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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CLEVELAND HOME BREWING COMPANY

CLEVELAND HOME BREWING COMPANY

The CLEVELAND HOME BREWING COMPANY was organized in 1907 by ERNST W. MUELLER (1851-1931). Mueller, born in Alsenz, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, emigrated with his family to Cleveland in 1856 and followed his father, Peter Mueller, in the malting business. In 1887 he purchased the Schmidt & Hoffman brewery at Hough and Ansel aves. and started the Cleveland Brewing Co. This company merged in 1897 with the Cleveland & Sandusky Brewing Co., of which Mueller in 1898 became president. In 1907 Mueller left Cleveland & Sandusky and purchased the Beltz Brewing Co. plant at 2501 E. 61st St. (at Outhwaite Ave.), which he enlarged, reequipped, and renamed the Cleveland Home Brewing Company. Beltz family members remained associated with the new Cleveland Home Brewing Co., and Otto W. Beltz succeeded Ernst Mueller as president for one year upon Mueller's death in 1931. Cleveland Home Brewing stayed in business during Prohibition, manufacturing ice, malt liquid, and a malt beverage. Ernst Mueller's son, Omar E., headed the company beginning in 1932 (see OMAR E. MUELLER). Under Omar's leadership, the company produced a beer based on the original family formula marketed as "Black Forest Beer" which won international awards for excellence. After Omar's death in 1946, the Mueller family sold its interests to ALESSANDRO L. DEMAIORIBUS, Republican leader, one-time city councilman, and general business manager of the company since 1934. Demaioribus then became the company's chairman, president, general manager, and brewmaster, with the company producing beer sold under the "Black Forest" label and "Sonny's" brand beer. Sales at the company gradually declined from 111,000 barrels in 1945 to 35,000 in 1951. In 1952 the business was liquidated and its property sold at auction.