Special Report

This Is America's Oldest Beer

Beer is old. Beer-like beverages have probably been around for at least 9,000 years. There is evidence that the earliest beer was brewed in the Middle East around 7,000 B.C., and by 3,000 B.C., it was present in Europe. Over the centuries, Germany became especially known for its master brewers, and their neighbors the Dutch first brought commercial brewing to America.

24/7 Tempo reviewed information from media sources and breweries themselves to determine America’s oldest beers. The first recorded beer brewed on American soil dates all the way back to 1587, and the first brewery popped up in 1632. However, the oldest continuously operating brewery in America dates back only to the 1800s. That brewery is Yuengling in Pennsylvania, and its Lord Chesterfield Ale is America’s oldest beer.

It is said that nearly as many people in America drink beer as those who drink water, though that is something of an exaggeration. The National Beer Wholesalers Association claims that adults in the United States consumed over 26.1 gallons of beer and cider in 2020. The beer industry shipped 205 million barrels.

The oldest beers in America originated in a handful of states, with not just Pennsylvania but also Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Missouri home to several of them. In some states, whether it is because of climate or the culture, beer consumption is far higher than in others. (These are America’s drunkest cities.)

Click here to see America’s oldest beers

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