As the craft beer movement sweeps the country, a new book by Ohio author Timothy R. Gaffney reveals the Miami Valley’s rich brewing history and the colorful characters that made it. Dayton Beer: A History of Brewing in the Miami Valley (The History Press, released July 22, 2019) peels back the years to show how commercial brewing was among the first industries in early settlements, dating back to the beginning of the 19th century.

Gaffney searched thousands of records in local libraries, historical societies, county offices and ancestry databases across six counties to ferret out the identities of long-forgotten brewers and their often-untold stories. From humble origins, the Schwind brothers founded a Dayton brewing dynasty. Adam Schantz arrived penniless and amassed a fortune as one of the city’s early brewers. Martha Vorce, one of the region’s unheralded woman brewers, was running the Springfield Brewery a decade before Springfield’s Eliza “Mother” Stewart gained international fame as a temperance leader.

Arriving on the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution’s 18th amendment, Dayton Beer also describes the key roles Stewart and some other Ohioans played in the temperance movement’s long march to Prohibition—and the sudden, devastating impact it had on local breweries across the Miami Valley.

More than a century later, local breweries have made a strong comeback. Dayton Beer describes how it happened. The book includes a directory of all the craft brewpubs in the region at the time of publication. An internationally published writer, author and photographer, Gaffney is known mainly as an air, space and aviation history writer. He made brewing the subject of his 16th book when he became intrigued by how craft brewers were using local history to brand their businesses and products.

More about the Author

Gaffney blogs at dayton-beer.com. He tweets as @DaytonBeerBook

Timothy R. Gaffney was born in Dayton in 1951 and has lived in the Miami Valley most of his life. After earning a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University in Columbus in 1974, he worked for the Piqua Daily Call, the Kettering-Oakwood Times and the Dayton Daily News, where he took early retirement at the end of 2006. Since then he has held positions as assistant media relations director for Wright State University and director of communications for the National Aviation Heritage Area. He is a volunteer trustee for the United States Air and Trade Show Inc., the nonprofit producer of the Vectren Dayton Air Show. He lives in Miamisburg, Ohio, with his wife, Jean. They have four grown children, two grandchildren and two dogs.

Author photo of Timothy R. Gaffney in Star City Brewing


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