Portsmouth Brewery

From Ohio History Central

The Portsmouth Brewery was an important business in Portsmouth, Ohio during the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries.

Established in 1842, the Portsmouth Brewery 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. The Portsmouth Brewery was soon selling beer in cities all along the Ohio River and across the southern portion of Ohio and the northern part of Kentucky. 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.

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.