10 of the Oldest Breweries in America

Craft breweries aren’t something that just sprang up with millennials. In fact, there were more than 4,000 U.S. breweries in existence as early as 1873, Of course, many went belly-up in 1920 when Prohibition rolled in, and for most of the 20th century the U.S. had fewer than 300.

The industry has bounced back in a big way — you can even take a craft beer destination vacation — and today the U.S. boasts more than 5,300 breweries. Find out which of those are the country’s 10 oldest and see if you recognize any — if you drink beer, chances are you will. Plus, discover which 1 Midwestern state is home to 5 out of 10 of the breweries on the list.

1. Yuengling

Yeungling America's Oldest Brewery

The brewery is more for tourists. | karenfoleyphotography/iStock/Getty Images

Established: 1829
Location: Pottsville, Pennsylvania

According to the website Cheapism, America’s oldest brewery is Yuengling. When the brewery was founded, it made only 600 barrels a year — at that time, people were using fermentation caves, which were popular before mechanized refrigeration came into being.

Today, the brewery is more of a tourist stop than a functioning brewery — it operates below capacity, while its other sites do the heavy lifting. There, you can take a free tour of the caves, brewery, and the creamery Yuengling built when Prohibition went into effect.

Next: Old brewery, young owners

2. Minhas Craft Brewery

Minhas Craft Brewery

They show off their old brewing techniques. | Minhas Craft Brewery via Facebook

Established: 1845
Location: Monroe, Wisconsin

In 2006, young owners bought the old Minhas Brewery, which brews Boxer Lager. According to Cheapism, as of 2015, the Brewers Association named it the ninth-largest brewery by volume in America as of 2015. You can tour the brewery and museum — which shows old brewing and distilling techniques — for just $12.

Next: Here’s a name you’ll recognize.

3. Pabst Brewing

Pabst brewery

There are 24 brands in their arsenal. | Pabst Blue Ribbon via Facebook

Established: 1848
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Owned by Jacob Best, Pabst made 300 barrels of beer in its first year, and in 1882 it started putting blue ribbons on the award-winning beers, according to Cheapism. Today, Pabst boasts more than 24 brands, including Colt 45, Old Milwaukee, and, of course, Pabst Blue Ribbon. Adults can take a tour of the place for only $8.

Next: Another familiar name

4. Anheuser-Busch

Anheuser-Busch brewery headquarters

There was a huge German population in St. Louis. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Established: 1852
Location: St. Louis

St. Louis is home to the largest — and oldest — Anheuser-Busch brewery in the U.S., according to Cheapism. Founders chose St. Louis because it is close to the Mississippi River and also near caves they could use to keep the beer cold. The founders also chose it because of the massive German immigrant population in St. Louis, who were known for loving good beer. You can take a free tour on most days, but it is closed on holidays, so either check online or call ahead before you visit.

Next: An all-star German lineage

5. Frederick Miller’s Plank Road Brewery

Miller Brewery Complex

They offer free tours. | wellesenterprises/iStock/Getty Images

Established: 1855
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

According to Cheapism, this was the original Miller brewery, and it comes with German lineage that includes the Miller, Coors, and Leinenkugel families. You can take a one-hour tour for free here, and you’ll get to walk through the Miller Caves. In addition, you can watch a video that shows how modern brewing techniques work and explores Frederick Miller’s arrival in Wisconsin.

Next: Free samples — yes, please

6. Stevens Point Brewery

Stevens point brewery

You can sample their latest beers. | Point Brewery via Facebook

Established: 1857
Location: Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Stevens Point Brewery calls itself “the third-oldest continuously operating, privately-owned brewery in the United States,” according to Cheapism. When you take a tour, you’ll not only get to see where the magic happens, you’ll be able to sample the latest Point craft beers in addition to Ciderboys Hard Cider and gourmet sodas. The tour is $5 for those who are 12 and older, $3 for kids for those who are from 5 to 11, and free for kids under 5.

Next: This brewery was founded the year Lincoln was elected.

7. Schell’s

August Schell Brewing Company

They have something for everyone. | August Schell Brewing Company via Facebook

Established: 1860
Location: New Ulm, Minnesota

What was happening in 1860? Abraham Lincoln was elected president, South Carolina succeeded from the Union, the Pony Express started delivering mail, and … Schell’s Brewery was founded. Schell’s philosophy is “the world can never have enough beer,” and if you’re reading this article, you likely agree. The company has bottled more than 100 varieties of beer, so it truly has something for everyone. You can tour the premises for $5, according to Cheapism.

Next: 36 craft brews

8. Frankenmuth Brewery

Frankenmuth Brewery

It’s still in its original location. | Frankenmuth Brewery via Facebook

Established: 1862
Location: Frankenmuth, Michigan

Frankenmuth was Michigan’s first craft brewer, according to Cheapism, and it remains in the original location since it was founded during Civil War. The Gold Medal Taproom is open seven days a week, and there you can try can try 21 draft beers from a selection of 36 craft brews the company rotates. You might not want to try all 21, particularly if you’re driving.

Next: 36 craft brews

9. Leinenkugel’s

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co.

It’s been open for 150 years. | Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. via Facebook

Established: 1867
Location: Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin

Owned by the family for six generations, Jacob Leinenkugel and John Miller opened its doors 150 years ago, according to Cheapism. Leinenkugel’s offers a wide selection of brews in addition to seasonal specials and a number of shandies — beer mixed with a non-alcoholic drink, such as lemonade. You can tour the working brewery for $10, which will gain you admittance and either two 12-ounce beers and a complimentary glass or five 5-ounce samples and a complimentary glass.

Next: An American staple

10. Coors Brewing

Coors Brewery

The brewery has turned into a massive beer brand. | Coors Brewery Tour via Facebook

Established: 1873
Location: Golden, Colorado

Adolph Coors founded Coors Brewing in 1873 and to this day, all Coors Banquet beer is brewed there, according to Cheapism. It is now the largest single-site brewery on the planet, and you can take a free 30-minute tour of it and see the process from start to finish. At the end, you’ll get a cold, tap-fresh sample beer.

Read more: 16 States With the Best (and Worst) Craft Beer Scenes

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