Originally posted by Juli Jane
I attended SUNY at Brockport back in the early 70s. One of my Rugby-playing friends introduced me to "Black Horse Ale". I was told it was a Canadian beer. I only had it a few times, but have never forgotten it (and I'm not a big beer drinker). A question? Is it still in production, and if so, is it still distributed in the states? Any info. would be appreciated! Thanks!
Black Horse Ale was a Canadian brand (Dawes- bought by Carling) that was eventually contract-brewed in the US, at several different breweries. (Not unusual at the time- brands like Red Cap Ale, Rainier, Lucky, Black Label, etc., also were brewed on both sides of the border).
IIRC, the tiny western NY brewery Fred Koch originally had the rights, but the brand was also brewed by a Lawrence, Massachusetts brewery (can't recall the name now) and by Champale (Iroquis Brands) in Trenton, NJ. They all used a similar label. In the early 80's, Koch was bought by the UK brewery Vaux and a number of interesting beers were coming out of Dunkirk, NY- including a revived Black Horse Ale and Jubilee Porter.
When the brewery closed (mid-80's?), Genesee bought the brands but eventually dropped most of them, save for the flagship, Koch Anniversary Beer which is Genny's (now High Falls) economy cheapie beer. I can't recall a Genesee-brewed Black Horse Ale (I do remember wondering if they'd just combine the two ale brands they owned and just call it "12 Black Horse Ale"
) but I'd guess the Black Horse Ale you were drinking in the early 70's in Binghamton was coming from Koch in Dunkirk, NY. I lived in the Finger Lakes area in the late 70's-early 80's and that's what was on the shelves up there.