Countless new beer releases flood the United States each year, from craft IPAs to macro lagers. But small-batch to mass-produced brews alike owe a debt of gratitude to the establishments that paved the way long ago — or, in some cases, less than two decades ago.
With nearly 9,000 breweries operating in the U.S. today, we ventured to independently verify each state’s longest-operating brewery. Exploring this data reveals Prohibition’s wide-ranging and inconsistent impact on American beer.
Pennsylvania’s Yuengling, established in 1829, takes the crown for the oldest brewery in the U.S., while North Dakota’s Fargo Brewing Co., founded in 2010, is the youngest state representative on the list. A craft beer renaissance in the 1990s is evident, with 21 of the states’ oldest breweries originating in the decade.
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While regional differences abound, a common love unites the states in this historical map. An excellent resource for trivia aficionados, this is the ultimate cross-country road-trip guide for history-loving beer drinkers.
The Longest-Operating Brewery in Every State and Washington, D.C.
1. Skagway Brewing, established in 1897, is older than Alaskan Brewing Co., but Alaskan Brewing Co. is the longest continually operating brewery in the state.
2. Vino’s restaurant opened in 1990; the brewery was established three years later, in 1993.
3. Goose Island Beer Co.’s Fulton Street brewery dates to 1988, five years older than Mickey Finn’s, which claims to be the oldest brewpub in Illinois. Goose Island is now owned by Anheuser-Busch.
4. The oldest standing brewery in Indiana, Terre Haute Brewery was established in 1837. It changed owners several times, most recently closing in 2006 and reopening 2016, qualifying Broad Ripple Brewpub as the longest continually operating brewery in the state.
5. Dixie Brewery claims to be the oldest brewery in Louisiana; but was contract brewing out-of-state after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area, making Abita the longest continually operating in the state.
6. Harpoon Brewery, part of Mass Bay Brewing Co., is the oldest established brewery in Massachusetts. It holds permit #001 for a brewery here, as the Boston Beer Co., also established in 1988, was contract brewing Samuel Adams beer in Pittsburgh.
7. The Spoetzl Brewery, maker of Shiner Beer owned by Gambrinus, has been in operation in Shiner, Texas since 1909. It is technically the longest-operating brewery in the state because Lone Star Brewery, though established earlier, in 1884, was shut down and changed owners on multiple occasions.
8. North End Tavern was established 1899, and its brewery was established 1997. Both hold the title for oldest in the state.
Ed. note: This article has been updated to reflect minor discrepancies.