The other night I was enjoying a bottle of Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Pale Ale, and I was checking out the label (as I always do). I noticed the date on the label indicated that The Old Brewery in Tadcaster (England) was established in 1758. 1758!
Germany’s Weihenstephan brewery is widely known as one of, if not THE oldest operating brewery in the world dating back to 1040 AD!
When checking out the great beers of Europe, there are many examples beyond the two I just mentioned that demonstrate the ability of some breweries to withstand the test of time.
So, going back to my beer label pondering, I wondered what American beers or American breweries of today’s age might survive and even be looked at a couple of hundred years from now. Like the ‘classics’ the European greats are considered today.
Is it even possible? I suppose it is, and I hope that it is, but I wonder what current breweries might pull it off. Do you suppose Sam Adams (Boston Beer Co.) will be around in the year 2211, ranking out great beer. Will people look at the label as I did and think “Wow, this brewery has been making beer since the 1980’s! Two Hundred years is a LONG time to be making beer!”.
Jim Koch, (Sam Adams guy) is ALREADY a legend in the craft beer universe, but how cool is it to think he’ll be known and loved for as long in the future as his beer is still made. Quite a legacy, no?
I’d say, right now, Sam Adams would be my bet for the brewery that survives the centuries. I hope my great-great grandkids can enjoy their beer!
So what do you think? What brewery of today’s age do you think will become a classic in the future in the same sense that Samuel Smith’s and Weihenstephan are?