Trommer’S Evergreen Brewery in Brooklyn distinguished itself among dozens of breweries in that borough of New York, and indeed among all American breweries, for steadfastly, for more than 50 years, brewing a beer with 100% malted barley and hops, with no adjuncts such as rice or corn. Trommer’s White Label beer was known for its high quality, even in the war years when malted barley was costly and in short supply. The brewery was founded by John F. Trommer, who was born in Hersfeld, Germany, immigrated to the United States, and worked in breweries in Maine, Massachusetts, Manhattan, and Brooklyn before purchasing a small brewery in 1897. He died shortly thereafter. His oldest son, George F. Trommer, ran the company until it was sold to the Piels Brewing Co. in 1951. (A younger son, John F. Trommer Jr, died in a sensational suicide in 1907 after a failed love affair with a teacher.) Trommer’s was producing 46,000 barrels annually at the dawn of Prohibition in the 1920s. Trommer financed a chain of 950 hot dog restaurants and supplied them with his White Label near beer. In 1929, at the height of Prohibition, Trommer opened a new brewery with a capacity of 300,000 barrels. Serving Trommer’s White Label near beer, which remained legal during Prohibition, the restaurant chain and the famous Maple Garden beer garden at the brewery enabled Trommer to grow his business despite the ban on beer. He later purchased a brewery in Orange, New Jersey. The demise of Trommer’s began during the 1949 brewery workers strike in New York. Pickets refused to allow management personnel into the brewery during the strike, and Trommer’s treasured yeast strain went bad. It was never the same, and neither was Trommer’s beer. The brewery closed in 1951.

See also brooklyn, new york.