Nearly 400 years have passed since the Dutch breweries first began mashing wheat malt and picking the hops that grew wild in the hills around Beverwijck. The beer industry in Albany helped to build the Capital City. Its need for grain grew New York into an agricultural giant. Its brewery owners gained wealth and power; influencing policy and advancing industrial technology in the name of beer. The hops and grain brought east on the Erie Canal, to the Hudson River's shores catapulted the city’s breweries from small operations to some of the largest and most productive in the entire United States. Even after the fall of Albany Ale and the rise of prohibition, the beer kept coming. From the beloved local brands of the 1940s, 50s and 60s, to its lone brewpub, today, Albany is Albany because of beer.