The Cincinnati Brewing Heritage Trail
will soon begin to take shape in Over-the-Rhine
and surrounding areas. The trail celebrates the city’s brewing heritage and how beer shaped Cincinnati. It won’t focus as much on craft beer, but how beer built the city and influenced economic, social and political life.
The trail will include signs on buildings and at right-of-ways, public artwork and a strong virtual component that visitors can access online and on smartphones and tablets, says Steve Hampton, executive director of the Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation
“Technology allows people to interact with the real world in many ways, and we wanted to take advantage of that with the development of the Brewing Heritage Trail and be able to tell many stories,” he says.
Virtual aspects will allow people to see underground spaces and buildings that no longer exist. The technological component will also allow the trail to be an evergreen attraction, possibly with a new tour every year and different featured activities.
The trail is primarily in OTR, but the city’s brewing heritage also extends downtown, to Clifton Heights and into the West End. There are plans to extend it out to West Chester and Sharonville as well, as many brewers have their farms out that way, Hampton says.
Funds for the trail came from private and public donations, including a Power2Give campaign that matched public donations two to one and the Beer Baron Ball
. Support from the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation
has also helped make the trail a reality.
“We want the trail to bring two things to the city,” Hampton says. “We want to honor and celebrate Cincinnati’s heritage, and brewing heritage is a big piece of it. The trail is also an economic development tool, much like the Freedom Trail in Boston. The trail will give purpose and identity to the neighborhoods, and bring visitors there that will support small businesses and spend money at local establishments.”
The trail is still in the pre-development phase, and the final concept will be revealed in January.
By Caitlin Koenig
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