Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Boston Beer Company Collection, 1828-1836

Finding aid created by
Erin Platte and Meg Hixon, November 2011

Summary Information
Title: Boston Beer Company collection
Creator: Bradford, Gamaliel, 1795-1839
Inclusive dates: 1828-1836
Bulk dates: 1830-1833
Extent: 102 items
Abstract:
The Boston Beer Company collection contains correspondence addressed to Gamaliel Bradford of Boston, Massachusetts, regarding the company's incoming shipments of supplies and outgoing shipments of beer.

Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1997, 2006. M-3342, M-4521.2 .

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Boston Beer Company collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The collection is arranged alphabetically by correspondent and by geography, with orders for barley, grain, and beer placed at the end.


History

The Boston Beer Company, incorporated on February 1, 1828, was founded by Gamaliel Bradford, Nathan Rice, Benjamin Thaxter, and Elijah Loring, and prospered until at least 1836. During the 1830s, the company contracted with suppliers in various locations throughout New England and exported barrels of its pale ale and porter to markets as distant as New Orleans, Louisiana. In addition to his work with the company, Bradford worked as a superintendant for the Massachusetts General Hospital.

The company is not related to the modern company operating under the same name.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The Boston Beer Company collection contains correspondence addressed to Gamaliel Bradford of Boston, Massachusetts, regarding the company's incoming shipments of supplies and outgoing shipments of beer. Suppliers of barley malt were the most frequent correspondents, and included firms from New York and New Hampshire. Other businesses from various locations, including New Orleans, Louisiana, requested shipments of the company's products, especially porter and pale ale, for use in local hotels. Samuel Kathrens, a frequent correspondent from New Orleans, provided information on the local beer industry and reported that "almost every Bottle" in a recent order for porter "was bursted and the corks driven all I got out of the three barrels was thirteen Bottles of Porter" (November 27, 1830). Several letters are composed on partially printed shipping receipts, and other financial accounts are interspersed throughout the collection. The material documents the early history of the company and of the beer industry in the early 19th-century United States.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Beer and brewing.
    • Boston Beer Company, fl. 1828-1836.
    • Boston (Mass.)
    • Brewing industry.
    Contributors:
    • Bigelow, T. B.
    • Browne, B. J.
    • Dunlop, Robert.
    • Hunt, E.
    • Kathrens, Samuel.
    • Nudd, J.
    • Palmer, Thomas J.
    • Rutherford, John.
    • Salem Lead Co.
    Genre Terms:
    • Financial records.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Box   1  
    [series]:
    Folder   1-20  
     1829-1837
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    The Eliphalet Davis records contain receipts from the Boston Beer Company.

    Bibliography

    Massachusetts. General Court. Private and Special Statutes of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, from May 1822, to March 1830: Revised and Published by Authority of the Legislature, in Conformity to a Resolve, Passed April 16, 1836. Boston: Dutton and Wentworth, 1837.