America’s 30 Oldest Beers

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Source: Point Brewery / Facebook

10. Point Special Lager
> Year introduced: 1857
> State of origin: Wisconsin
> Parent company: Stevens Point Brewery

Stevens Point Brewery, the home of the Point Special Lager, celebrated its 160-year anniversary last year. German immigrants George Ruder and Frank Wahle began brewing beer in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, in 1857. After Gustav Kuenzel bought the brewery some 40 years later, he changed its name to the current name in 1902.

Through all of the ownership changes over the past century and a half, Point Special Lager has kept its status as the brewery’s flagship brew. Its origins date back to the brewery’s first year in business.

Source: Courtesy of Walmart.com

9. Weinhard’s Private Reserve
> Year introduced: 1856
> State of origin: Oregon
> Parent company: MillerCoors

Henry Weinhard, the founder of Weinhard’s Private Reserve, goes down in history as the pioneer brewer of the Pacific Coast. Weinhard was born in Lindenbronn, more specifically in the Württemberg region that is now Germany, in 1830. As a young 20 something, he moved to the United States around 1852, where he worked in Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and then St. Louis. After a few years in the Northeast and Midwest, Weinhard made his way to Portland, Oregon, by ship and by April 1, 1856, the Private Reserve was born. Weinhard’s Private Reserve was bought by MillerCoors LLC, a company that reported $1.3 billion in net revenue in 2015.

Source: Courtesy of McSorley's Old Ale House

8. McSorley’s
> Year introduced: 1854
> State of origin: New York
> Parent company: Pabst Brewing Company

McSorley’s Old Ale House was established in 1854, making it New York City’s oldest operating saloon. John McSorley of Tyrone, Ireland, arrived in New York City just three years before he opened what was then called The Old Ale House at Home, located on 15 E. 7th street. Since its inception, many important figures have waltzed into McSorley’s, including President Abraham Lincoln and Beatles member John Lennon. Pabst Brewing Company now owns the beer brand.

7. Stroh’s
> Year introduced: 1850
> State of origin: Michigan
> Parent company: Pabst Brewing Company

Immigrating the United States from Germany in 1849 and taking with him a family beer recipe, Bernhard Stroh opened Lion’s Head Brewery in Detroit, Michigan, in 1850. Though it was acquired by Pabst Brewing Company in 1999, the brewery’s flagship beer still bears the founder’s family name, Stroh’s. It is one of several formerly independent brews now under the Pabst umbrella.

Stroh’s was the third largest brewer in the United States in 1984, but the brand has since lost significant market share. Stroh’s only shipped 60,000 barrels in 2016. In contrast, Yuengling, the oldest beer on this list, shipped 2.2 million barrels that same year.

6. Schlitz
> Year introduced: 1849
> State of origin: Wisconsin
> Parent company: Pabst Brewing Company

Schlitz was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1849, eventually gaining both national and international appeal. By 1902, it became the largest brewery worldwide. Schlitz was responsible for several innovations in the beer industry that drinkers today take for granted, including the brown bottle in 1911 and the 16 oz. “tall boy” can in 1956.

Schlitz is one of several Midwest-based beer brands resurrected by Pabst Brewing Company. Pabst purchased Schlitz in 1999 as part of the same transaction that involved the acquisitions of Stroh’s, another brand on this list.