New York

The Empire State


By welcoming a majority of America’s early immigrants, New York has been a mixing pot of cultures since the beginning and by default, a cultural center for sharing ideas, customs and, of course, beer.

Artisan styled Craft Beer has been brewed in New York since the early 1600’s when New York was still considered New Amsterdam. Breweries were very prevalent throughout the 16 and 1700’s but had some bumps along the way while expanding throughout the state. One important obstacle included finding a solution to the lack of clean, portable water for cities. At the time beer was considered to be safer than water and was actually thought of as having great nutritional value. Wooden pipes were eventually set up by the Manhattan Water Company in 1799 which shuttled water from lakes upstate into New York’s more populated areas. This launched a new era of craft beer for the state.

The beer industry had a bright future well into the mid 1800’s, propelled by the introduction of lager beers by German immigrants in the 1840’s. The popularity of lagers increased exponentially in the years to follow, along with the German culture and construction of Biergartens throughout New York. However, on July 4th,1855 a premature prohibition law passed in New York state, but did not last long before the Supreme Court nullified it. In the years spanning New York’s 1855 prohibition law and the official sanction of the 18th Amendment, numerous breweries opened and began to grow within the state. A prominent player was a man named George Ehret who arrived from Germany in 1857. His flagship beer, Franziskaner was so highly regarded that he had trouble keeping up with the demand. Ehret was known as a leader of the beer industry in New York until his competitor, Adolphus Busch began bottling his beer and ultimately stole the title from Ehret. The rivalry between the two breweries and a few others lasted up until the dark days of Prohibition.

Luckily, due to the difficulty of enforcing Prohibition, it was repealed in 1933 and breweries started to make their comeback.

Today there is an abundance of craft breweries in the state of New York producing traditional brews along with unique and exciting craft beers that continue to flood the local market. As more breweries are established, the more brewmasters are taking creative license to make original, innovative styles, often with an American twist. Local beers can now go through the New York State Brewers Association’s (NYSBA) Draft Quality Program, established by the New York Brewer’s Guild in order to maintain high-quality standards for not only brewing, but also distribution and consumption of craft beer. Breweries that apply and pass the program are awarded a Quality Seal Certification. Some of these breweries could be featured in future Craft Beer of the Month Club shipments too!

As of 2016, New York State had roughly 320 breweries, compared to only 95 registered in 2012. With such an increased growth over the years, we are proud to say we have been delivering our monthly Craft Beer Club members opportunities to try a variety of quality craft brews from some of New York’s best craft breweries. From our first featured New York brewery, Fire Island Beer Company in 2012, to our most recent feature of Adirondack Pub & Brewery in 2017, we are excited to continue discovering more of New York’s finest craft beers! Join the craft beer revolution today by becoming a member of our Craft Beer of the Month Club!


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