On a Visual of Local History

King Gambrinus is European folk hero and beer aficionado – and traveled to Cincinnati on this mural … but who is he toasting?


Many consider one of the cities leading ladies to be the Roebling Suspension Bridge (the prototype for the Brooklyn Bridge)


Cincinnati’s own Genius of Water is the one toasting King Gambrinus while she is leaning against the bridge – but they are actually toasting the city’s beer making tradition.

Bridge and Genius of Water

By 1850, Cincinnati’s population was over 20% German.

The wave of German immigrants into Cincinnati have given this area numerous traditions: such as Oktoberfest Zinzinnati (one of the Oktoberfests outside of Munich), Music Hall (an outstanding venue), and beer.

“Cincinnati is one of the great brewing centers of the continent…. The Cincinnati brewers fear no competition, because the excellence and fame of their brews create a demand for them even in cities whose brewers have a greater aggregate capital invested.” (Over the Rhine Historic Brewery District)


Fertile farmland, excellent transportation options, and the German heritage fueled Cincinnati’s brewing industry.


The first brewery started in 1812, and grew to almost 40. By 1890, Cincinnati brewers production of 1.115 million barrels was the 3rd largest (per capita) in the country.

That’s 40 gallons (151.4 liters) per year for each person resident – including children.


Cincinnati’s breweries and associated activities such as shipping, cooperage, malting, farming, and of course drinking; at one time was one of the largest industries in the city.

Ind Delivery

Beer gardens became social centers.

Beer Garden

Prohibition (11919) drove the brewers and the associated companies out of business. Although many of the buildings still stand today, outside of local craft brewers, Sam Adams is the only active brewer in this part of the city. On a wall outside the Adam’s facility  at 1625 Central Parkway, “Cheers to Cincy, Past and Present” celebrates Cincinnati’s brewery heritage.

Image from ArtWorks site, which is better than mine

Image from ArtWorks site, which is better than mine

PS: Another ArtWorks mural dedicated to beer in Cincinnati is about 10 blocks away.

Additional Information

45 thoughts on “On a Visual of Local History

  1. What’s not to like about a mural dedicated to beer? I was interested to hear that Sam Adams was the only active brewery in that part of the city. I lived in Boston in the 1980’s when the Boston Beer Company was founded—brewers of Samuel Adams Beer—and have fond memories of going into Harvard Square to pay them a visit on occasion.


    • Karen,
      Art Works has done an outstanding job with murals in this city. Simply outstanding. I’ve featured a few … Categories > Ohio > Cincinnati > Murals … so take a peak … but I’ll be showing more.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahhh, I do love a good beer! More than wine. I could drink beer every day, but wine I only feel like occasionally. I live pretty close to England’s oldest still operating brewery which opened in 1698 and is still a family run business, from the original family, despite now being large scale producers and owning a big chain of pubs. I had a tour of it once and interviewed the master brewer, it was quite fascinating!


    • Vanessa,
      Cheers to the fine British lady who enjoys a good beer. So many ways of brewing it … whew … fortunately, I know a couple of beer guys who guide me. Love the info about England’s oldest brewery. After all, old here nowhere compares to old there. 🙂


    • LB,
      Absolutely … very much so these days. However, not many places have a beer history like here … I’m sure there are some (Milwaukee & St. Louis would be two guesses).


  3. The mural is really interesting, Frank. It’s very elaborate and colorful. I am impressed with ArtWorks. And there’s nothing better in hot summer heat than a good cold beer! I’m not particularly fussy with my options, but I am enjoying the way all these little craft beers are popping up.


  4. Beer and murals – what’s not to like? The U.S. Congress enacted a law which allows any adult to produce beer, without the payment of tax, for personal or family use up to 200 gallons per household per calendar year. The fine citizens of Cincinnati wanted to make sure that no one went short.


    • Mudge,
      One thing for sure, those German immigrants knew how to drink beer and probably taught others how to enjoy the brew. Because you and others like this mural, I’ll have to make a trip to find the other one!


  5. “Cheers to Cincy, Past and Present” makes me want to walk into Mecklenburg Gardens and order up a cold Schoenling on tap!


  6. I am always in awe at the amount of work that goes into doing
    These large scale Murals and marvel at how they get their perspectives from such a large scale..
    Hope you are well Frank… I know its been a while, a holiday and some technical issues in between visits..
    Have a wonderful day..

    Hugs Sue


    • Sue,
      Glad you enjoyed this mural. My city has numerous large murals done by the ArtWorks organization. Wonderful works of art! To see more, in the sidebar, visit Categories > Ohio > Cincinnati > Murals. … plus I have more coming.

      No worries about the time between visits. All of us are busy, plus life has a way of getting in the way of blogging. 😉

      Hope all is well … and good luck to your 2017 garden.

      Liked by 1 person

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