Brewery Arcade

From Ohio History Central

The Brewery Arcade is a business building in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Built in 1842, the building that is now known as the Brewery Arcade was originally the Portsmouth Brewery. This company struggled during its first five decades. In 1888, the company employed only eight people. In 1889, Julius Esselbom, a German brewer, purchased the company, and the firm grew quickly. Esselbom expanded the original plant and also ordered the construction of an ice house to the rear of the brewery. By 1904, the Portsmouth Brewery was producing twenty thousand barrels of beer per year. With the enactment of Prohibition in 1919, like many of Ohio's other breweries, the Portsmouth Brewery closed. The Scioto County sheriff sold the company's building and its possessions at an auction in 1930, due to the owners' failure to pay taxes. The new owner eventually sold the brewing vats to another brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio.

As is typical when businesses close, a new firm soon occupied the former Portsmouth Brewery building. Since the Portsmouth Brewery's closure, an automobile dealership, a parts store, and a beverage distributor have all occupied the building. In 1976, new owners remodeled the building and renamed it the Brewery Arcade. An arcade consists of several small stores. In essence, the building became a small mall. At the time of this writing, one of the businesses located in the Brewery Arcade is Mault's Brew Pub. This restaurant also brews its own beer, as did the building's original occupant.

The Brewery Arcade helped instigate a period of economic growth in the western part of Portsmouth. The western area declined during the early and mid twentieth century, as businesses moved to the northern and eastern sections of Portsmouth, but in recent years, Boneyfiddle, the name of the western part of the city, has experienced a period of growth. Residents have repaired homes and businesses. Restaurants and antique stores have moved into this portion of Portsmouth. The area has also seen increased tourism traffic, partly due to the antique stores and other businesses, as well as the historic architecture of the buildings.

See Also


  1. "Breweries Once Flourished in Portsmouth." Portsmouth Daily Times. 23 July 1995.  
  2. Howe, Henry. Historical Collections of Ohio in Two Volumes. Vol. II. Cincinnati, OH: C.J. Krehbiel & Co., Printers and Binders, 1902.
  3. Ohio Writers' Project. The Ohio Guide. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1946.