Consumers Brewery was established in 1897 by Charles Andre and located in Newark. Andre was born in 1846 in Hesse-Cassel Germany where he learned about brewing beer. After he moved the United States, he opened the Consumers Brewery in the former Newark Machine Works building. The brewery first began selling its beer in May 1898. At the time, the brewery could produce 100 barrels of beer a day and had a cellar capacity of 18,000 barrels per year. Consumers grew to sell multiple brands of beer, including Olde Towne Ale, Consumers Special Brew, Consumers Old Dutch Lager Beer, and Consumers Bock.
With the advent of Prohibition in 1919, Consumers switched to making soft drinks and “near beer” as its main business. During this period, Consumers was sold to The Union Service Corporation of Columbus and continued producing soft drinks until the end of Prohibition in 1933. The new owners quickly placed their focus on once again making Consumers a modern brewing facility.
Business was disrupted with the start of World War II, which led to a shortage of tires and gasoline needed for distribution. In addition, Consumers was required to send certain amounts of their products to the armed services, reducing the amount they had left to sell locally. Local distribution was further hampered when the new owner and Chicago native, Ulreh Vogt, sent the supply to Chicago customers.
By the end of the war, Consumers had lost many of its customers. Further complication in the market, such as increases in hops prices and competition from nationally advertised beer producers eventually led to the closure of Consumers Brewery in September of 1953.
The building, which stood at the corner of North First and East Locust streets, was used as a warehouse until it was torn down and replaced with a post office.
- Jeff Bell, "Consumers Brewery Had Storied Past in Newark," The Advocate, August 19, 1990.