A Good Beer Blog

Albany Ale Timeline

1633 - in The settlement and early history of Albany it is stated at page 46: "In 1633, an English ship, The William, visited Fort Orange to trade with the Indians, and landed its cargo about a mile below the fort. Director Yan Twiller sent up three vessels from Fort Amsterdam ; and, with the assistance of the soldiers from the fort, they succeeded in taking it, and after convoying it down the Hudson, they ordered the Englishman to leave the country. Eight small houses, and a large one "with balustrades," were erected this year at Fort Orange. A brewery was also built about this time."

1644 - Director Kieft of New Netherland Company orders excise tax on beer to be paid as follows "on each barrel of beer tapped, an excise duty of two guilders should be paid, one-half by the brewer, and one-half by the publican."

1650s to 1700(?) - Leendert Phillipse Conyn operates brewery.

1670s - in The settlement and early history of Albany it is stated at page 88: "...the principal streets were Yonker or Gentlemen's street, and Handelear street. The former afterwards assumed the name of King, and the latter of Court street. They are at present known as State street and Broadway. The part of Broadway lately known as North Market street was called subsequent to this period, Brewer's street ; the parsonage of the old Dutch church was situated on this street on the site of the present Bleecker Hall."

1670s to 1708 - Harmen Harmanse marries, Maria Conyn, daughter of Leendert Phillipse Conyn and operates a riverside brewery. Was brought to court for not paying the "tapping excise."

1700 - In Men and Things in Albawj Two Centuries Ago by Joel Munsell, 1876, it is reported at page 23 that "On the 15th of February, 1700, Ryseck, widow of Gerrit Swart, the last survivor of the church poor at that date, died and was buried on the 17th, the expenses of which are copied from the deacon's book. It is entered in Dutch, but I think you will be content with English: Three dry boards for the coffin, 7 guilders 10 stuivers; 1 lb. nails, 1g. 10s.; making the coffin, 24g.; cartage, 10s.; a half vat and an anker of good beer 27g.; one gallon of rum, 21g.; 6 gall. Madeira for women and men, 84g.; sugar and spices, 5g.; 150 sugar cakes, 15g.; tobacco and pipes, 4g. 10s.; digging the grave, 30g.; use of the pall, 12g.; inviting to the funeral, 12^..." Footnote states: "An anker was 10 gallons, and a half vat about 11 gallons. Good beer was strong beer, ale. A guilder was nearly 40 cts and a stuyver was nearly 2 cts.

1700 - Assembly of the Province or Colony of New York enacts a law creating import duties on beer and malt as a measure to support local suppliers.

1710 to 1762 - Leendert Gansevoort, son of Harmen Harmanse and Maria Conyn on the east side of Market Street.

1730s to 1780s - Harman Gansevoort (1712-1801). Operates brewery at corner of Maiden Lane and Dean Street. Son of brewer Leendert Gansevoort and Catharina De Wandelaer Gansevoort. "The family properties that ran from Market Street to the river." His brewery was demolished in 1807.

1755 - Sir WIlliam Johnson notes receiving "two barrels beer of Hend'k Fry" who would likely be Hendrick Frey, Jr. (1713-1763) who became a Loyalist Tory despite being married to the daughter of General Herkimer and having Major John Frey as his brother both leading revolutionaries. Strictly speaking, the beer and the men are still from Albany County as Tryon County divides from Albany only in 1772.

1780s to 1801 - Peter Gansevoort (July 17, 1749 – July 2, 1812), Revolutionary leader and son of Harman Gansevoort, operates family brewery.

1789 - US Congress imposes excise duties on imports including beer, ale, porter and malt.

1800s to 1820s (?) - reference to Albany Ale at a Society of Friends or ecumenical picnic as recollected later in life by a participant to the New York Observer and reprinted in a Gettysburg Pa paper on 4 November 1850.

1806-07 - Numerous ads in Hartford Courant of Connecticut.

1807 - John McLeod, Tavernkeeper of Alexandria, Virginia is identified as having "Albany ale, porter, beer and ale" for sale at his outlet on the 200 block of King Stree. That would have been east and south of the current City Hall.

1813 - First city directory names only two brewers: Mr Ames of 175 Court Street and Hathorn M'Culloch of Ferry Street.

1816 - McLeish & Birrell, brewers, 38 North Pearl street; Henry G. Webb, maltsers, Schenectady Turnpike. BHA

1817 - Jacob Cole, B., 168 Washington street; Joseph Ketcham, B., 206 North Market street; Hathorn McCulloch, B. (partner of Robert Boyd), Ferry street; William Wake, B., Schenectady Turnpike; Abraham Slawson, M., 214 North Market street; Daniel Hale, Jr., D,, 82 North Market street; David Lent, D., 93 Washington street; Charles P. Poinier, cordial, 254 Washington street. BHA

1820 - According to A statistical report of the county of Albany, for the year 1820 at page 10, published in 1824, there were a total of four breweries in the city of Albany with the following production:
Boyd and McCullock - 3,000 bbls.
Robert Dunlop - 3,000 bbls.
Fidler and Co. - 1,500 bbls.
Henry Birrel - 1,000 bbls.

1825 - Boyd & McCulloch, B. (1819 to 1825); Henry Birrell, B., North Market; Fiddler & Taylor, B., 51 Hamilton street; John Gardner, B.; Stephen Humphries, B., 236 North Market street; Peter Snyder, B., Schuyler street; Charles Fields, M.; Christopher Robertson, M., 85 Orange street; James Oliver, cordial distiller and rum coloring, South Market street. BHA

1825 - modern reference to it being sold in in Connecticut.

1830.—William Amsdell, B. (father of Amsdell Brothers), 14 Rose street; Patrick Connelly, B., 52 Church street; Robert Dunlap, B., 208 North Market street; John Gardner, B., Montgomery street; Reuben Pearl, B., Franklin street; Sinclair & Walsh, B., South Market and Hudson streets; John Taylor, B.; John & George Birdsall, M.; James Cahall, M., South Lansing street; T. Mounsey, M., Washington and Western Turnpike; Adam Dows, D., Water street; J. Root, rectifier, 36 Dean street. BHA

1830 - 20 barrels of Albany Ale for sale in New Orleans, La. by Russell and Barstow, 69 Royal Street as reported in the Courrier de la Louisiane on 19 Jan 1830. Here is a map showing the spot.

1839 - contemporary reference to Barker & Pruyn's Albany Ale in New York, NY.

1840 - Baker & Pruyn, B., 9 Dean street; Howard & Ryckman, B., 210 South Market street; Andrew Kirk, B., 17 North Market street; John Taylor, B., 81 Green streeet; Simpson Bayo, M., 417 State street; William Birley, M., 45 Van Woert; James Breeman, M., 66 Franklin street; James Buchanan, M., 41 Colonie street; George W. Knowlton & Co., rectifiers of whiskey, 198 South Market street; Michael O'Sullivan, cordials, North Market and Columbia streets. BHA

1844 - Boyd's Albany ale in a Brooklyn newspaper in 1844.

1845 - In an article in the The United States Democratic Review from December entitled "Chalk-Marks" by Lincoln Ramble, reflections on the New York corner grocery of decades earlier includes reference to Albany Ale: "...I maintain that your grocer, engaged all his time in dispensing so many of the luxuries and comforts of life, acquires a good feeling towards his fellows which fits him for public life. Besides his place is a favorite retreat for the hard working business men, who in the evening assemble to discuss the occurrences of the day, and canvass freely the merits of men as well as measures. It was somewhat better arranged a few years ago, when New York was not quite so large. There was then a back room in which very staid and worthy citizens met to take a draught of Taylors Albany ale, and play backgammnon, and quietly settle who should be Alderman, and who President?"

1846 - Albany ale for sale in Texas at Port Lavaca just one year after joining the United States.

1846 - 200 barrels of Albany Ale for sale in New Orleans, La., by A.D. Grieff and Co. of 40 and 42 Old Levee. 1847 - for sale by the hogshead by Clift, Wood and Co. in St. John's Newfoundland as described in the Public Ledger of 12 October.

1850 - For sale in California.

1851 - For sale in Boston.

1852.—Boyd & Bro., B. and M., Franklin, corner Arch; Eggleston & Mix, B., 9 and n Dean street; Appleton & Welsh, 309 Washington street; A. A. Dunlop, B. and M., 28 Quay; Andrew Kirk, B. and M., 904 Broadway; R. Kirkpatrick, M., 415 State street; William A. McCulloch, M.; John McKnight, B. and M., Hawk and Canal streets; Hiram Perry, M., 388 Washington street; John G. White, B. and M., Quay, corner Bleecker; John Taylof & Sons, M., Broadway, corner Arch; H. Classen, D., 840 Broadway; Cyrus Edson, D., n Hudson street; H. Knowlton, D., 197 Broadway; George Tweddle, M., State, corner Lark street; Uri Burt, B., Montgomery and Colonie streets; James Chester, small beer, South Pearl street; Sands & Pennie, B., 5 Steuben street; C.W. Schindler, lager beer, 43 Division street; Amsdell Brothers, B., Jay street. BHA

1853 - 50 Barrels for sale by P and L Tessier in St. John's Newfoundland as described in the Public Ledger of 3 May.

1854 - Gazetteer entitled The Progress of the United States of America: from the Earliest Periods published by Richard Swainson Fisher including description of City of Albany which states: "The business of malting and brewing is carried on to a great extent In Albany; more than twenty of such establishments are now in operation, and Albany ale is found in every city of the Union, and not unfrequently in the cities of South America and the West Indies. The annual product is upward of 100,000 barrels of beer and ale."

1854 - Fire at 117 Warren Street in New York City reported in the New York Times of Dec 9, 1854. Ecclestone is the brewer and Mr. T. Traphagan is the NY agent. Here is a map of the current location of Warren Street in NY. Forgotten NY has a good post on a Warren Street lamppost.

1857.—Cyrus Edson & Co., D.; A. A, Dunlop, D. (son of Robert Dunlop), 63 Quay street; J. Evers, D., Chapel street; J. Tracey, D.; J.Williamson & Sons, rectifiers; Amsdell Brothers, B., Jay street. BHA

1857 - For sale in Kingston, NY .

1857 - For sale in Newfoundland.

1859 - For sale in Paterson, NJ.

1863 - Hannah Thurston: A Story of an American Life published with reference to Albany Ale at the beginning of Chapter 25.

1865 - John H. Trowbridge, rectifier, 12 State street; Coolidge, Pratt & Co., B., Arch, corner Franklin street; John McKnight's Son, B., Hawk, corner Canal street; James P. Quinn, B., 24 North Ferry street; Henry Weber, B., 65 Bowery, weiss beer; D. S. Wood & Co., B., Swan, corner West Ferry street; George W. Hoxsie, brewed Hoxsie bottled. BHA

1865 - An Australian paper described the NY booze scene to include Albany ale and other beers.

1866 - Ale in Prose and Verse by Barry Gray, John Savage published including "An Account of the Rise and Progress of the Brewery of John Taylor."

1870.—Michael Aud, B., 130 Chestnut street; F. D. Coleman & Bro., B., 146 Chestnut street; Frederick Hinckel, B., Swan street, corner Park avenue; Quinn & Nolan, B., North Ferry street.

1870 - reference to Beck's analysis including the +10% stuff being two years old.

1875 - George Weber, weiss beer, 44 Third avenue; J. Tracey & Son, D.; Smyth & Walker, B., 904 Broadway; John G. Schneider, B., 133 Fourth avenue; McNamara & McLoughlin, B., 31 Central avenue; Marshall & Rapp, B., 65 Central avenue; Alexander Gregory, B., 70 Central avenue; J. F. Hedrick, B., 422 Central avenue; John Dobler, B., Swan and Myrtle avenues; Fred. Dietz, B. Granger's Brewery, Fourth avenue, corner of Church street, is under the sole proprietorship of George F. Granger, formerly with the Albany Brewing Company, He manufactures Cream, Pale, India, Stock, and California Ales. He also brews a brand called the Burton Ales. John S. Dobler conducts an ale-brewing establishment at the coiner of Swan street and Myrtle avenue. For a number of years Jacob Kirchner conducted an ale brewery in Albany. He died a few years ago, since which the business has been conducted by his heirs. Cook & Meutsch, 129 Fourth avenue, and Geo. Weber, 42, 44, and 46 Third avenue, brews weiss beer. BHA

1886 - The malthouse at the Albany Brewing Company burns on January 28. Taylor's brewery burns down on the night of 21-22 June.

1890 - In a New York Times story, Charles Haswell, 96 year old City engineer reflects on life as a young man in New York just around the time the War of 1812 ended, including drinking Albany Ale: "There were few saloons. We used to buy our drinks at grocery stores... Albany ale was the beverage then that lager beer is today, and a mighty good drink it was..."