The History of Beer and Brewing in the United States

How many times have you gotten together with friends to enjoy a cold pint of beer? How about those boiling hot days in the summer where you’ve grabbed a cold one from the fridge to refresh you? Now have you ever sat there and wondered just what the history of beer and brewing is in the United States? In fact, it’s a very interesting history that spans across not just decades but centuries!


A Rich History

In order to track the history of beer in the United States you’ll have to go all the way back to the year 1607, when the very first shipment arrived from England and landed in the Virginia colony. Even though it had been found in other parts of the world before that, it was all new to America at that time.

It wasn’t until 1612 that the first brewery opened its doors in Manhattan, which was called New Amsterdam at the time. It was opened by Hans Christiansen and Adrian Block. Then again in 1683, another big brewery opened its doors in Philadelphia, established by William Frampton.

By the time 1810 rolled around, there were a whopping 120 breweries in the country, which was quite a bit of expansion. The mid-1800s saw the opening of many breweries that are still around such as Anheuser-Busch, which was established in Missouri in 1852.

Facing Prohibition

When prohibition was passed in 1919, the beer industry came to a halt. That was a legal halt, as corruption and illegal brewing took over. It took until 1933 for beer to become legal again, and then the number of breweries once again started to grow.

During the mid-1900s there were plenty of advancements made in the brewing of beer. These advancements also resulted in many breweries closing their doors. By 1980 there were just 82 breweries operating in the country. Suddenly there was an emphasis placed on flavor and quality instead of just quantity.

During the early 2000s, the industry saw a huge amount of growth, growth that hadn’t been seen since pre-prohibition years. By the year 2009 it was documented that there were over 1,400 breweries in operation across the country.

Learning More

For those who are interested in the history of beer brewing, there is a full exhibit dedicated to it at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The collection of information began in May of this year with the goal of collecting, documenting, and then preserving the nation’s history where brewers, brewing, and the industry are concerned. There are a number of different programs being hosted by the museum that visitors can buy tickets to that take a deeper look at the history of brewing.

Beer Has Made Plenty of Progress

Today you will have no problem finding beer across the country, everything from the typical big label brands to specialty brews. In fact, you can even brew your own with flavors with the help of hops Extractz, which offers all kinds of flavor variations that you can play with.

Image credit: https://flic.kr/p/8VwtHD

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