Iroquois Beverage Corp.
201/256 Pratt Street
Buffalo, New York
(aka Iroquois Brewing Co.
AKA International Brewing Co.)





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The Iroquois Brewery was successor to the Jacob Roos Brewery, originally founded in 1842.  Much of the Iroquois advertising that appeared after prohibition cites this 1842 date as the brewery's founding.

The brewery was located between Hickory and Pratt Streets.  It was operated by Jacob Roos and, after his death, by George Roos, until 1892, when it was sold to Leonard Burgwerger.  Burgwerger razed the buildings and built a new brewery on the site.  This was the start of the Iroquois Brewing Company.

Iroquois survived prohibition by brewing soda and near beer and reopened shortly after prohibition ended in April 1933.

Iroquois grew and prospered after prohibition and became the largest brewer in Buffalo, attaining a capacity of 600,000 barrels per year.   For a time, Iroquois operated multiple breweries in the greater Buffalo area, including the former facilities of Mohawk (closed 1936) and Van Buren (closed 1950).

In the 1950s, Iroquois merged with a group of other regional brewers and formed the International Brewing Company.  Iroquois' partners in this venture included Silver Bar (Tampa, FL), Frankenmuth (Frankenmuth, MI), and Old Dutch (Findlay, OH).

Despite this attempt to build the merged companies into a large national network, the brands remained regional in nature.  Iroquois was taken independent again in 1965.

At the time of its closing in 1971, Iroquois had outlived all other Buffalo breweries except for William Simon, which closed a couple of years later.

Iroquois Afterwards

The Iroquois brand name was well-known and highly regarded in the Lake Erie region and, after the Iroquois Brewery closed, the brand was kept alive for quite a number of years by a succession of regional brewers.  These included Meister Brau Brewery (Toledo, OH, closed 1972), August Wagner Brewery (Columbus, OH, closed 1974), Erie Brewing (Erie, PA, closed 1976), and Fred Koch Brewery (Dunkirk, NY, closed c. 1980). 

Use the links along the left border to view some of the breweriana from the Iroquois Beverage Corporation.

Copyright 2000, 2001 - J. Anthony Pompa
Last Revised - 27 January 2001