Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cancel for September 16: Becker Brewing and Malting Company

From the Becker Brewing and Malting Company records of the Utah State University Libraries:

The Becker Brewing and Malting Company (BBMC) was founded in 1890 in Ogden, Utah, by the Becker family and was located on the southwest corner of 19th Street and Lincoln Avenue. Gustave L. Becker was president and treasurer, and his father, John S. Becker was secretary. Albert E. Becker, Gustave’s younger brother, became vice president in 1893.

The company manufactured and sold various kinds of beer, over time expanding its manufactures to include near beer, soft drinks, including “Zest,” ice, and related products. The company sold to a regional market, including the states of Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, and California. A few sales were made as far away as Illinois and Pennsylvania. In 1906, BBMC became agents for the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association.

By the mid-1910s BBMC’s operations began to be challenged by local and state laws restricting the sale of alcohol. As Utah began passing Prohibition laws forbidding the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages, the Becker family examined alternatives. In 1917, BBMC began the production of “Becco,” a very low alcohol (0.3% by volume) near bear. That same year BBMC split its operations. The Ogden operation was renamed the Becker Products Company, and the Becker Brewing Company, which took over beer production, was established in nearby Evanston, Wyoming, which was still a “wet” state. When national Prohibition laws took effect in 1920, however, the Becker companies ceased all beer production. These two businesses operated independently for some years, and apparently remained separate entities even after national Prohibition ended in 1933. By 1968, both Becker companies had ceased operations.

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