Top 20 Oldest Breweries in America

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by JackHorzempa, Aug 16, 2023.

  1. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,351) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Here is a summary of the 5 oldest on the list:

    1. D.G. Yuengling & Son, PA - Year of Establishment: 1829

    2. Minhas Craft Brewery, WI- Year of Establishment: 1845

    3. Anheuser-Busch Brewery, MO- Year of Establishment: 1852

    4. Miller Brewing Company, WI - Year of Establishment: 1855

    5. Stevens Point Brewery, WI - Year of Establishment: 1857

    You can read the others here: https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/top-20-oldest-breweries-america-132817880.html

    Cheers!

    P.S. I will set my timer to see when JK will post with his corrections.:wink:
     
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  2. Todd

    Todd Founder (13,254) Aug 23, 1996 Finland
    Staff Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    For those too lazy to click, here are the 20 breweries listed in the piece:
    1. D.G. Yuengling & Son, PA - Year of Establishment: 1829
    2. Minhas Craft Brewery, WI - Year of Establishment: 1845
    3. Anheuser-Busch Brewery, MO - Year of Establishment: 1852
    4. Miller Brewing Company, WI - Year of Establishment: 1855
    5. Stevens Point Brewery, WI - Year of Establishment: 1857
    6. Schell’s Brewery, MN - Year of Establishment: 1860
    7. Frankenmuth Brewery, MI - Year of Establishment: 1862
    8. Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, WI - Year of Establishment: 1867
    9. Straub Brewery, PA - Year of Establishment: 1872
    10. Coors Brewing Company, CO - Year of Establishment: 1873
    11. Genesee Brewing Co., NY - Year of Establishment: 1878
    12. Spoetzl Brewery, TX - Year of Establishment: 1909
    13. Choc Beer Company, OK - Year of Establishment: 1919
    14. Anheuser-Busch Brewery, NJ - Year of Establishment: 1951
    15. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., CA - Year of Establishment: 1980
    16. Redhook Brewery, WA - Year of Establishment: 1981
    17. Geary Brewing Co., ME - Year of Establishment: 1983
    18. McMenamins Hillsdale Brewery and Public House, OR - Year of Establishment: 1984
    19. Widmer Brothers Brewing, OR - Year of Establishment: 1984
    20. Millstream Brewing Co., IA - Year of Establishment: 1985
     
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  3. jonphisher

    jonphisher Grand Pooh-Bah (3,436) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Where’s Matt Brewing?? 1888
     
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  4. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,351) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    You beat JK to the punch here!:wink:

    Cheers!
     
  5. grantcty

    grantcty Pundit (952) Feb 17, 2008 Minnesota
    Trader

    Sprecher Brewery was also established in 1985.
     
  6. jonphisher

    jonphisher Grand Pooh-Bah (3,436) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    After a quick search it may be that it looks like it opened as West End Brewing, maybe that has to do with it?? I’m sure he knows though.
     
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  7. Orca

    Orca Grand Pooh-Bah (4,441) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Pooh-Bah Society

    So 122 years for the first 14 breweries (still operating) to get off the ground (an average gap of almost 9 years per brewery), then 6 years for the remaining 6 (1 new brewery per year). And today we are probably seeing hundreds per year? I’d like to see this on a chart.
     
  8. zid

    zid Grand Pooh-Bah (3,058) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    But as you pointed out, the list is of breweries still with us - which is totally different than brewery openings. You are comparing two different things.
     
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  9. steveh

    steveh Grand Pooh-Bah (4,030) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Society

    I know the location Minhas occupies has been a brewery since 1845, but should they get credit for the history? :thinking_face:
     
  10. Orca

    Orca Grand Pooh-Bah (4,441) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Pooh-Bah Society

    True, but even if we could look at all breweries that have opened since say 1800, whether they’ve since closed or not, and then adjusted that number per capita, I suspect you’d still see a marked spike over the last 20–30 years.

    EDIT: I just looked into this a bit more and might be wrong. For example, in the 1870s there were some 4,000 breweries nationwide but the population was about 40 million—12% of what it is today. So we would need more than 30,000 breweries to match that on a per capita basis.
     
    #10 Orca, Aug 16, 2023
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2023
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  11. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,351) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    It seems to me that the author is using contemporary names so FX Matt should be listed. Regardless of West End vs. FX Matt is should be on the list.

    Cheers!
     
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  12. Todd

    Todd Founder (13,254) Aug 23, 1996 Finland
    Staff Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Check out the "Historical U.S. Brewery Count" on this page:

    https://www.brewersassociation.org/statistics-and-data/national-beer-stats/
     
  13. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,351) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    But those breweries were much smaller and serving the very local markets. It was not until breweries implemented ice refrigerated rail cars (e.g., Anheuser-Busch in the later 1800's) that breweries served a broader market. The beer industry today is quite different from a distribution perspective than in was in the 1870's.

    Cheers!
     
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  14. Shanex

    Shanex Grand Pooh-Bah (4,666) Dec 10, 2015 France
    Regional Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

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  15. jesskidden

    jesskidden Grand Pooh-Bah (3,071) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Sorry, WAY too much work for me - I only skimmed the article for 2 or 3 minutes and found about a dozen errors...:rolling_eyes: ... the creators can't even decide on the definition of "brewery" - is it a physical building or a brewing company?

    I mean, Miller, Leinenkugel, Redhook, Widmer don't even exist anymore as independent companies but if they're going to count physical "breweries" that still exist (like AB's Newark plant) then there are other AB and MC breweries that are older than the craft breweries listed. Heck, even Yuengling's Florida brewery is older than the bottom 5.

    And Spoetzl is not "independent", bought by Gambrinus in the 1980s....
    (I'm doing it anyway, aren't I? :grimacing:)
     
    #15 jesskidden, Aug 16, 2023
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2023
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  16. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,351) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    I stopped my timer at less than 2 hours.

    Pretty quick response time!:beers:

    Cheers!

    P.S. I had a music teacher tell me a story that Mozart had a nephew that on cold winter nights would play an incomplete scale on the piano and Mozart would be ‘forced’ to get out of bed and go downstairs to complete the scale. I have no idea whether this story is true. JK, you are the Mozart of BA.:+1:
     
    #16 JackHorzempa, Aug 16, 2023
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2023
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  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,351) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Orca

    Orca Grand Pooh-Bah (4,441) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Yeah I know, it’s apples and oranges, and no real comparison can be made. Mostly I’m just interested in looking at the brewing landscape pre- and post-Prohibition to see if any parallels can be drawn.
     
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  19. elNopalero

    elNopalero Grand Pooh-Bah (4,888) Oct 14, 2009 Michigan
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    1985 must have been a pivotal year for US craft. That’s the year Bell’s started, no? (Although they’re no longer independent.)
     
  20. steveh

    steveh Grand Pooh-Bah (4,030) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Mid to late 80s were booming here in the Midwest.