in 1854 as the Eagle Brewery closer to the Ohio River, Joseph Schaller and John Gerke built a new brewery at the bend of the Miami and Erie Canal in 1866. Beer was brewed there until 1910.

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The brewery equipment was sold at auction October 15, 1913.

Historic Beer Birthday: Louis Burger

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Today is the birthday of Louis Burger (March 15, 1842-February 13, 1901). He was born in Wurtemburg, Germany (though another source says Heilbrunn, Bavaria), but moved to America in 1863, when he was 21, and settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, A few years later, in 1879, he started working in the malting business, but shortly thereafter he formed a partnership with his brother Charles and co-founded the Burger Brewing Co. It became one of the more successful breweries in Cincinnati, and survived prohibition, but in 1973, announcing its closure, Hudepohl Brewing bought the brand.

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Here’s a short biography, containing some conflicting information, from Find-a-Grave:

Beer Baron. A native of Germany, he emigrated to America and settled in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1874, he established the Burger Brewing Company and operated the brewery until his death in 1901 when he was 67 years old. The brewery continued as such until it closed for good in 1973, minus the prohibition years from 1919 through 1933.

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Given its early success, there’s a surprising lack of information about the brewery’s history before prohibition, even in books on Cincinnati’s brewing history. Why that might be seems unclear, but certainly part of the problem is that burger is not only a common name, but also shares its name with a popular sandwich, making searching more difficult.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Conrad Windisch

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Today is the birthday of Conrad Windisch (March 6, 1825-July 2, 1887) who was a co-founder, along with Gottlieb Muhlhauser of the Windisch-Muhlhauser Brewing Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio, which was known as the “Lion Brewery.” He was originally a partner in the more famous Christian Moerlein Brewery, but in 1866 was bought out by Moerlein. During the same period, he also owned and ran the C. Windisch & Co. Brewery, located in the Covington, Kentucky, but it closed after just one year, in 1862. After leaving the Christian Moerlein Brewery, he partnered with Muhlhauser on the Lion Brewery, which remained open until prohibition.

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Here’s a short biography from Find-a-Grave:

Brewer. A native of Germany, he was born in the village of Eggloffstein in Bavaria. At the age of 13, after an education in the common schools, he began to work full time for his father, Ulrich Windisch, at the family’s brewery and farm. During the German Revolution of 1848, he left his homeland and emigrated to America. Windisch first settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and worked for a brewer for a brief period of time before moving west to work at breweries in Belleville, Illinois, and St. Louis, Missouri. He eventually came to Cincinnati in 1850 and found similar work. Windisch worked for Koehler at the Buckeye Street Brewery for three years until he became a partner with Christian Moerlein in 1853. He also started his own brewery in 1862 and sold his interest to Moerlein in 1866 to devote his time to his own interests. With his brother-in-law, Gottlieb Muhlhauser, as well as Muhlhauser’s brother, Henry, the Muhlhauser-Windisch & Company was established. It was more commonly known as the Lion Brewery because of two stone carved lions atop each of the two gables at the entrance. The business soon became one of Cincinnati’s foremost brewers. They were among the first to introduce ice machines and was the city’s second largest during the 1880’s. In 1854, Windisch married Sophia Wilhelmina Kobmann, who was also from his native village and lived on an estate in present day Fairfield in Butler County, Ohio. He died at his residence in 1887 when he was 62 years old. The brewery continued with his son, William A. Windisch and later with another son, Charles Windisch and remained in operation until 1920 when Prohibition caused the doors to close.

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Their brewery became known as the “Lion Brewery” because of the two lions that rested atop the brewery’s gables and many of their beer names used a lion in the name and on the labels.

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The History of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio has a short history of the Windisch-Muhlhauser Brewing Company:

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Paired Creation also has a history of the brewery.

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Historic Beer Birthday: George Klotter

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Today is the birthday of George Klotter (March 4, 1805-July 29, 1882). He was born in Baden, Germany, but moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and established the Hamilton Brewery with partner Johann G. Sohn in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1846. Klotter left that brewery, while Sohn continued alone, and Klotter started another brewery, the George Klotter Brewery in 1866 The following year George Jr., and his brother Louis, joined the brewery, and it was renamed the George Klotter and Sons Brewery, which it remained until 1888.

Unfortunately, there’s very little information I could find about Klotter or his brewery, and no pictures at all, sad to say.

Here’s a short biography from Find-a-Grave:

Clyffside Brewing Company (242 McMicken) is a defunct brewery in Cincinnati, located on the site of Hamilton Brewery, founded in 1845 by Johann Sohn and George Klotter as the Hamilton Brewery. By 1853, the company became known as the Klotter, Sohn and Company. In 1866, Sohn bought out Klotter, and Klotter went on to establish his own brewery on Klotter Street.

And this is his obituary, also from Find-a-Grave:

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It 1888, it was renamed the Bellevue Brewery until finally closing in 1919.

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Historic Beer Birthday: Daniel Jung

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Today is the birthday of Daniel Jung (February 11, 1822-December 2, 1877). A member of one of several Jung families in brewing, Daniel was born in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, but settled in the Cincinnati area of Ohio, where he founded a brewery that eventually would bear his name.

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When it was first opened in 1857, along with partner Peter Weyand, it was called the Western Brewery (some sources say 1854). In 1879, they added a third investor, and it became the Weyand, Jung & Heilman Brewery. It 1885, with Jung apparently sole owner, it is renamed the Jung Brewing Co., which it remained until 1908, when it went back to being the Western Brewery, before closing due to prohibition in 1919.

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But I’ve been unable to find much about Jung personally, about his life. The only obituary I uncovered was in German, and was a scan, meaning I couldn’t just copy it into Google Translate. I know he came to New York from Germany in his early 20s, but returned home for a number of years, before returning via New Orleans and making his way to Cincinnati, where he stayed for the rest of his life.

I do really love their branding, though. They marketed their beers under the name “Red Brand Beer,” with a bright red heart. So many labels of this time period are dull and similar, while this one really seems to stand out. I’d love to see more of their labels and artwork, but unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be much out there lurking on the interwebs. Even their slogan is pretty awesome. “Creates & Sustains Life.”

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Here’s yet another account of his brewery history.

In 1857, Peter Weyand and Daniel Jung established the Western Brewery on Freeman and Bank Streets in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1879, Weyand and Jung partnered with Max Hellman and operated the brewery until 1885. In 1885, following the deaths of Peter Weyand and Daniel Jung, the brewery was renamed the Jung Brewing Company. The Jung Brewing Company operated from 1885 to 1890. In 1890, the brewery was sold and merged with Cincinnati Breweries Company.

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A Jung Brewery glass from 1895.

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A label from their Old Lager.