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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

PILSENER BREWING CO.

PILSENER BREWING CO.

The PILSENER BREWING CO., once located at the southwest corner of Clark Ave. and W. 65th St., was established by Bohemian brewer Wenzel Medlin (1849-1912) in 1892 and was incorporated the following year. The corner site of the Pilsener Brewing Co. was once known as Pilsener Square. The name Pilsener comes from the Czech city of Pilsen, where the light Bohemian lager beer was first made. In 1917 Pilsener produced 4 different brews: P.O.C. (which stood for "Pilsner of Cleveland"), Gold Top, Extra Pilsener Beer, and Pilsener Dark Lager; consumers received coupons for the return of empty bottles and exchanged them for premiums in a Pilsener catalog. Brewery operations were interrupted by PROHIBITION, but bottling resumed on 2 May 1933. The Cleveland-based City Ice & Fuel Co. took control of Pilsener in 1935. City Ice & Fuel later diversified its line to include cold storage, dairy products, and ice appliances in addition to brewing, and in 1949 it became the City Prods. Corp. In 1960 Pilsener employed 300 and had an annual capacity of 375,000 barrels. In Jan. 1963 the Duquesne Brewing Co. bought the brewery and the P.O.C. label, and all brewery operations ceased. P.O.C., which now stood for "Pleasure on Call," was brewed by Duquesne in Pittsburgh. Ironically, when Duquesne went out of business 10 years later and sold its brand names to C. Schmidt & Sons, P.O.C. was again made in Cleveland, until Schmidt closed its Cleveland operation, the city's last brewery, in 1984.