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Evolution of Brewery Industry

In: Business and Management

Submitted By itsyummi
Words 3090
Pages 13
1650 to 1800: The Early Days of Brewing in America

Brewing in America dates to the first communities established by English and Dutch settlers in the early to mid seventeenth century. Dutch immigrants quickly recognized that the climate and terrain of present-day New York were particularly well suited to brewing beer and growing malt and hops, two of beer's essential ingredients. A 1660 map of New Amsterdam details twenty-six breweries and taverns, a clear indication that producing and selling beer were popular and profitable trades in the American colonies (Baron, Chapter Three). Despite the early popularity of beer, other alcoholic beverages steadily grew in importance and by the early eighteenth century several of them had eclipsed beer commercially.

Between 1650 and the Civil War, the market for beer did not change a great deal: both production and consumption remained essentially local affairs. Bottling was expensive, and beer did not travel well. Nearly all beer was stored in, and then served from, wooden kegs. While there were many small breweries, it was not uncommon for households to brew their own beer. In fact, several of America's founding fathers brewed their own beer, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson (Baron, Chapters 13 and 16).

1800-1865: Brewing Begins to Expand

National production statistics are unavailable before 1810, an omission which reflects the rather limited importance of the early brewing industry. In 1810, America's 140 commercial breweries collectively produced just over 180,000 barrels of beer.[1] During the next fifty years, total beer output continued to increase, but production remained small scale and local. This is not to suggest, however, that brewing could not prove profitable. In 1797, James Vassar founded a brewery in Poughkeepsie, New York whose successes echoed far beyond the brewing industry. After…...

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