Brooklyn one of the most productive brewing centers of the country in the 19th century. Forty-eight breweries churned out an incredible ten percent of America’s beer, mostly brewed with hops and grains from New York State.
The city lived a happy, beer-soaked life until the 20th century was ushered in with a devastating one-two punch that rocked brewers from Brooklyn to the national level. First, a devastating hop blight in New York State made the costs of producing beer skyrocket. With the industry still reeling, Prohibition scored a crushing hit when most forms of alcohol were banned in 1919.
A bare handful of Brooklyn breweries survived the dark years of the “Great Experiment” by marketing malt beverages and medicinal tonics, emerging in the light of repeal a mere shadow of the robust brewing scene that had characterized Brooklyn for so long.