I blog primarily over at "geosciblog" (http://geosciblog.blogspot.com), I am doing this one for fun. It is inspired by 30+ years of beer can collecting and having tried more than 3,000 different American beers during that time. “. . . And beer was drunk with reverence, as it ought to be.” — G. K. Chesterton

Friday, July 13, 2007

Twelve Beers That Changed America

Not the same list as the previous post, these are just my humble opinions and are listed in no particular order.

1. Budweiser - Among other things, Anheuser Busch grew to be No. 1 because of savvy marketing and innovations.
2. Miller Lite - Born as Meister Brau Lite (in Chicago), it wasn't the first low calorie beer, but it was the first nationally-distributed one in 1974.
3. Krueger Special Beer and Krueger Pale Ale - The first beer and ale in cans in 1935.
4. Christian Moerlein - the first regionally-marketed modern American beer by an established brewery (Hudepohl, from Cincinnati) that was brewed to the German Reinheitsgebot standards, containing only barley malt, hops, yeast, and water.
5. Anchor Steam - Anchor Brewing Co. was on the verge of closure when Fritz Maytag purchased it and began a decades-long resurgence. Among their offerings are a barleywine (Old Foghorn), a Christmas Ale, a Pale Ale (Anchor Liberty), and other seasonals. Though not of the "microbrewery" classification, Anchor products are well-produced craft beers and ales.
6. Coors Banquet Beer - the first fad beer which people would actually smuggle from the Western U.S. to the East, in large quantities. The Coors family was wise enough not to go into debt to continually add capacity to their Golden, CO brewery, during their fad growth period.
7. Ballantine India Pale Ale - this was the first hoppy American-brewed ale for most people of our age group.
8. Yuengling Porter - the lone, East Coast holdout of this dark ale style(I don't think Stegmaier Porter was brewed continually, but I could be wrong), by the oldest brewery in the United States. Other breweries had porters in the past or on draft, but most surviving breweries had dropped this style in bottles.
9. Samuel Adams Lager - Helped make craft brews more of a mainstream concept. Introduced people to a wide variety of beers.
10. Pabst Export Lager/Pabst Blue Ribbon - the first canned beer by a national brewer, in 1935. Pabst Brewing Co. was afraid to jeopardize their Blue Ribbon label as cans were still new, so they changed the name to Pabst Export Lager, until sales took off.
11. New Albion Ale - Among the first offerings of the first microbrewery in 1976.
12. Billy Beer - No, don't hate me for this one. The concept was not new, but naming and marketing a beer based on the President's brother was new. Blame it on the Falls City Brewing Co. of Louisville, KY and the collectors' headaches that followed on the MSM.

Any others to add?
A nice list, indeed!

Great blog, glad I stumbled in.
none. those are pretty much it.
Stegmaier porter, yuenglings superior but lesser known cousin, has been brewed continuously and continues to survive and thrive today. Buy some, you'll like it.

I have had Stegmaier Porter, but it seemed to be less widely-distributed than Yuengling Porter.

I didn't mean to besmirch Stegmaier Porter, I haven't traveled that much since the early 1980s, in fact I haven't been to Pennsylvania since 1983. I do miss Prior Double Dark. The only reason I have had Straub is because friends have brought me some.

And I know I forgot to mention Anchor Porter. Sorry about that.
Professor Bartels;

To follow-up, sometimes products from The Lion Brewing Co. make it to the Atlanta area (generally contract brews), but I have never seen the standards here.

Even now that we have Yuengling, it is probably coming from Florida and we are only getting the Traditional Lager, Light Lager, and Black & Tan. No Porter, no Chesterfield Ale.

Maybe some day I can get back to PA and get some Stegmaier Porter and Stegmaier Lager.
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