First Cincinnati Lager Beer

Der Deutsche Pionier
 "According to Der Deutsche Pioner, September, 1880, the first lager beer brewed in Cincinnati was the product of Karl Ludwig Fleischmann in 1834.  He had a saloon on Main Street between Ninth and Court Streets. Then because the beer found a following, Flieschmann built a lager beer cellar on the corner of Main and Abigail (12th) Streets the following year."

Cincinnati Breweries, Robert J. Wimberg  (1997)


This entry from the 1836-1837 Cincinnati city directory shows he was brewing at the lagering location as well:


This entry from the same 1836-1837 directory would have been the original saloon location (in the name Americanization process, "Karl Ludwig" became "Lewis (Louis) Carl"):

George Herancourt quote from History of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (1894) - first lager beer in Cincinnati 1834

George M. Herancourt biographical sketch, History of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (1894)

German immigrant George M. Herancourt learned to brew in his native Bavaria and arrived in the U.S. in 1830. After working as a brewer in Philadelphia, he eventually moved to Columbus working in the insurance business and partnering in the City Brewery. He visited Cincinnati in the 1830's, but didn't move until 1847 when he started the Philadelphia Brewery on Harrison Avenue just past Mill Creek; the brewing capacity the first year was just 14 barrels/day, but greatly increased until they were one of the larger brewers in the city. After Herancourt's death, the brewery name was changed to the Herancourt Brewing Company in 1881 and operated up until prohibition before closing in 1918. George M. Herancourt


As with everything else after 200 years, there are disagreements ... other names mentioned as the first lager brewers are ...

  • saloon keeper Mr. (?) Reischmann in 1844  (this may have actually been Ludwig Fleischmann)
  • Francis Fortmann and Conrad Muentzenberger (who took over the Fleischmann Main Street location) in 1846
  • Peter Noll in 1848
  • George Herancourt himself in 1851


One Hundred Years of Brewing, The Western Brewery (1901)