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Beer In Ads #1330: Were There Any Brewers Among America’s Founding Fathers?

Wednesday’s ad is another one from the United States Brewers Foundation, from 1951. This a series of ads they did in 1951 using a Q&A format aimed at highlighting different positive aspects of beer and the brewing industry.

Were there any brewers among America’s founding fathers?

Yes. Samuel Adams — known as the “Father of the Revolution” — was a brewer in private life.

The ads talks about Adams “successfully” managing “the brewery that he inherited from Samuel Adams, Sr.” It seems more likely that at most he was a malster, and by all accounts not a particularly successful one. Although plenty of sources continue to claim he was a brewer, including several that claim he was a prosperous one, it seems more likely that he was not. The ad does say “in private life,” which could mean that he brewed for his household, at home, a not uncommon practice at the time.

Although there is more evidence that George Washington brewed beer, and Thomas Jefferson brewed later in life at Monticello, so the answer is still yes. Also, it seems likely that given that many households during colonial times brewed their own beer, that many other founders brewed beer, too.

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