Special Report

America's 30 Oldest Beers

Source: Oscar Franzén / Wikimedia Commons

20. Lone Star
> Year introduced: 1884
> State of origin: Texas
> Parent company: Pabst Brewing Company

Lone Star beer was first brewed in San Antonio, Texas, in 1884. With sales peaking at 65,000 barrels a year, Lone Star was popular until the start of Prohibition in 1920, when the brewery was forced to close its doors. The brand did not return until 1940, when the Muehlebach Brewing Company of Kansas City, Missouri, rebranded itself as Lone Star and began brewing the beer again in San Antonio, Texas. Though the brewery closed in 1996 after more than half a century, Pabst Brewing Company bought the label in 1999 and continues to brew the beer in the Lone Star State.

Source: Oz81dog / Wikimedia Commons

19. Rainier
> Year introduced: 1878
> State of origin: Washington
> Parent company: Pabst Brewing Company

To some, Rainier might not sound like the name of a beer that’s brewed domestically. Andrew Hemrich, the son of a German immigrant, teamed up with John Kopp to produce Rainier beer, though they didn’t start the brewery until a few years after, in 1883. The Seattle-based brewery, which went through several name changes — The Bayview Brewery, Sweeney’s Brewery, and then Seattle’s Brewing and Malting Company — reopened after the Prohibition era as Rainier Brewing Company in San Francisco.

Source: Courtesy of Genesee Brewery

18. Genesee
> Year introduced: 1878
> State of origin: New York
> Parent company: Genesee Brewing Company

Though it was not the first brewery to open in Rochester, New York, the Rau & Reisky Brewery opened for business in 1857. Some 21 years later, entrepreneur Mathius Kondolf bought the operation and renamed it Genesee Brewery. Despite being closed for more than a decade during Prohibition, the brewery invested $1.3 million into operations upon the ratification of the 21st Amendment.

Now available in a majority of states, Genesee shipped 400,000 barrels domestically in 2016. In addition to the original Genesee beer, the brewery introduced its popular Cream Ale in 1960 and Genesee Light in 1978.

Source: twitter.com/BallantineIPA

17. Ballantine IPA
> Year introduced: 1878
> State of origin: New Jersey
> Parent company: Pabst Brewing Company

Ballantine IPA was first brewed in 1878 in Newark, New Jersey, at Ballantine Brewing Co. The legendary beer survived until the 1970s, when a wave of big-brand lagers overwhelmed the market. Pabst Brewing Company, which owns 30 iconic beer brands, bought Ballantine in 1985. After several years of dormancy, Pabst made moves in 2014 to resurrect the beer in attempt to appeal to the ever-growing hipster audience that appreciates old time classics.

Source: budweiser.com

16. Budweiser
> Year introduced: 1876
> State of origin: Missouri
> Parent company: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV

Created in 1876, Budweiser quickly established itself as a national brand through innovative production and distribution methods, such as pasteurization and refrigerated rail cars. With its expansive railroad network, Anheuser-Busch was able to sell Budweiser outside of St. Louis, making it a national success. Today, “The King of Beers” is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, which was formed after Belgian brewer InBev agreed to acquire the American beer titan for $52 billion in 2008.

As of 2016, Budweiser was the third most popular American beer, with 14.4 million barrels sold in the United States. While Coors Light topped Budweiser and was second most popular, Budweiser’s low-calorie counterpart, Bud Light, was the most popular beer among Americans, shipping 35.2 million barrels.

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