Breweries are so intertwined in American history that it’s often difficult to separate the two; the United States contains one of the oldest breweries in the world. In fact, it’s said that the Founding Fathers often sipped on American-made porters during the first and second Continental Congress. Flash forward to modern times, and craft beer — and later, hard seltzers — have exploded in popularity in the U.S., revitalizing a longstanding tradition for a new audience.
Beer has a long history in the United States, with some brands dating back to as early as 1829 still thriving today. This throwback Thursday, taste a few of the most storied beers still in existence according to data from 24/7 Tempo, no time machine required. Here are the 15 oldest American beers still available for purchase today.
#15 – Straub, Straub Brewing, 1872
The family-owned Straub Brewery boasts a longstanding tradition of independent brewers. Straub beer — which dates back to the late nineteenth century — may be found across retailers in Pennsylvania.
#14 – Coors Banquet, Molson Coors Brewing Company, 1873
This American lager was born in the gold rush town of Golden in central Colorado. Immigrant Adolph Coors founded the Golden Brewing Company within a decade of moving to the United States. Coors Banquet — featuring the brand’s signature gold cans and short glass bottles — has been available in all 50 states since 1991.
#13 – Leinenkugel’s Original, Molson Coors Brewing Company, 1867
John Leinenkugel knew what he was doing when he created this classic American Pilsner. The 150-year-old, award-winning beer is still going strong in retailers across the country, and the brand has since expanded its offerings to include several beloved summer shandies, IPAs, and more.
#12 – Hamm’s, Miller Coors Company, 1865
Hamm’s history begins with Theordore Hamm, who immigrated from Germany to Minnesota in the mid-1800s. Known for its “The Beer… Refreshing!” marketing campaigns, Hamm’s is still beloved to beer drinkers today in select states.
#11 – Schell’s, August Schell Brewing Company, 1860
August Schell, a German immigrant, often took risks to create the best possible beer. In the early years of his venture, he explored refrigeration, new technology and innovative methodology.
#10 – Point Special Lager, Stevens Point Brewery, 1857
Known for its balance and strong hop aroma, this American Pilsner hails from Wisconsin and remains one of Stevens Point Brewery’s most iconic beers.
#9 – Weinhard’s Private Reserve, MillerCoors, 1856
The roots of this MillerCoors-owned brand lie with German-American brewer Henry Weinhard, who launched Oregon’s first craft beer in Portland. Recently, the company re-launched its original brew for consumers in the Pacific Northwest.
#8 – McSorley’s, Pabst Brewing Company, 1854
Located in NYC’s East Village, McSorley’s Old Ale House has been a Manhattan landmark since its beginnings. At its 7th Street location and select retailers in the eastern United States, visitors can sample McSorley’s ale, a rich, golden-hued favorite among beer drinkers.
#7 – Stroh’s, Pabst Brewing Company, 1850
At 28, founder Bernhard Stroh started selling his Pilsner door-to-door in Detroit. Today, the Stroh’s family recipe is still going strong.
#6 – Schlitz, Pabst Brewing Company, 1849
Schlitz was the creation of Milwaukee-based brewer Joseph Schlitz. While it’s still available today, this brand fell from grace in the 1970s due to a rather unfortunate advertising campaign. Today, the beer is mostly drunk by nostalgic Midwesterners.
#5 – Old Milwaukee, Pabst Brewing Company, 1849
Wisconsin seems to have been a popular place to brew beer in the 1800s. This brand, also acquired by Pabst Brewing Company in 2000, has stood the test of time and has won 19 awards at the Great American Beer Festival.
#4 – Blatz Beer, Pabst Brewing Company, 1846
With roots also in Wisconsin, this American lager was brewed with creator Val Blatz’s German heritage in mind. It’s available in a few select markets.
#3 – Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer, Pabst Brewing Company, 1844
There are a few beers as synonymous with American barbecues as the classic PBR. Fun fact: Back in the day, this brand featured an actual blue ribbon in its packaging.
#2 – Schaefer, Pabst Brewing Company, 1842
Nicknamed “New York’s Original Lager,” this beer came to the Big Apple in 1842 and was re-established in Utica, N.Y. in 2020, after nearly forty years of being brewed exclusively in Pennsylvania.
# 1 – Yuengling Lord Chesterfield Ale & Porter, Yuengling Brewing, 1829
The oldest American beer looks pretty dang good for its age. The bitter pale ale undergoes a two-step European brewing process for its uniquely herbal taste and rich mouthfeel.