JAX Beer - A Lost Local Brew
JAX Beer - A Lost Local Brew by Lisa Lofton
the last brewery built in the country before Prohibition.
The History of the Jacksonville Brewing Company
Married to the daughter of Jacob Schorr of Schorr-Kolkschneider Brewing Company of St. Louis, with the help of the Schorr family, William Ostner broke ground with the Jacksonville Brewing Company in 1913. The first brew from Ostner’s 30,000-barrel-a-year brewery hit the market on May 16, 1914. By the time Jacksonville went dry in 1918, the brewery’s employment was up to 243, and its debts had been retired. The brewery’s name was changed to the Jax Ice and Cold Storage Company during Prohibition. The beer production was replaced with Velvet Brand ice cream, Florida Export, Old Fashioned Dark “near beer,” and the bottling of root beer and ginger ale. Anticipating the end of prohibition, brewing capacity was expanded four months before the passage of the 21st Amendment, enabling Ostner to hit the ground running in 1933.
In 1940, the company’s name was changed to the Jax Brewing Company, and by 1943, production had increased to 100,348 barrels annually. By the 1950s, its Jax Beer label and trademark cockatoo dominated the Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina drinking scenes. Other brands included Ostner’s Lager Beer, Ostner’s Sparkling Ale, Ostner’s Stout, Hi Jax Beer, Jax Export Beer, Mecca Pale Beer, Jax Ale, Jax Brock, Royal Palm Beer, Fine’s Sparkling Ale, Peninsula Ale, Rhein King Beer. Due to the high cost of aluminum cans and the rising revenues of Jax Brewing’s cold storage operation, Ostner’s son sold his Jax Beer copyright to New Orleans-based Jackson Brewing Company in 1956.
The company was eventually sold to a brewery in Louisiana.
Acrylic on Canvas
22 X 28