As we look forward to 4th of July weekend, we thought we’d celebrate America’s independence by reminding everyone that we’re still just a little whippersnapper. There are several alcohol brands still in existence today that are much older than the United States. The biddies dive into it.


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Work and Money, 14 Alcohol Brands Founded Before the United States

Weihenstepher, Our Brewery – Weihenstephaner

Munich Beer Garden, Munich Beer Gardens | Bräustüberl Weihenstephan

Affligem, Affligembeer | Our Beers

Beer Tourism, Brouwerij Affligem –

Shamrock Gift, Bushmills: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know – Shamrock Gift

Irish Spirit, Bushmills Distillery: A History – IrishSpirit

Buffalo Trace, Unmatched History (

Distillery Trail, The Complete Buffalo Trace Distillery Timeline – 1773 to Today – Distillery Trail

Ruinart, Maison – History of La Maison | Ruinart

LVMH, Ruinart, fine champagne, savoir-faire – Wines & Spirits – LVMH

Study Notes for Alcohol Brands Older Than the US:

*Please note that some of these notes may be directly copied and pasted from sources above


  • The world’s oldest still existing brewery that started as the monastery brewery of the Benedictine monks
  • The monastery was founded in 725 and in 1040 the Klosterbrauerei Weinhenstephan was opened
  • Was destroyed by the Swedes, the French, the Austrians
  • The monastery burnt down 4 times 
  • A heavy earthquake in 1348 damaged it
  • Survived through three plague epidemics (I guess today 4?)
  • 1803 – Then became the Royal Bavarian State Brewery and is still operating as a state directed enterprise under the control of the Bavarian government
  • Located in Freisling which about 20 minutes from the Munich airport
  • 1852 – Bavarian Brewery School moved here
  • Beers include Helles, Wheat Beer, Dark Wheat, Kristallweissbier, Pilsner, Kellerbier


  • From Belgium and founded in 1074
  • Six “converted” knights who used to serve the Count of Leuven founded the abby
  • Troops of Count Flanders damaged the abbey in the 14th century and it was totally destroyed by the soldiers of William of Orange in 1580
  • French Revolutionary forces from 1794 ended the religious community temporarily until the monks returned in 1870
  • Abbey lives by the rules of St Benedict “Black Monks” who value hospitality
  • The monks no longer are involved in the brewing but they guard the recipe and brand
  • Beers include Blonde, Dubbel, Tripel 


  • The oldest licensed distillery in Ireland dating back to 1608 when King James I granted a license to Sir Thomas Phillips to distill whiskey 
  • Claims to be the world’s oldest licensed whisky distillery
  • Whiskey had been distilled in this area since the 13th century
  • Bushmills became Bushmills in 1784 and the building was reconstructed in 1885 after being destroyed by a fire
  • The only time it was closed was for 6 years during WW2 when it was used to house troops
  • In the 1800s, the Crown began demanding a much larger tax on barley as a way to target whiskey
    • Many distilleries were forced to change the raw ingredient of their spirit, such as using more corn, but Bushmills managed to keep using malted barley only
  • Today it’s owned by Jose Cuervo


  • Name after the Buffalo Trace Crossings along the Kentucky River near Lees-town
  • Today its known as Frankfort and it’s the capital of Kentucky
  • Today Buffalo Trace makes E.H. Taylor Jr, George T. Stagg, Albert Be Blanton, Elmer T. Lee, Pappy Van Winkle, and W.L. Weller bourbon and rye whiskeys
  • First commercial distillery dates back to 1858
  • Has survived lightning strikes, fires, World Wars, tornadoes, Prohibition, and a major decline in brown spirits
  • Oldest continuously operating distillery in the US
  • 1771 – Daniel Boone passes through Lees-town on the Buffalo Trace
  • 1773 – Mcafee Brothers and Hancock Taylor survey the Frankfurt area??


  • First established Champagne House in France in 1729
  • Dom Theirry Ruinart was a Bendectine Monk who lived from 1657-1709
  • Born in the Champagne region but left to go to the Abbey of Saint Germain des Pres in Paris where was exposed to “wine with bubbles” which was not yet known as champagne
  • His nephew, Nicolas, opened the champagne house after learning about champagne from his uncle
  • Blanc de Blanc is the what they are best known for
  • Known for their chalk mines which are like “underground cathedrals of chalk” and were first exploited during the Gallo-Roman period
    • Classified as a historical monument in 1931 and UNESCO world heritage site
    • Dug by hand with the deepest measuring 38 meters in height and the tunnels criss-cross over a length of more than 8 km
  • Owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Henessy