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L. Hoster Brewing Co., Columbus, Ohio

— From the 1903 book, 100 Years of Brewing, page 204.


Louis Hoster, Jacob Silbernagel and G. M. Herancourt founded a brewery in Columbus, Ohio, during the year 1836, and laid the foundation of the L. Hoster Brewing Company, of that city. The two last-named partners of Mr. Hoster were, however, soon bought out by him, and he continued the business himself. From a few hundred barrels of common beer the capacity has increased to 300,000 barrels per annum, the business being still under the management of members of the same family. The brewery has always done its own malting, but its capacity in that line has increased from small proportions to a figure which exceeds one thousand bushels per day. Refrigerating machinery (ammonia system) was adopted by the establishment as early as 1883, when two 25-ton machines were installed, and it was successful from the first, although, with the progress of inventions, they have gradually discarded some of the earlier patents and have now three 220-ton machines of modern type. The bottling works, with a present capacity of sixty thousand barrels, was erected in 1876.

Louis Hoster, founder of the L. Hoster Brewing Company, was one of the pioneer business men of Columbus, Ohio. He was born in 1807, in the southern part of Germany, Province of Rheinpfalz, and was eighty-five years old at the time of his death. He emigrated to this country in 1833, his destination being Brown county, Ohio. On his way there he arrived at Columbus, on the Fourth of July, 1833, remaining there over the nation's holiday. In later days he often referred to this incident of his life, dining as he did, at the same hotel where the governor and other state dignitaries took their midday repast. He heard their orations and their conversation, all of a patriotic character, and as he was sufficiently acquainted with the English language to understand it all, the experience was a novel one to the immigrant. Next day Mr. Hoster resumed his journey to Brown County. In the following year he returned to Columbus to make it his home. In 1836, about fifty-six years ago, he established the brewing plant on South Front street, which has since grown to its present large proportions. At first he did his own brewing, delivered the beer himself and kept his own books. The output was only one hundred barrels per year, and the successful outcome of the enterprise is realized when it is stated that the report of the Internal Revenue Department shows that the product of the plant for the fiscal year, closed June 30, 1901, was over three hundred thousand barrels.

In 1838 Mr. Hoster married Miss Philipine Ambos, of Columbus, Ohio. They lived together fifty-one years and had born to them five children, three of whom, Louis P., George J. and Lina, survive. Mrs. Hoster died during the year 1889, about one year after the golden celebration of their wedding anniversary. Mr. Hoster's was a very busy life. He participated actively in the management of affairs at the brewery up to the time of his death, and was at his office every day. At his death he is said to have been the oldest brewer in the United States, conducting his business on the site of the original plant. He had lived on the homestead site on West Livingston avenue, near Front street, since 1839, and a part of the residence is the original little frame building which he built when he began to make the site his home.

Mr. Hoster was active in the affairs of the community in his vigorous manhood, being a strong Union man in the days of the Civil War. In politics he was a Democrat, serving his city for many years, both in the council and on the board of education. His death occurred at Deer Park, Maryland, July 3, 1892, his body being taken to his Columbus home for burial.


Webmaster's Note: In 1904, the L. Hoster Brewing Company became part of the Hoster-Columbus Associated Breweries Co., a consolidation of Columbus breweries. The Hoster-Columbus Associated Breweries Co. continued to operate the Hoster brewery until 1919, when statewide Prohibition went into affect in Ohio.

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