by Mark A. Cotch
On Saturday October 4, fellow MUGGZ member John Thibodeau and I joined eight other history seeking people on a walking tour of Albany's past and present breweries. This tour was jointly sponsored by The Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway (P. Thomas Carroll, Executive Director) and The Historic Albany Foundation (William Roach).
After a brief introduction of all attending and an explanation of the basic process of the brewing of beer, we were off to the first stop of our tour. Our first location was the site of the former D. Coleman & Bros. Brewery and Malting Company at 132-154 Chestnut Street, just off Lark Street. It was explained that most breweries at this time were also malting companies. This involved bringing in raw barley grown on huge farms located just outside the surrounding cities and processing the malt to make it ready for the brewing of ale and lager beer. So much malt was grown on these riverfront farms (owned by the breweries), that what could not be used by the brewery was sold to other breweries in Albany or shipped to other cities.
The second stop of our tour, the Amsdell Brothers Brewing and Malting Company was located a few blocks away on Dove Street between Jay and Lancaster Street. This brewery was considered one of Albany's largest at that time. It is a five... read more