Thursday, July 11, 2013

Early history of beer in United States

Beer appears to have been the most common beverage in sixteenth century Europe. The early settlers of the New World brought beer along as part of provisions for the sea trip. The European also introduces beer brewing methods into new territories.

The first English and Dutch settlers in Massachusetts, Virginia and New Amsterdam all came from societies that regularly brewed and drank beer. In the New World, such as in southwestern region, they found that Native Americans were already brewing some form of ‘beer’ made from fermented maize.

The first beer brewed by American colonist was at Sir Walter Raleigh’s Roanoke colony in 1587. Because of high demand, the settlers continued to request shipments of beer from England.

In 1609, colonists placed America’s first help-wanted ad in a London paper, asking for brewers to come to America.

Adrian Block and Hans Christensen established the first brewery in British North America in 1612 in New Amsterdam. Breweries in the New World were among the first business established. The city of Philadelphia got its first brewery in 1685. In 1793, Philadelphia was the brewing center of the colonies.

By 1810, 132 US breweries produced 185,000 barrels of beer. In responded to the influx of European immigrants especially Germans, Jacob Best a German immigrants established the Best Brewery in Milwaukee in 1844.

In 1916, the temperance movement was gaining momentum. In December 1917, the US Congress passed a constitutional amendment to prohibit the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States. 

The amendment put 1568 firms out of the beer making business. Some brewers stayed in business by making soft drinks, malt syrup, and dairy products, but those that closed their doors for good suffered a dramatic loss in wealth.

When Prohibition was repealed in December 1933, only about half the breweries that had existed beforehand resumed business.
Early history of beer in United States
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