You know, we get asked that question a bunch, “Why the name “Lock 27 Brewing”?, at least once a day, someone stops us to ask where we found our inspiration and why we chose the name “Lock 27 Brewing.” So – in this first of many blog posts to come, I thought we should publish the definitive story. It all started with a rainy day field trip…
When we were thinking of names for our brewery – back when Lock 27 Brewing was nothing more than a vision – I wanted to find something that Daytonians and Ohioans could be proud of. As a long term Dayton resident (circa 1985), I started with a list of important events in the region’s history. Among the list of obvious choices, was an entry about the Miami Erie canal. As a significant piece of Ohio history, I started studying the history:
“The Miami and Erie Canal was a canal in Ohio that ran about 274 miles (441 km); it was constructed from Cincinnati, Ohio to Toledo to create a water route from the Ohio River to Lake Erie. Construction on the canal began in 1825 and was completed in 1845 at a cost to the state government of $8,062,680. At its peak, it included 19 aqueducts, three guard locks, 103 canal locks, multiple feeder canals, and a few man-made water reservoirs. The canal climbed 395 feet (120 m) above Lake Erie and 513 feet (156 m) above the Ohio River to reach a topographical peak called the Loramie Summit, which extended 19 miles (31 km) between New Bremen, Ohio to lock 1-S in Lockington, north of Piqua, Ohio. Boats up to eighty feet long were towed along the canal by donkeys, horses, or oxen walking on a prepared towpath along the bank, at a rate of four to five miles per hour. Due to competition from railroads, which began to be built in the area in the 1850s, the commercial use of the canal gradually declined during the late 19th century. It was permanently abandoned for commercial use in 1913 after a historic flood in Ohio severely damaged it. Only a small fraction of the canal survives today, along with its towpath and locks.” Wikipedia
Seemed like a great staring point. Dayton history? Check. Importance to the region? Check. Opportunity to explore a long forgotten period in the region and share some of that knowledge? We had a winner.
After further research and a developing long list of potential names for our new brewery, I decided to do a bit of field research. It was a rainy day, and I’d had my fill of business modeling, market study, and the never-ending pursuit of capital. Since it wasn’t quite time for product testing, I decided a field trip was in order to the nearest of the remaining canal locks. Lock 27 (pictured above) was also called the Sunfish Lock. Located a few miles south of Miamisburg, it was originally completed in 1829. The Lock was rebuilt in 1907, and then disappeared with the demise of the canal. What stands there today, is a re-creation built in 1990. While not the original stone lock, the re-creation provides a great sense of scale and dimension of the original lock. So the name went on the list.
After reviewing the list for a few weeks, engaging in product testing, discussing the merits of each name, and a bit more product testing, we finally settled on Lock 27 Brewing. It was a name that had history. And one we are proud to fly above our brewery. So hopefully this answers your questions – Why the name “Lock 27 Brewing”?