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What Was Home City Brewing’s Temperance Beer?


I was browsing a local antique mall this morning for pre-prohibition bottles and stumbled upon a particular bottle that I’ve been wanting for some time now.  

Actually, I was only looking for the label because finding a bottle with the label attached seemed impossible. Since it is my birthday today, I purchased it for $6.  A steal!  What is the historical significance of this particular beer?

In the late 1800s and early 1900s a movement called the Temperance Movement began surging in popularity north of Cincinnati as well as many other parts of the country.  Due to the large German population in Cincinnati and throughout Dayton, The Temperance Movement was extremely focused on the area.  

Their efforts in the U.S. began in the 1830s and gained momentum around the turn of the century.  The alcohol business was thriving and so was excessive consumption.  Some of these individuals wanted to regulate alcohol more, but most wanted it completely prohibited.  Their efforts were a large influence on Prohibition.  Believe it or not, they still exist today.

This particular beer holds a unique story in the Springfield, OH area.  In the early 1900s Springfield was saturated with pressure from Temperance members.  To help rectify, the Home City Brewing Company was established in 1906.  They immediately started producing “Temperance Beer” which was a low alcohol alternative for the bars/saloons in the area.  It contained less than 1/2 of 1% of alcohol.  Basically, lower than some NA beers.  It survived in Springfield for a couple of years.  

On March 29th, 1909 all saloons were voted out of Clark county under the Rose Law.  Just like that, ninety-seven saloons and Temperance Beer was axed from society as church bells rang over the city according to a publication during this time.  Home City was allowed to brew their other beers as long as they were distributed outside of Springfield.  They eventually closed in 1919 and never opened for business again.

This bottle is 110 years old and frozen in time.  That’s what I was excited to find it.  I hope you appreciate it’s story as much as I do.  Cheers!