This New Book Details Cincinnati’s Brewing History

Michael D. Morgan delivers a deep dive into our city’s beery past.
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Photograph by Aaron M. Conway

Cincinnati brewing has come a long way. No longer does the English ale depend on the Ohio River’s water. Today, brewers highly scrutinize their water’s mineral content and treat the process like the science it is. Local beer historian Michael D. Morgan chronicles the transformation in his latest book, Cincinnati Beer (The History Press). Morgan walks readers through the 1850s explosion of breweries vying to satisfy German immigrants’ thirst for light, cold lagers in Over-the-Rhine and draws parallels to the modern renaissance of craft breweries searching for a place alongside Rhinegeist and MadTree. Beyond a few into-the-weeds theories surrounding who brewed what first, expect fascinating tales, including the story of French actress Blanche Bree’s failed assassination attempts against her husband and his brew manager. For better or worse, Bree’s aim needed some work, and both men lived to brew another day. Thankfully not with river water. Available at Joseph-Beth Booksellers.

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