Newark and Area Breweries

by Bill Newman

I don't know how my wife and I got to discussing beer, unless it was the result of passing the beer displays in the local supermarket. It seems that most markets display more pet food than baby food and that more beer is displayed than either pet or baby food.

Both of us spent our early years in Newark in the 30s and 40s. We made a list of five (5) breweries that we knew existed at one time in Newark. I checked "Newark, NJ Breweries" on two search engines and found that we had only named a few of the breweries.

Because my wife had worked for Westinghouse on Haynes Ave. and Rt. 25 (I think this is now called Rt.1) she knew that Anheuser Busch (Bud) had opened there in 1951, as only the second Anheuser Busch brewery in the country.

The web site I visited stated that 10,000,000 barrels of beer were once produced there in a year. Wouldn't a production figure today be measured in cans or bottles?

The G. Krueger Brewing Co. operated in Newark from 1934 to 1961. Krueger goes back to 1853 when it was known as Braun & Laible. I remember the Krueger slogan, proving that they had a great slogan or that I have a great memory here goes "Some pronounce it Kreeger, some pronounce it Kruger, experts pronounce it best".

The Ballantine Brewery operated in Newark from 1930 to 1972. When Mel Allen broadcast the N.Y. Yankee games, he referred to a home run as "A Ballantine Blast".

The Joseph Hensler Brewing Co. had a long run in Newark from 1855 to 1958.

Does anyone remember Feigenspan PON? What did PON stand for? All together now, Pride Of Newark.

Here are a few of the lesser known breweries that produced in Newark Oldburger Beer, United Brewing Co. of Newark, The Eagle Brewing Co., Lyon & Sons Brewing Co. and the Union Brewing Co, of Newark.

Now if Newark did not have enough breweries to keep Newark's thirsts quenched, there was Bohemia Beer 1910-1920 in Elizabeth, Hygeia Brewing Co. 1910-1920 in Passaic, Lembeck & Betz 1910-1920 in Jersey City, and Peter Hauck's Harrison Brewery in Harrison. There is one more that there isn't much written about but I doubt if the survived WWll with the name Rising Sun, listed as an Elizabeth brewery.

New Jersey was truly a beer drinkers paradise. In its' heyday "Brewer's Union, Local #2 of Trenton and North Jersey" represented workers from 20 breweries that included Breidt, Peter Doelger, Hoffman, Pabst, Rheingold and Trommer among others. By 1950 most of these breweries were closed and the number of members in local #2 had dropped to 23 members.

Some of the breweries had novelties that were given out by their salesmen or through the taverns. These "freebies" took the form of bottle/can openers, coasters, key chains, combs, shoe horns, ash trays even paper bags. Some of these items are now available via sites on the web where you can buy outright or submit a bid. When you see the selling prices, you'll all join with me in saying, "Boy I wish I had saved all that junk".


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