Oldest Breweries
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19 of the Oldest Breweries in America

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Oldest Breweries
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In 1915, there were roughly 1,300 breweries in the United States. That number dropped to zero with the arrival of Prohibition in 1920. And although a handful survived the Volstead Act — many by producing other products or low-alcohol "near beer" — there were fewer than 300 in the entire country for most of the 20th century. Today, the industry has bounced back — to more than 7,000, most of which are small and independent craft breweries with sales numbers that have climb dramatically by the year. Still, if they were people, the oldest breweries in most states would hardly be old enough to buy a beer. Here are 19 that don't have to show ID. 


Related: The Oldest Eateries in All 50 States

Samuel Adams
Bryce W./Yelp

Samuel Adams

Founded: 1988
City: Boston
One of the best-known brewers in the world, Samuel Adams is beloved throughout New England. The brewery is a lab of experimentation where every beer in the line was created — except the original (and one seasonal batch), which was concocted in the founder's kitchen even further back, in 1984. Tours are Thursday through Sunday for masked visitors.


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Alaskan Brewing Company
Alaskan Brewing Company by U.S. Department of Agriculture (CC BY)

Alaskan Brewing

Founded: 1986
City: Juneau, Alaska
It may be hard to believe, but one of the oldest breweries in the United States was born the same year as the Olsen twins. The Alaskan Brewing Co. began in a 2,000-square-foot facility shared with an indoor driving range. Today, it bottles suds in a 47,000-square-foot home of its own and has a loyal local following. The tasting room is open all year and offers more than 20 beers on tap. 


Related: 17 Cheap Beers That Locals Love

Millstream Brewing
Angela S./Yelp

Millstream Brewing

Founded: 1985
City: Amana, Iowa
Just over a century passed between Amana breweries, but three men succeeded in reviving an Iowan tradition and stuck with it for 15 years before selling to a new trio. The current owners took it a step further, opening an authentic German bierhalle, the Millstream Brau Haus, in 2016.


Related: Not Just in Germany: 15 Great American Beer Gardens

D.L. Geary Brewing
Maggie R./Yelp

D.L. Geary Brewing

Founded: 1983
City: Portland, Maine
The self-proclaimed first craft brewery in New England, D.L. Geary borrows from British tradition. When the company incorporated, there were only 13 microbreweries in the entire United States. Though tours remain canceled due to the pandemic, the tasting room is open and packaged beer is available for curbside pickup.


Related: 10 Brewery Tours That Feature Free Craft Beer

Red Hook Brewpub
Elaine K./Yelp

Redhook Brewlab

Founded: 1981
City: Seattle
While the original Redhook Brewpub in Woodinville, Washington, closed, beer lovers can still visit the Redhook Beerlab in Seattle, which features 16 taps of rotating small-batch beers brewed on site. The brewery functions as an experimental testing ground for new brews primarily for the on-site pub — including the Washington Native series, which showcases ingredients exclusively sourced from the state — to develop recipes that may later be available elsewhere.

Choc Beer
©TripAdvisor

Choc Beer

Founded: 1919
City: Krebs, Oklahoma
Choc Beer has nothing to do with chocolate; the name is short for Choctaw Indian Beer. Oklahoma was a Prohibition state upon entering the Union in 1907, and the state's trade in illegal liquor — often called Choc beer — flourished until legalized booze was finally voted in.

Anchor Brewing
Anchor Brewing/Yelp

Anchor Brewing

Founded: 1896
City: San Francisco
Promoting itself as "America's first and oldest craft brewery," Anchor brews and bottles every beer, including its trademark Anchor Steam, in the same location. The oldest brewery in California prides itself on combining generations-old traditional copper brewing tools with state-of-the-art quality control. 


Related: Top 25 U.S. Cities for Craft Beer

Lone Star Brewery
Wikimedia Commons

Lone Star Brewery

Founded: 1883
City: San Antonio
The Lone Star Brewery was created by legendary beer baron Adolphus Busch. Lone Star closed for Prohibition, reopened in 1933, and was christened the "National Beer of Texas" in 1940. In 1965, the brewery helped Texas emerge as a true beer state when it began making more than 1 million barrels a year. Its own brewery has been closed for decades, and the beer is brewed in Fort Worth for Pabst, which relocated its headquarters back to San Antonio. Newer Lone Star brews include a low-alcohol, low-calorie beer rolled out in 2019 and a seasonal Mexican-style lager Rio Jade released last spring.

Genesee Brewery
©TripAdvisor

Genesee Brewery

Founded: 1878
City: Rochester, New York
Home to the original Genesee, Genny Light, and Genesee Cream Ale, the Genesee Brewery shut down during Prohibition as brewmaster Louis A. Wehle turned baker — then back again as soon as he legally could. The site includes an outdoor area with dozens of massive tanks, including some that can hold a full 9,000 barrels of beer. No tours of the brewery are offered now, though.

Coors Brewing
Infinite_Eye/shutterstock

Coors Brewing

Founded: 1873
City: Golden, Colorado
Every drop of Coors Banquet beer is brewed in the same location where Adolph Coors began his operations in 1873 — now the largest single-site brewery on the planet. Its $20 tours are on hold.

Leinenkugel's
Ralphie S./Yelp

Leinenkugel's

Founded: 1867
City: Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
The Leinenkugel brand has remained in the family for six generations, since Jacob Leinenkugel and John Miller began operations 150 years ago. Today, visitors are welcome to take a $13 tour of the working brewery that includes four 5-ounce samples.

Frankenmuth Brewery
Keith H./Yelp

Frankenmuth Brewery

Founded: 1862
City: Frankenmuth, Michigan
The state's first craft brewer has stood in its original location since it was founded during the Civil War. Visitors are invited on weekends to check out the brewery, where they can try 21 draft beers from a selection of 36 craft brews rotated throughout the year.

Schell's
Scott S./Yelp

Schell's

Founded: 1860
City: New Ulm, Minnesota
Schell's Brewery dates back to the year Lincoln was elected and the Pony Express began delivering mail. The company's philosophy remains "the world can never have enough beer," and it has lived up to that credo by bottling more than 100 varieties. A $10 tour is offered Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Steven's Point Brewery
©TripAdvisor

Stevens Point Brewery

Founded: 1857
City: Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Billing itself as the "the third-oldest continuously operating, privately owned brewery in the United States," Stevens Point offers five year-round beers and five seasonal beers including a Milkshake Malt Porter.

Frederick Miller's Plank Road Brewery
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Frederick Miller's Plank Road Brewery

Founded: 1855
City: Milwaukee
The original Miller brewery boasts an all-star German lineage that involves the Miller, Coors, and Leinenkugel families. The brewery includes the Historic Miller Caves, the Bavarian-style Miller Inn, a champagne room, and a beer garden — but tours remain suspended due to COVID-19.

Anheuser-Busch Brewery
Semmick Photo/shutterstock

Anheuser-Busch

Founded: 1852
City: St. Louis
The oldest and largest Anheuser-Busch brewery in the country, the St. Louis location is home to three National Historic Landmarks. The site was chosen for its proximity to the Mississippi River, as well as its massive population of German immigrants and location near caves that served as refrigerators before mechanized cooling.

Pabst Brewing
©TripAdvisor

Pabst Brewing

Founded: 1848
City: Milwaukee
Jacob Best's brewery churned out 300 barrels of beer during its inaugural year, 1848, and took another big step in 1882: tying iconic blue ribbons around the beers that won awards. Today, Pabst has more than two dozen brands under its umbrella, including classics such as Old Milwaukee, Colt 45, and, of course, Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Minhas Craft Brewery
©TripAdvisor

Minhas Craft Brewery

Founded: 1845
City: Monroe, Wisconsin
Minhas, brewer of Boxer Lager, boasts of being very old yet having "the youngest craft brewery owners in the world" when they bought the company in 2006.

Yuengling
D.G. Yuengling & Son/Yelp

Yuengling

Founded: 1831
City: Pottsville, Pennsylvania
America's oldest brewery began making only 600 barrels a year in the days of hand-hewn fermentation caves, before mechanized refrigeration. Now it operates below capacity, letting other Yuengling sites do the heavy lifting while it welcomes tourists — showing them not just the caves and brewery but also the creamery built in 1920 as Prohibition went into effect. The hour tours are free, and include a sample.