The CARLING BREWING CO., originally incorporated as the Brewing Corp. of America, began operations in Cleveland in 1933. It was established by Jas. A. Bohannon, who had come to the city in 1929 as president of the PEERLESS MOTOR CAR CO. After 2 years of the Depression, Bohannon informed stockholders in 1931 that they could not sell luxury cars in the face of such poor economic conditions and proposed that the 8-acre Peerless plant, at 9400 Quincy Ave., be converted to a brewery. Bohannon contracted with the Brewing Corp. of Canada for the American rights to Carling's Red Cap ale, which had been brewed in Canada since 1840. E. P. Taylor of Toronto became the first president of the Brewing Corp. of America. The Peerless plant was converted to a brewery under the direction of J. C. Schultz and reopened in 1934. In 1944 the Brewery Corp. of America acquired Cleveland's Tip Top and Forest City breweries, increasing capacity to 1 million barrels annually. Aggressive merchandising lifted sales from 20th to 15th place. In 1944 Bohannon sold his stock holdings to Canadian Breweries, Ltd., giving that firm controlling interest. In 1954 the Brewing Corp. of America changed its name to the Carling Brewing Co. and subsequently bought or built 6 additional plants to saturate all regions of the country with its Red Cap ale and Black Label beer. In 1971, citing "serious physical inefficiencies which result in excessive operating costs," Carling closed its Cleveland brewery, idling 385 workers, and moved its headquarters to Waltham, MA, near its brewery at Natick. From 1972-84, the old Peerless plant saw further service as a brewery for C. Schmidt & Sons, Inc., of Philadelphia.


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