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Marietta Brewing Company, Then and Now: Reflections of a Beer Snob
I won’t lie. When I first heard of Marietta Brewing Company, I didn’t set my expectations too high. After all, I, the high and mighty traveler <read: arrogant beer snob> had been to places like Magic Hat, Wood Chuck, and many other well known breweries. At this point, too, I had over 750 different craft beers under my belt as a World of Beer Loyalty Member. Tim will even tell you that I was reluctant to go and finally gave in just because of how excited he was, even though at this point I had already discovered Marietta to be a town unlike anything I’d ever experienced and should have known that the brewery would not disappoint! My quick to judge attitude, however, changed as soon as I walked into the brewery for the first time. Located on my ever favorite Marietta Front Street, the brewery is full of a rich history. Big surprise, right, since everything here seems to have a story. This historic brewery is no different. Originally founded as the Union Brewery in 1866, it changed owners a few times before Willia, Feller & Company took control and renamed it Marietta Brewery. The Feller company was owned by three German immigrants, William Feller, August V. Kuehn and Jacob Epple, and if anyone knows beer it’s the Germans! Located toward the back of the brewery is a painted mural of this circa 1900 photo of owners and employees in front of the Marietta Brewery original location, 613 Second St, right down the road from its current storefront. August Kuehn, seated on a barrel second from the right in the front row, was president of the Marietta Brewery when the photo was taken. Most interesting to me is that his sister, Marie Kuehn, is standing next to him becoming one of the guys by hiding her hair under a mans hat. The brewery closed its doors in 1924 due to the Prohibitom and the plant continued as a Whistle soft drink bottling plant through the end of Prohibition in the early 1930s. The building was demolished shortly after in the 1940’s but memories of a turn of the century brewery can still be seen in town today. The alley that runs behind the medical facility, the present day tenant of the lot that had house the brewery, off St. Clair Street between Front and Second streets, is still called “Brewery Lane.” And remains of the original brewery are visible in the basement of the First Settlement building where a stone-arched former brewery storage facility has found new purpose as a physical therapy room. The name and beer is all the history the old brewery and new brewery have in common, but that’s enough for us! While the new brewery honors the history of its namesake forebrewery it’s local lore doesn’t stop there. The Marietta Brewing Company hosts 6 of their own in-house brewed beers on tap, all inspired by the Mid Ohio Valley. Putnam’s PawPaw ale not shares its name with one of the most recognized streets in town, it also features pawpaws, a fruit only found in Ohio. This seasonal beer is available mid September-October brewed with local pawpaws and sweet oranges. Every beer tells a story we are eager to drink.Another great example of small town shop local mentality is the partnership between Marietta Brewing Company and justAjar Design Press. A collaboration between Sara (design) & Bobby (press) justAjar uses old technology and new to create unique work. They say “we do it all because we love it all” and having seen the process first hand, every project start to finish is done in house.With all the traditional bar activities like trivia and live music, MBC is the perfect place to go when you’re craving a good beer and a great burger!