Hedrick Brewing company was one of the top breweries in Albany during the 1800’s the mid 1900’s (after prohibition). It was one of the only three breweries creative enough to survive through prohibition, although still couldn’t survive through modern times.
Hedrick brewing company was the first large lager beir brewery in Albany and possibly the United States. When it opened it only produced around one thousand barrels per year and then eventually worked its way up to around eight thousand a year before prohibition hit.
The way that Hedrick stayed alive through prohibition is still up in the air. Some say that the reason was because the owner, Daniel Peter O’Connell, was the reason it stayed open. O’Connell was the chairmen of the Albany County Democratic Committee, and it has been suggested that in order for a tavern to gain a license to sell, it needed to be selling Hedrick’s beer. Another way it is said the brewery stayed afloat was due to its ability to make ice cream. The reason it was able to do this was because Hedrick’s had refrigeration tanks in order to produce lagers. Many of the smaller breweries facilities weren’t large enough to do this and therefore didn’t have this advantage during prohibition, leading to the smaller breweries closing and never reopening.
"The History of Beer: Albany, New York, Once the Largest Brewing Hub in America." - Hudson Valley Magazine. Accessed March 29, 2016. http://www.hvmag.com/Hudson-Valley-Magazine/August-2013/The-History-of-Beer-Albany-New-York-Once-the-Largest-Brewing-Hub-in-America/.