Over 170 years of history

Brewing beer and saving lives

Batch 19: pre-Prohibition style lager with a story to tell

Brewed by our US joint venture, MillerCoors, Batch 19 is a premium lager that owes its existence to a lost recipe from America’s pre-Prohibition era

Prohibition began on 30 June 1919 when the production and sale of all alcohol was banned, and breweries fell dark. It was 14 years before Americans were granted the right to legally drink beer again, on 5 December 1933. 

On this day, known as Repeal Day, breweries fired up once more. However, during the long years of Prohibition many beer recipes had been forgotten, and a new generation of brewers created their own styles and recipes. 

Bold and hoppy, Batch 19 is brewed with reference to an early 20th century recipe that pre-dates Prohibition and was rediscovered after a water pipe broke at our brewery in Golden, Colorado. 

The archived logbooks with these old recipes were stored in the basement of the brewery and forgotten about until a small flood prompted me to move them to safety. When I realised what I had found, it was something I knew I had to brew. This recipe is part of our history.
Keith Villa |Founder and head brewmaster at Blue Moon Brewing Company

Batch 19 has a biscuity, malt aroma with herbal notes from Hersbrucker hops and blackcurrant notes from Strisselspalt hops. It is a deep-golden, medium-bodied lager, naturally filtered and unpasteurised. 

And it is not just the drink itself that is referencing the past; you may find yourself pouring Batch 19 from a ‘growler’ – a half-gallon, jug-like container that, in pre-Prohibition days, drinkers would have used to carry their beer home from the brewery or saloon. The ‘growler’ tag comes from the sound that escapes the container once it’s opened, due to air pockets forming as the beer moves around during transit. 

On 5 December this year, as usual, Repeal Day was celebrated across the US by beer-lovers – and you can be sure that Batch 19, a resurrection of old-style American beer, will have been central to many a Repeal Day party. 

Related stories