From the Archives

From the Archives
UnCommon Ground - From the Archives - Summer 2011

Back in 2008, when Cleveland Hall was being transformed into the Bryant Arts Center, four glass bottles were found in the walls. Two turned out to be from a brewery in Columbus, a third was from Indiana, and the fourth came from Granville’s next-door neighbor.

The Consumers Brewing Co. in Newark began operations in the 1890s in an old factory on First and Locust Streets. The first batch of beer was available by May 1898, and by 1905, the company was selling 23,000 barrels of lager annually. Business was booming over the next decade—Consumers Co. had built its own ice house in 1901 and sold its own ice; it also bought trucks for home delivery and began to target women as customers. But the prosperity came to a screeching halt with the arrival of Prohibition in 1919, and the company was forced to reorganize. It became the Consumers Products Co. and began producing pale imitations of beer— along with Glee Club Ginger Ale, Whistle Orange Soda, Dr. Swett’s Root Beer, and a product called “Health Brew.” Production of these non-alcoholic beverages continued until 1930, but Consumers couldn’t make it without its lager, and the brewery closed its doors. The Health Brew, it seemed, was just a bit too dry.

Published July 2011