Founded: 1890, Rhode Island
As the largest brewery in New England, ‘Gansett won hearts & minds by sponsoring the Red Sox, a popular baseball team in U.S.A for decades. It was a Boston sportscaster who made the beer’s slogan on-air — “Hi neighbor! Have a ‘Gansett!” a classic one.
After changing hands twice (once to St. Louis’ Falstaff, then to private investors), the label mounted a comeback in the Aughts with a focused offering that’s contract-brewed by Genesee in upstate New York. They even do special editions.
Founded: 1907, New Orleans
Until Hurricane Katrina came in 2005, Dixie’s Tulane Avenue facility held the title of oldest brewery. Sadly, the storm knocked out the water supply and operations had to be shut down.
The brand was forced to contract-brew elsewhere following the disaster, but it’s still very much available in the Southeast, and there are rumors that Dixie is plotting a glorious return to its old, still-standing brewery.
Founded: 1849, Milwaukee
After the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, Joseph Schlitz sent hundreds of kegs to the city. At the turn of last century, the brand was the country’s largest; in 1970, it was the world’s largest. Innovations like its light-blocking brown bottle, pop-top cans, and “tallboys” established precedents that beer makers follow to this day.
Now owned by PBR , the once-proud brew is still sold in parts of the Midwest. Its bullish malt liquor, however, is distributed more widely.
- LONE STAR
Founded: 1884, San Antonio
It is known as “National Beer of Texas”, which is itself an achievement . Lone Star also lays claim to the state’s first mechanized brewery, plus bragging rights as one of the brands to which Adolphus Busch lent his magic touch. Purchased by Pabst , Lone Star is still contract-brewed in Texas today.