It’s a little known fact that Syracuse was once prominent in the beer brewing industry of the 19th and early 20th centuries, home to some of the largest breweries in Central New York and surrounded by hops-producing farms that dominated the domestic market for decades. (1) This story map traces the rise, success, and ultimate demise of the ten most popular breweries that shaped the region’s beer brewing industry through four eras of historic beer production: 1) Pre-1850s, 2) 1850s-1890s 3)1890s-Prohibition (1919), and 4) Prohibition (1919-1933).
With an interest in the vestiges of what once was, we connect the landscape of modern Syracuse to its industrial past through the use of archival research and digital composite photography. This process has given us a window into how the legacy of the beer industry in Syracuse paralleled broader political, economic, and cultural trends in the United States. We hope this journey into Syracuse’s past leaves you with a newfound appreciation of the region’s rich and fervent culture. Enjoy!