There is a record to beat but it will be ahwile before Mudshark Brewery and Public House in Lake Havasu City, Arizona can break it. Our doors opened in 1998, and so we are one of the oldest craft microbreweries in Arizona. But in comparison to Weihenstephan Brewery in Bavaria, Germany, we are a newcomer.
Recent conversations about the modern history of microbreweries sparked by our Buzz Honey Lager taking second place in a national competition raised an interesting question. What is the oldest craft brewery in the world?
Well, I wasn’t surprised to learn that this distinction belongs to a small brewery in Bavaria, Germany. But I was surprised by how many years it has been producing beer.
The Weihenstephan Brewery was established in 1040. That means that this brewery has been operating for an astounding 983 years. That’s almost a millennium of brewing history!
But how did it all start? Well, according to the brewery’s website, it all began when Saint Corbinian established a Benedictine monastery in Weihenstephan in 725. The monks started growing hops and barley, and around 768 they began brewing beer. The brewery was officially licensed by the city of Freising in 1040, and has been operating ever since.
The brewery has survived wars, fires, plagues, and even prohibition. It has also adapted to changing times and tastes, introducing new styles and technologies over the centuries.
Today, the brewery produces a range of beers, from classic German lagers and wheat beers to modern craft ales and IPAs. Some of their most popular beers are the Hefe Weissbier, the Original Helles, and the Vitus Weizenbock.
The brewery also offers tours and tastings for visitors who want to experience the history and tradition of this ancient craft. You can see the old brewhouse, the modern production facilities, and the historical library. You can also sample some of the finest beers in the world, and learn more about the brewing process and the ingredients.
So, if you’re ever in Germany, make sure to visit the Weihenstephan Brewery, the oldest craft brewery in the world. You’ll be amazed by the rich history and culture of this place, and you’ll enjoy some delicious beers along the way.
But where is the oldest brewery in the United States? Well, that distinction belongs to Yuengling that was established in 1829 by David G. Yuengling in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.
Yuengling is famous for its flagship beer, Yuengling Lager, a smooth and refreshing amber lager that has been brewed since 1876. But Yuengling also offers a variety of other styles, such as Porter, Black & Tan, Light Lager, Golden Pilsner, Oktoberfest, and more. The brewery has diversified in recent years and also produces seasonal beers, such as Summer Wheat, Winter Lager, and Raging Eagle Mango Beer.
Yuengling has survived many challenges over the years, such as Prohibition, the Great Depression, World War I and World War II, and changing consumer tastes. Yuengling managed to stay afloat by adapting to the times and innovating new products.
For example, during Prohibition, Yuengling produced near beer (a low-alcohol beverage) and ice cream. After Prohibition ended, Yuengling was one of the first breweries to apply for a license to resume brewing beer.
Mudshark Brewer and Public House may not be the oldest craft brewery. But awards received leave little doubt that we take our beer seriously. And so, we turn our eye to the future.