Home Brewing Company
2 Oak (between Front & First Streets)
We have arrived at our first stop, the corner of Oak Street and Front. This site has quite a few tales to tell. Some happy, one very tragic.
The last brewery to open before prohibition, the Home Brewing Company opened here in 1904 at the southeast corner of Oak and Front. The plant was an ornate five-story brew house with an additional four-story cellar building. It had an annual capacity of 40,000 barrels.
This brewery was unique for Toledo because it was owned and operated by a local syndicate of mostly saloon owners looking for a more stable price for beer.
The president was local saloon owner John Ardner, with Leonhard Schwamm, formerly of Buckeye, acting as brew master.
Eventually, Home Brewing was approached to become part of a city-wide combine, but the board rejected the proposal and decided to remain independent.
Prohibition proved fatal to Home Brewing. It was forced to choose between making non-alcoholic beverages, ice, or close. They chose the latter and shuttered the plant as soon as beer became illegal on May 26, 1919. But that’s not the end of our story here at this East Side location.
Pause here for one more story about this location...