Cleveland was home to 26 breweries in 1910, including the Standard Brewing Co. Saloonkeeper Stephen Creadon and banker John Feighan founded the company in 1903 as larger breweries were buying up saloons and pushing smaller establishments out of business. The partners, both of Irish heritage, knew their community had the second-largest population in Cleveland, after German-Americans. So they branded their Irish-proud Erin Brew as Ehren Brau.
When Prohibition shuttered saloons, Standard and others made near beer and soft drinks to survive. When beer containing 3.2 percent alcohol was legalized in April 1933, W. Ward Marsh wrote in The Plain Dealer that he missed the sight of brewery horses "all sleek, shining and well-fed and with paunches big enough to use three bar aprons apiece." In response, Creadon sent Marsh this photo of Standard's beer wagon from sometime around 1910, stating it had returned to Cleveland's streets with the new legislation.
As decades passed, Cleveland's breweries fell away. Standard was purchased by F. and M. Schaefer Brewing Co. in 1961 and closed three years later. But in 1988, Patrick and Daniel Conway revived the city's beer tradition with Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Ohio City, to much success. With today's craft brew craze and new breweries such as Platform Beer Co. and Nano Brew Cleveland popping up all the time, our city is reclaiming its hoppy glory.