The Beer Baron's Ball is an annual gala that features great food, music, art and beer with new friends and old. All proceeds of the event help build the Brewing Heritage Trail. At this year's ball, held on Oct. 22, 2016, we unveiled the first elements of the digital trail and gave guests a preview of what Trail Markers will look like when the first segment of the Trail is installed this spring. Even if you missed the ball, it is not too late to help build the Trail.
Also at the ball, Johann Caspar Bruckmann and George Wiedemann were inducted into the Beer Baron's Hall of Fame in honor of their contributions to the brewing industry.
Johann Caspar Bruckmann (1829-1887)
Born in 1829 in Berka vor dem Hainich in Thuringia, Germany, a depression led Johann Casper Bruckmann and brothers Friedrich and Ernst to immigrate to America in 1847. Working several years as a carpenter and at a distillery, in 1856 he started a brewery with Friedrich in Cumminsville, then a suburb of Cincinnati. The brewing empire he built was the only one in Cincinnati to survive and expand during Prohibition. He was a man of faith, a lifelong member of the Apple Street German Evangelical Church, and of public service with tenures as a school board member, Cumminsville village councilman and City of Cincinnati councilman. The Bruckman Brewery lasted from 1856 to 1949 through the leadership of following generations and is still one of the largest intact brewery complexes in Cincinnati.
George Wiedemann (1833-1890)
Born in 1833 in Saxony-Weimar, Germany, George Wiedemann immigrated to the United States in 1854. After working his way up from a cooper to the brewmaster of the Kauffmann Brewery, Wiedemann moved to Newport in 1870 and formed the Butscher & Wiedemann Brewing Co. with partner Johannes Butscher. Wiedemann bought out his partner in 1878 to form the Wiedeman Brewing Co., and the 1890s had a brewing capacity of 100,000 barrels, Family was central to his life and to his company and multiple generations continued his legacy. His son Charles Wiedemann ran the brewery until handing over the reins to his grandson, Carl Wiedemann, Carl kept full-strength beer flowing out of the brewery during Prohibition until agents shut it down in 1927. Grandson H. Tracy Balcom revived the brewery after Prohibition and great-grandson Richard Wagner helmed the company until it was sold in 1967.
Although all production of Wiedemann ceased for awhile, Jon and Betsy Newberry revived the brand in 2012.