Buffalo in the 50s: The cheap beers Buffalo dads were drinking 65 years ago this week

By Steve Cichon

Among the beers advertised to the fathers of Buffalo on the pages of The News 65 years ago this week, in August, 1950, were imports from Newark, Detroit, Toronto (by way of Cleveland) and one beer made right here in Buffalo.

Ballantine was a New York City favorite for generations and was a less expensive brand carried into the ’80s at places like Bells.

Goebel beer, brewed in Detroit and available in Western New York into the ’80s, was announcing its new “bantam cans,” allowing your dad to drink 8 ounces at a time.

05 aug 1950 goebel beer

Red Cap Ale and Black Label Beer, both by Carling, were Canadian beers that were being brewed in Cleveland in 1950. They were among the most popular in Buffalo at the time.

Beck’s beer, not to be confused with the present day German import, was brewed by Magnus Beck Brewing in Buffalo from 1855 to 1956.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. writing about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and is the News Director at WECK Radio. A 25 year Buffalo media veteran, Steve's contributed more than 1400 Buffalo History stories to The Buffalo News, worked at WIVB-TV, Empire Sports Network, and spent ten years as a newsman and News Director at WBEN Radio. He's also put his communication skills to work as an adjunct professor, a producer of PBS documentaries, and even run for Erie County Clerk. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.