Beer History & Advertising
The earliest record of brewing by non-Native peoples dates from 1587 when Virginia colonists began to brew ale using corn. Thirty years later, in 1607, beer’s first shipment arrived in the Virginia colony from England. Two years later, early colonists believed they could begin brewing on a large scale and began to place “Help Wanted” advertisements in London newspapers seeking brewers for the Virginia Colony. However, the first brewery to be established in the New World would be established on the southern tip of New Amsterdam (Manhattan), New York, by Adrian Block & Hans Christiansen in 1812.
Though there may not have been commercial breweries at the time, taverns were already operating, with the earliest known existing in Boston, Massachusetts. A Puritan tavern opened in 1634 when Samuel Cole set up the “first house for common entertainment.” As more and more people came to America, the number of breweries, taverns, and saloons increased.
The brewing traditions of England and the Netherlands ensured that colonial drinking would be dominated by beer rather than wine. Until the mid-1800s, British-style ales dominated American brewing. However, this changed when German immigrants introduced lager styles, which were more profitable for large-scale manufacturing and shipping.
For the vast majority of breweries and saloons, Prohibition in the early 20th century caused nearly all of them to close. Those who didn’t close began to manufacture soft drinks or medicinal alcohol. After Prohibition was repealed, the industry was dominated by a consolidated number of large-scale breweries.
Since beer was first sold, advertising has always been a part of the industry, from newsprint advertising to magazines, radio, and television. Today, beer in the United States is manufactured by more than 2,100 breweries, and the nation consumes about 20 gallons of beer per capita each year.
The majority of the new breweries in the US are small breweries and brewpubs, who as members of the Brewers Association are termed “craft breweries” to differentiate them from the larger and older breweries.
D.G. Yuengling & Son, commonly called Yuengling (pronounced “ying-ling”), is the oldest and largest American-owned brewery operating in the United States. Established in 1829, its headquarters is in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.
For it’s always fair weather
When good fellows get together
With a stein on the table and a good song ringing clear.
— Richard Hovey, A Stein Song, 1898