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 writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.