German beer history in America is an interesting topic. German beer history has also gained our interests as it is increasing in popularity. Whether it is blond or dark lager, it is a refreshing addition to American beer.
The history of beer in America dates back to 1587. At this time, corn was used by the settlers to make the ale. By 1612, the first brewery was opened by Adrian Block and Hans Christiansen in what is now Manhattan. Around 1620, Pilgrims who landed in Plymouth began brewing beer with the traditional ingredient of malted barley (this would later be the basis for modern malt liquor.)
Around the year of 1840, millions of Germans immigrated to the New World. In Milwaukee, more than a thousand Germans arrived per week in the year of 1844. With the Germans' arrival, many influences arrived with them including brewing styles. Many of these Germans went to work in the breweries and also became loyal customers. Milwaukee became the first location for German lager brewing. It was an ideal location because of the pure water and abundance of ice used in refrigeration. The logging industry in this area made it easy, as well, to attain barrels to store and ship the beer in. Within the next 10 years, breweries opened all over the city and by 1857, 30,000 barrels of beer were shipped out.
Because of the massive increase, other cities in Wisconsin founded breweries in their own hometowns. In the year of 1860, there were 188 breweries in Wisconsin. German beer had become so popular that even Thomas Jefferson and George Washington had their own recipes for home brews.
German beer in America changed the style and technique of beer making for today. Influences of German beer are foundations of the modern day brewing method. Sit back and have a drink and enjoy our rich German-American culture.