AIn the 19th and early 20th century most towns of any size in the Mohawk Valley had their own local brewery. The Utica-Rome area has been home to well over 40 breweries since 1801. Two factors played a major role in the industry. The opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 significantly lowered transportation costs for brewing supplies and finished beer. Also, hop growing became a huge industry in Central New York during the second half of the 19th century.
These two factors resulted in booming commerce with New York and Pennsylvania generating 85% of the beer produced in the US in 1860. The great “social experiment” of Prohibition made the manufacture and sale of alcohol illegal and from 1920 through 1933 and the thriving industry was crippled, with only a handful of breweries surviving. [Read more…] about Mohawk Valley Brewing History, Tasting, and Book Signing