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Falls City Brewing Company records

Identifier: 1980_003-UA
The Falls City Brewing Company records contain annual and quarterly reports (1967-1991); minutes from stockholders’ and board of directors' meetings (1905-1990); legal documents including articles of incorporation and dissolution; financial records (1913-1982); labor contracts (1935-1980) and information on sales and distributors. It also includes brewery tour information; marketing studies; information on sponsored events (including the 1974-1975 season of the Louisville Orchestra); and scrapbooks containing advertising materials from throughout the company’s history, photos, newspaper articles, and correspondence. The collection includes a large amount of slides, film, and photographs, advertising and promotional records (including audio recordings and visuals), and audio recordings (mostly promotional materials).


  • 1905-1990



13.5 linear feet (7 flat boxes, 19 records center boxes, 5 manuscript boxes, 1 half-manuscript box, 3 bankers boxes, 3 odd-sized boxes, 5 scrapbooks and 32 film canisters)

Biographical sketch

The Falls City Brewing Company was founded in 1905 under the state laws of Delaware by M.J. Hickey, Theodore Evers, and Ben H. Schrader, whom were tavern and retail grocery owners. Also involved were professional organizers F.C. Toelle and E.R. Bathrick. To fund their new company they acquired stock subscriptions from Louisvillians, many of whom felt there was a need for a large independent brewery. In May of 1905 the Board of Directors was formed with M.J. Hickey as the first president. On November 17, 1906 the first beer was ready to deliver to Louisville taverns. Due to popularity and to keep up with competitors a bottling department was added in early spring of 1908. In 1919 the company was reorganized as the Falls City Ice and Beverage Company due to Prohibition. Despite Prohibition Falls City prospered between 1919 and 1933 and was ready to begin producing beer again as soon as Prohibition ended. In fact, their beer was in such high demand that it had to be rationed in 1934, which was also the year in which the company’s name was changed back to the Falls City Brewing Company. As a result of selling its cereal beverage to neighboring states during Prohibition, Falls City began shipping beer to those states as well, instead of just to Louisville and Southern Indiana. By 1967 Falls City was the last surviving brewery in Louisville, continuing to be profitable until 1977. In 1978 management decided to close. The plant and equipment were sold and the brand name rights to Falls City and Drummond Bros. were sold to Heileman Brewing Company in Indiana. Gone, but not forgotten, is their "Billy Beer," named for President Jimmy Carter's brother Billy, a reputed beer lover.


Arranged into five series: I. Annual and quarterly reports, 1978-1990; II. Stockholders meetings and minutes; III. Legal documents; IV. Financial and personnel records, 1913-1982; V. Advertising and promotional records.


Falls City Brewing Company Records
Under Revision
Carrie Daniels
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections Repository

Ekstrom Library, Lower Level Room 17
Louisville KY 40292
502 852-6752
502 852-6673 (Fax)