The History of Beer and Brewing in the United States
1607 – First shipment of beer arrives in the Virginia colony from England.
1609 – America’s first “Help Wanted” ad appears. The job, a brewer.
1612 – Adrian Block and Hans Christiansen establish the first known brewery in the New World on the southern tip of New Amsterdam (Manhattan).
1640 – The Massachuetts colony passes a regulation the “on one should be allowed to brew beer unless he is a good brewer”
1683 – William Frampton erects the first brewery in Philadelphia on Front Street between Walnut and Spruce at the Dock Street Creek.
1754 – George Washington enters a beer recipe in his notebook.
1762 – “The Theory and Practice of Brewing” by Michael Combrune is published. This is the first attempt to establish rules and principles for the art of brewing.
1810 – There are 120 active breweries in the United States.
1819 – A steam engine built by Thomas Holloway is installed in the brewery of Frances Perot in Philadelphia. This is the first engine to be used in beer production in America.
1826 – American Society for the Promotion of Temperance, also known as the American Temperance Society, is formed in Boston. Three years later it has 100,000 members.
1829 – David G. Yuengling opens a brewery in the Pennsylvania coal town of Pottsville. It continues as the oldest operating brewery in the United States, still owned by the Yuengling family.
1844 – Jacob Best starts a brewery in Milwaukee which later becomes the Pabst Brewing Co.
1849 – August Krug forms a brewery in Milwaukee which evolves into the Schlitz Brewery.
1852 – George Schneider starts a brewery in St. Louis, Missouri. This brewery is the seed of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery.
1856 – The Benedictine Society of Saint Vincent’s Abbey opens a commercial brewery in their Monastery near Latrobe, Pa.
1860 – More than 1,269 breweries produce over one million barrels of beer for a population of 31 million. New York and Pennsylvania account for 85 percent of production.
1861 – Internal Revenue System introduced and in 1862 taxes beer at the rate of one dollar per barrel to help finance the government during the Civil War.
1862 – An Indian uprising caused August Schell to abandon his brewery(Founded 1860) and flee the area. Many white settlers were killed and over 400 homes and buildings burned, but Schell’s brewery remained standing, due to Mrs.Schell’s kindness to the Indians in the years prior to the uprising.
1873, Adolph Coors and the Denver confectioner Jacob Schueler purchased the abandoned Golden City Tannery and converted it to the Golden Brewery. Today, it’s the largest brewery in the world.
1880-1910 – The number of breweries declines from a high of 4,131 in 1873. Improved methods of production and distribution mean fewer breweries can manufacture more beer. By 1910, the number of breweries drops less than 1600.
1900 – Woman’s Christian Temperance Union member Carrie Nation does a hatchet job on the Carey Hotel in Wichita, Kansas.
1910 – There are 1,568 active breweries in the United States.
1919 – House of Representatives Bill No. 6810 presented in May by Rep. Andrew Volstead establishing the apparatus for the enforcement of prohibition. The bill was passed Oct. 10, then vetoed by President Woodrow Wilson on Oct. 27. The veto was subsequently overridden by Congressional vote.
1930 – The Crusaders formed to protest the lawlessness, crime, and corruption brought on by Prohibition.
1933 – On Apr. 7 the legalization of beer takes effect via the 21st Amendment repealing the 18th; 31 brewers back in operation by June.
1940 – There are 498 active breweries in the United States.
1950 – There are 407 active breweries in the United States.
1951 – Anheuser-Busch of St. Louis builds a new brewery in Newark, starting a trend for expansion of breweries. Two years later the company buys the St. Louis Cardinals.
1954 – Actor Ronald Regan promotes Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer
1959 – Aluminum can introduced by Coors Brewing Company.
1960 – There are 229 active breweries in the United States.
1962 – Pittsburg Brewing introduces the first poptop can. The beer was Iron City.
1965 – Fritz Maytag, of the Maytag appliance family invests in Anchor Brewing Co. in San Francisco. In 1969, he takes over the brewery.
1967 – Meister Brau out of Chicago introduce the first “Lite” beer.
1970 – There are 142 active breweries in the United States.
1977 – The New Albion Brewery will become known as America’s first “Micro Brewery”.
1979 – The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company was established in 1979 and began selling beers in February of by homebrewer Ken Grossman and Paul Camusi.. Boulder Beer was started in Boulder, Colorado.
1980 – There are 82 active breweries in the United States.
1982 – Charlie Papazian, homebrewer starts the Great American Beer Festival in Boulder, Colorado.
1982 – Bert Grant opens the first brewpub in the United States in the modern era in Yakima, Washington.
1983 – In January, 51 brewing concerns are operating 80 breweries. This is the low water mark for breweries in the 20th century. The top six breweries – Anheuser-Busch, Miller, Heileman, Stroh, Coors, and Pabst – control 92 percent of U. S. beer production.
1985 – Jim Koch introduces a beer called Samuel Adams. Samuel Adams Boston Lager debuted at the re-creation of the first battle of the American Revolution, Patriot’s Day 1985. Three months later, it was voted best beer in the United States at the Great American Beer Festival.
2001 – More than 1,400 breweries produce more then 6 million barrels of beer.
2009 – More than 1,500 breweries in the USA. More breweries than any country in the world.
2010 – After Anheuser-Busch and Miller got bought by foreign companies, Boston Beer Company becomes the largest American owned Brewery
2013 – D. G. Yuengling and Son Inc. Pottsville PA is the number one American Owned Brewery
2017 – More than 6000 breweries in the USA. More breweries than any country in the world.