I have written about Christian Moerlein (Part of Cincinnati Beverage Co, or CinBev) a lot over the years. There are a lot of reasons for that. A big part of it, of course, is that Moerlein has always been the center of a few controversies around the local beer scene (I could still write a lot about that…). A huge part of it, though, is that I love what Moerlein and the other historical associated brands mean to our city.

We have a really amazing beer scene happening here in Cincinnati. Don’t get me wrong, all the breweries in this city bring something very special to the table, each in their own ways – but Moerlein does something different. Moerlein and the other associated brands create a bridge between what Cincinnati beer was, and what Cincinnati beer is today. I’m of the belief that in a city like ours, that’s more important than I can begin to state in a post like this one.

Getting To The Point – The Sale

I know that a lot of you heard that recently the company was sold, again. At first glance that can be a scary thought. It’s hard to take something like these brands and trust that when they get sold to someone else that they will still be in trusted hands.

The good news? I think that this new company will do a good job at not only carrying the torch but continuing to build up what the brands mean to Cincinnati today.

The big question looms, still… who is it?

The New Owner

Keep in mind… this is technically unconfirmed, my emails have gone unanswered as of writing this. Last week when the rumors started swirling, I reached out to the last owner of CinBev via email and was met with an interesting auto response… instructing me to direct all inquiries about CinBev to a new person.

Of course… I put on my thinking hat and dove into the search online about who this person was and was lead to a company that I’m a little familiar with. Sugarcreek: Brandworthy Food Solutions.

Sugarcreek started out in Washington Courthouse back in 1966 as a bacon producer. The company since then has done nothing but grow, with facilities all around the country, including a bunch of them right here in town. They’ve taken the small family-owned company and grown it into a billion-dollar juggernaut in the food industry. They work with a bunch of big names to provide custom branded food items… showcasing those brands vs highlighting their own.

They know how to helm something like these brands, and as their first foray into the craft beer market… I’m really, really excited to see how they do it.

The Plot Thickens…

While I was diving in deep, doing as much research on this sale as I could, I stumbled across some other interesting stuff. A company called ‘Southern Ohio Holding Oranization LLC’ came up alongside Sugarcreek. It looks to me like it’s a spinoff company that they might use for the real estate side of their business.

Well… it just so happens that Southern Ohio Holding Organization has been buying a bunch of real estate here in Cincinnati over the last year. That’s not strange for a company that is the size of SugarCreek, and that is growing the way that they are.

The reason this is relevant (or might be relevant) to the story is what some of those properties are. They’re historic brewing buildings in OTR. I’m talking about places like the former Clyffside Brewery, and The Jackson Brewery.

I don’t know exactly what a company like SugarCreek is planning on doing with these properties – but they are just as important in my mind as the brands that are held by CinBev. The thought that they might get a new life in some fashion is great. The fact that they might get a new life with a company that owns the brands that started Cincinnati beer pre-prohibition? That’s pretty exciting for me.

The Takeaway, For Now

We’ll know more about what all of this means eventually – I’m most definitely jumping the gun on when the new ownership wanted to talk about this purchase. I wanted to share what I’ve been finding with you for now, though. When I tell you that Moerlein, Hudepohl, Little Kings, Schoenling… all of these brands are important to me – I’m not saying that lightly… and this city is ready for them to shine as bright as they deserve to. I’m ready.

This company certainly has all the tools in place to do all the justice that they deserve… and we’ll definitely be along for the ride to see how they make that happen.

Regardless… you know you’ll read about it here. When I tell you that I’m a nerd for this stuff, you have no idea how true that is.

9 thoughts on “Moerlein Changes Hands Again – CinBev Gets Bought”

  1. Thanks for looking into this! For a company that may have some ambitious plans, it’s oddly difficult to find out about them. I did see there was another Business Courier article yesterday about their plans to put $30 million into those old brewery buildings – potentially an awesome development if they do it right.

    1. I saw that! I’m eagerly, but cautiously waiting to see what they decide to do with them. It’s going to be a while, but I’ll be keep a close eye on them for news!

  2. The Owner of Sugar Creek, John Richardson will in fact do whatever it takes to make those properties work as they should

    1. Things are looking great so far! I love the work that they’ve done to the Clyffside building, already! I’m optimistic about it – there is so much possibility with the brands!

  3. Not sure how many times I’ve stumbled back onto this post but I do appreciate it! I know I’m a little late – as it appears brewing is taking place in the Felsenbrau building already with a “future home of…(Moerlein?)” sign outside!

    Anyway, this is a super long shot but I’ve recently been monitoring the recent availability of the old Germania Brewery on Central Ave. It was overgrown on the side and looked pretty desolate. Then a sign goes up, months later they clear out the outdoor space and then 3D renderings are posted online with a bunch of contact info and now for a little bit the listing is gone. I’m hoping this may be tied in somehow? Would be awesome.

    Well regardless of the outcome I’m glad I’ve found your site.

    1. You’re right! They’ve started brewing in the old Felsenbrau building, and are working on both the Clyffside space and the Jackson brewery up on the hill. As for the Germania building, I haven’t seen anything that makes me think there’s a tie between the two, and for that matter, I’m not sure that it ever sold… but I’m keeping my eyes on it, too!

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