George Wiedemann Brewing

What motivates a Cincinnati kid such as Jim Koch to help start a beer revolution with Samuel Adams Boston Lager? Great Cincinnati beers such as those George Wiedemann used to make.

Wiedemann founded his Cincinnati brewery in Newport, Ky., just outside of Cincinnati in the late 1870s. It made a crisp, clear brew known as Wiedemann Fine Beer and, by the time Wiedemann died in 1890, was the largest brewer in Kentucky.

Prohibition shut its doors in 1927, but by 1933 it was revived and well on its way to the 1 million barrels it would produce by 1967. Wiedemann's success eventually led to its sale to G. Heileman Brewing Co. of LaCrosse, Wis. Heileman shut down the Wiedemann brewery in 1983 and sold off the rights to the Wiedemann name. The beer bounced from a brewery in Evansville, Ind., in the late '80s and early '90s to Iron City maker Pittsburgh Brewing in the 2000s. When Pittsburgh Brewing filed for bankruptcy and reorganized in 2006, it jettisoned Wiedemann beer.

Fortunately, some beer lovers in Newport with a great sense of history picked up the brand and revived it as the Geo. Wiedemann Brewing Co. just last year. While they're producing only Wiedemann's Special Lager and not a whole lot of it, Wiedemann has at least found its way back to the Cincinnati drinkers who've loved it all along. It's not back to 1 million barrels, but it's not dead and gone, either.

-- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore.

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Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, the Boston Herald, the Boston Phoenix, the Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent. He previously served as the political and global affairs editor for Metro U.S., layout editor for Boston Now, assistant news editor for the Herald News of West Paterson, N.J., editor of Go Out! Magazine in Hoboken, N.J., and copy editor and lifestyle editor at the Jersey Journal in Jersey City, N.J.

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