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Buffalo's appreciation for a frosty pint stretches back more than a century before anyone enjoyed a cold one with a basket of wings. By the middle of the 1800s, the industrial hub counted malt and beer among its most vital and satisfying products. Operations like Simon Pure Beer, Iroquois Beverage and the Magnus Beck Brewing Company brought Buffalo's world-class ales to the rest of the country. Prohibition saw a thriving business in black market hooch, though it all but killed the city's historic breweries. A few survivors struggled to recover. Today, a new batch of breweries like Community Beer Works and Big Ditch Brewing Company are crafting a beer revolution in the Queen City. Historian Michael Rizzo and brewer Ethan Cox explore the sudsy story of Buffalo beer.
About the Author
Michael F. Rizzo owned Naked Buffalo Tours for six years. He has published five books and articles for the Buffalo News as well as preservation grant applications for the City of Buffalo. He has spoken at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society, Lancaster Historical Society, Polish Genealogical Society and City Hall.
Ethan Andrew Cox is the president of Community Beer Works, a brewery he co-founded in 2010. He had a fifteen-year background as a homebrewer as well as being a BJCP-certified homebrewing competetion judge and a Certified Cicerone(tm); currently, he is on the board of the New York State Brewer's Association. He lives in Buffalo.
Table of Contents
1 "The World's Favorite Beverage" 13
2 In the Beginning 17
3 The Erie Canal 19
4 The 1830s: A Growing Profession 22
5 The 1340s: Science 24
6 The 1850s: Early Growth 28
7 Some of the Biggest Begin 34
8 The 1860s: Business Peaks 39
9 The 1870s: Reconfiguration 50
10 The 1380s: Fires, Unions and Growth 61
11 The 1890s: End of a Century 78
12 The Twentieth Century: Change Comes to Brewing 98
13 The 1910s: The Road to Prohibition 117
14 The 1920s: Prohibition and the End 131
15 The 1930s: Rebirth 141
16 The 1940s: Usher in New Growth 155
17 The 1950s: The Decline of Regional Breweries 163
18 The 1960s: More Shrinkage 169
19 The 1970s: The End of Brewing in the Nickel City 174
20 The 1980s and Beyond: Brewing Resurrected 177
About the Authors 223