George F. Stein Brewery , Buffalo, NY
Albert Albrecht (815 Broadway) 1852-1880
Julius Binz 1880-1887
Broadway Brewing and Malting Co. 1887-1920
Broadway Brewing Co. 1933-1934
George F. Stein Brewery Inc. 1935-1958
In 1852 Albert Albrecht constructed his brewery at 815 Batavia Street (now called Broadway) near Shumway Street. The Buffalo City Directory listed his residence as the same address as the brewery itself for several years.1 In 1880, Julius Binz assumed ownership and management of the brewery. Three years later Binz lost his malthouse to fire and wasted no time in rebuilding; by 1884 he had added a new and larger malting division. It was in malting that Binz was-well known, a contemporary of his noting that "he enjoys an enviable reputation as a maltster and is conceded to be one of the best authorities on raw material."2
In 1886 Binz had the entire structure of the brewery rebuilt and added new machinery. With $300,000 Binz started a stock company called The Broadway Brewing and Malting Co. in 1887. The next year the business sold 13,250 barrels of beer. In 1890, natural gas was discovered on the property and it was used for heating and illumination at the facility for several years. Binz did some more modernizations on his plant, adding a two-story office building to his business in 1907. By 1908, The Broadway Malting division had a capacity of two to three hundred thousand bushels. The brewery had its own barns and boasted 20 teams of horses at the turn of the century.3
During the mid-1920's a portion of the brewery was removed to make way for the moving of Smith Street to its current position. The land that was taken from the brewery was donated to the city for its improvement by then-mayor Frank X. Schwab and William W. Weigel (former head of the Iroquois Beverage Co.), who both had an interest in the brewery.
In 1928 George F. Stein acquired the property and started The Broadway Blending Co. which used the brewery facility to make liquid malt and concentrated malt for sale to bakeries. Stein may have also been a bootlegger, as a federal raid on Stein's Hotel in Orchard Park just prior to New Years Day 1930 demonstrates. The raid netted an undisclosed quantity of liquor and implicated Stein as a bootlegger.4
In July of 1933 the brewing of Stein beer and ale began again at the old Binz brewery after an investment of around $750,000 to update the equipment.5
It has been said that people who lived in the area could buy cakes of ice from the brewery's ice machines for their homes.
Steins beer was popular in Buffalo for years until 1958, when the brewery was bought by the Leisy Brewing Co. of Cleveland. Stein's was then closed for the same reason many other breweries did--outside competition. The encroachment of the mega-breweries killed yet another small hometown brewery.6
As the Stein brewery was being demolished in 1959, Joseph Stein (George's son) was quoted as saying while watching the wrecking ball smash into his building, "In the brewing industry, as in the manufacture of automobiles, it has turned out that the big operator has advantages over the small business."7
Excerpted from the book "RUSHING THE GROWLER" by Stephen R. Powell all material copyright © reserved 1996,1997.