Today is the birthday of James Moffat (September 25, 1808-April 4, 1863). He was the son of John Moffat, and helped his father in founding one of the earliest breweries in Buffalo, New York in 1833. It was later called the James Moffat Brewery, and after that the Moffat & Service Brewery. His son, who took over after James died, renamed it the Henry C. Moffat Brewery in 1890, which was closed by Prohibition in 1920. It briefly reopened after repeal, in 1934, as Moffat’s Ale Brewery, but closed for good the same year.
This account of his brewery is from “100 Years of Brewing,” published over 40 years after he died:
According to John & Dave’s Buffalo Brewing History, John Moffat, along with his son James, acquired what was Buffalo’s second brewery and named it the Moffat Brewery.
Kane, Peacock and Relay brewery was short lived however and a 1909 article in the Buffalo Evening Times indicates John Moffat and his son James purchased the brewing operation around 1833. Also, the 1836 Buffalo City Directory lists Moffat as a brewer at that location. The 1839 Directory lists James Moffat & Co. as a “Brewery, Soap and Candle Factory”. The Moffat Brewery continued in operation until son James died and it was sold to Arthur Fox and became the Fox and Williams Brewery. In 1876 it was sold back to the Moffat family and continued in operation at the same location until the advent of Prohibition forced their closure in 1920. After Prohibition the Phoenix Brewery continued brewing “Moffats Pale Ale” through an agreement with the Moffat family.
And “History of the City of Buffalo and Erie County, Volume 2,” published in 1884, has this to say about Buffalo’s earliest brewers, including Moffat: