Ballantine Timeline - Pre-Prohibition


 The derelict Cumming/Morton brewery at turn of the century, right before being razed.









NJ Law School circa 1935 

40 Rector Street, formerly part of the P. Ballantine Malt House - Ale Brewery  complex on the Passaic River front.

1797 - Peter Ballantine born in Mauchline,  Ayrshire, Scotland, Nov. 16. 

1805- John N. Cumming opens a “big stone brewery” in Newark “on  the west side of High Street, just south of Orange St.” 

1820- Peter Ballantine emigrated to the US, first working in a Black Rock,  Connecticut tavern.

1820's - Moved to Albany, NY.  Finds work at an ale brewery in Troy, NY owned by Robert Dunlap.  Learns malting.

1830 – Married Julia, born , of Troy (or Schnectady),  NY. 

1831- Thomas Morton takes over Cumming’s brewery - ad announcing the auction at Cumming's Auction.

1831 – Peter Hood Ballantine born.

Partnership in firm of  Fidler, Ryckman & Co. for 6 years.

Operated the brewery built by Robert Dunlop in 1810, located on "the west side of Broadway, above Quackenbush street" sometime between 1834 (when Dunlop quit) and 1839 (when the brewery was demolished), according to an 1883 Albany Evening Journal article.

1833 - Opens own brewery on North Market St. in Albany

1834 – John Homes Ballantine born.

1836 – Robert F. Ballantine born.

1837- Financial panic of 1837 “flattens” Cumming’s brewery. 

1838-1840 – Albany brewery listed as on 14 Lansing St. 

1838-1840 - Cummings>Morton Newark brewery run by Thain & Collins. 

1840- Peter Ballantine relocates to Newark, NJ and, in partnership with Erastus Patterson, takes over management and leases the Cumming’s-built brewery, doing business as the Patterson and Ballantine Brewing Company

1845 – “5 year” partnership dissolved.  Patterson moves to NYC. 

1848 - 11,000 bbl. production.  Buys land on Front Street,  600 foot frontage Passaic River bank and builds a malt house. 

 Opens NYC sales office, 134 Cedar St.

1849 - Constructs a new brewery next to malt house with 100  barrel a day capacity.  Brewing goes from  "four times a week, to everyday, and in some instances twice a  day". 

New malthouse- 20,000 bushel capacity.

1849 - Lives in small stucco bungalow on brewery grounds, on Front St., near Center Street bridge, until his death.

1850-Late 1880's - 3 sons of Thomas Morton would continue to run the High St. brewery, with sales of 45,000 barrels in it's final years.


1857- Ballantine sons enter business, name changed to P. Ballantine and Sons.   

1860 – Address listed as 137 River Street in Newark directory. 

1867 – Ale brewery production 36,500 bbl. 

1868 – Newark street names change- Ballantine brewery now listed as  “78-110 Front St.” 

Capacity of 60,000 bbl. of ale a year.  4 malt houses, total of 200,000 bushels. 

June 7, Julia Ballantine dies. 73 years old.- 15 Front Street. 

1871 – Fire destroys two malt houses. 

 New ale brewery built, as well as an office and sales room “at the foot of Fulton St.”.  The combined business of the malt houses and ale brewery said to be “…the most prominent object in view”  when approaching Newark by rail or river from NYC.

1873-7 Panic of 1873 

1874- Approximate barrelage of 92,000.  175 employees.

1877- P. Ballantine & Sons sales – 107, 592 bbl. of ale, porter and stout.  The fourth largest brewer in the US (behind only NYC's Geo. Ehret, Best  [Pabst] and Bergner & Engel of Phila.)- the four being  the only  brewers producing over 100,000 barrels annually.  Ballantine is the largest ale brewer in the country.

1879 Schalk Brothers Brewery on Freeman St. in Newark has financial reversal.  Owes money to the P. Ballantine and Sons for malt.  Peter Ballantine buys brewery for $110,000 (in some reports "over objections of sons") and starts separate business, Ballantine & Co., a lager beer brewery.  First year total lager sales at 40,000 bbl.

1879 – Three ring trade-mark was adopted in 1879 and was suggested by the chief characteristics of the product of their breweries -- purity, strength, flavor.

1881June 7-9 NY & NJ Brewery Workers strike.

1883 - Peter Ballantine dies- Jan. 22, predeceased by eldest son, Peter Hood in Sept., '82.

New corporation formed, headed by John Holme Ballantine (President) and Robert F. Ballantine (Vice President), “embracing the ale, lager beer and malting business”.

1884 – Ballantine is the fourth largest brewery in the US, with  sales of 258,650 bbl.  (Behind Best [predecessor to Pabst], Schlitz, Anheuser-Busch and Geo. Ehret). 

1887 -  Feb. Knights of Labor brewery workers strike.

1888 April 17 NY brewery strike. 

1889 -  Erroneous reports in June of P. Ballantine & Sons (refered to in newspapers as the "second largest US brewery") being sold to English syndicate for $5.1 million.  Reports in May had previously noted that offers to buy the brewery for $6 million were refused.  Local Newark breweries  of Lyon and  Kantner were sold at the time.

1890-1 - Newark is the 8th largest brewing city in the country, with Ballantine the largest local brewer, accounting for close to half of the 944,000 barrels of beer with their sales of 431,408 barrels (229,156 bbl. of lager beer and 202,252 of ales, porter and stout )  for the financial year ending May, 1891.

1895 –   April - John Holmes Ballantine dies (43 Washington St), Robert F. succeeds him as President.   

June-  Fire destroys grain elevator for a $1/4 million loss.

 Fifth larger brewery in the US with 500-600,000 production.  Behind Pabst, A-B, Schlitz and Geo. Ehret.

1896  – Announces plans for a new $100,000 malt house, "...the old building is now being torn down..." according to Dec. 1896 American Brewer magazine.

1898  – New grain elevator completed, capacity of ½ million bushels. (Readdressed to 78/110 Front Street)

1899 - Ballantine & Co. (lager beer) reported to be exporting "considerable quantities of beer" to Santiago, Cuba (post-Spanish American War).

1900 - J. Herbert Ballantine elected Treasurer of the "Ale Brewers' Association of the States of New-York and New-Jersey",  the oldest brewers' organization in the US founded in 1830.

1901 – 338 employees at both breweries, according to NJ Bureau of Statistic's Industrial Review.

1902 – Prices-  $1.50 a dozen for Extra Porter, Pale Ale and Canada Malt Ale (Atlanta, GA).

August – J. Herbert Ballantine bankruptcy.  Eldest son of HJB.

1903 - George Porter is the long time head ale brewer at P. Ballantine and Sons, his reputation is "second to none in the country" (NY Tribune).  The Front St. brewery and malt houses are the largest for ale brewing in the nation.

Moved NYC branch to 617-621 Eleventh Avenue. 

Hotel Belvedere (Coney Island) burned – owned by PB&S.

1904 - June 24, George A. (grandson) sues over PB will.

1905 -  Robert F. dies from fall from horse 2 weeks previously (12/10).  New Officers- George G. Frelinghuysen (married to P. Ballantine’s granddaughter, Sara), President- VP’s-  Charles Bradley (son-in-law to RFB), JOH Pitney (son-in-law RFB).

Dec. 9 -  Robert D. Ballantine ,blackmailed, commits suicide. (NY Sun front page, 10th)

1906 - Ballantine's Jubilee Beer released.

Of the 1421 licensed bars in Newark, Ballantine owns only 98 of them, fewer than Krueger (197) and Feigenspan (130).

1908  – Jan. 4 Ballantine wins suit against PSEG for contaminated wells.

 1910's -  Freeman Street next door neighbor and competitor, Christian Fiegenspan, claims to be the largest  ale producers in the US in ads.

1911 – Possible strike at breweries.  MA area boycott, called off when CLU received work that both ale and lager breweries had been unionized. 

1914 - Total sales of 1/2 million barrels.

 1915 - Closes ale brewery- all brewing moved to Freeman Street.  Malt House business continues on Front St. but will also be closed within a few years.

1917 - Aug. 20 Newark brewery workers walk out.

 Ale in the US makes up only 10% of total malt beverages sales.

1918 – Total Ballantine ales sales down to only 125,000 barrels.  

 Nov. 30 Newark beer making ends at 14 area breweries at midnight.  PBS to make soft drinks a business they started “some time ago”.  (20% of the beer in the US was brewed by NYC breweries). 

 1919– February - Newark brewers announce the city will run out of legal beer by May 1. 

Federal Prohibition test case  for selling beer over one-half of one percent against Feigenspan because it is "...the largest brewing company in New Jersey..."


Ballantine forms the Passaic Transportation Company, which in turn leases many of the brewery buildings.  

P. Ballantine & Sons remains opened, primarily making malt syrup, which it had first developed in 1903, and soft drinks.  Malt syrup production reaches 30 million pounds a year during Prohibition.

1920 - The United States Brewing Co. (a conglomerate made up of Newark's Krueger and Teftz and Harrison's Hauck breweries) announces it has bought the cereal beverage business of P. Ballantine & Sons.

1927 - Newark University (a merger of several area colleges, now part of Rutgers) buys and moves its Law School into part of the former Ballantine Malt House #3 Front St. complex, on Rector Street.  Later would become Newark Science High School. 

P. Ballantine & Sons sells 540-568 Ogden St. to Newark Garden.

1933  Rumored sale of the company to Carl Schweinler, owner of Schweinler Press of West Orange.   Schweinler was the brother-in-law of Carl Badenhausen, and would also serve on the Board of Directors once the Badenhausen purchase was complete..

Primary owners of the brewing company at the time are said to be Percy Ballantine, Mrs. Henry Young, Mrs. Charles Bradley,  Mrs. George G. Frelinghuysen and Mrs. John O. H. Pitney.


Continued at Ballantine Timeline- Repeal