Utah Brews: The Untapped Story of Ogden’s Becker Brewing and Malting Company
Beer is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Utah. That could be because 60 percent of the state’s population are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which teaches its membership to abstain from alcohol. Nevertheless, Utah has a surprisingly rich brewing history. Of the more than forty breweries to call Utah home since Latter-day Saint settlement in 1847, the Becker Brewing and Malting Company of Ogden stands out as the longest continuously operating brewing company in the state, and one of the longest in the West. John S. Becker and his two sons, Gustav L. Becker and Albert E. Becker, established the Becker Brewing and Malting Company along the banks of the Ogden River in 1890. Over the next seventy-five years, the brewery operated through feast and famine, weathering two world wars and even Prohibition. The costs of production and competition from larger breweries, however, eventually forced the Beckers to shut their doors in 1964. Utah Brews highlights this relatively forgotten chapter of Utah’s history through manuscripts and photographs held in Utah State University Libraries’ Special Collections & Archives division. So pull up a stool, belly up to the bar, and enjoy our cool, refreshing take on Ogden’s Becker Brewing and Malting Company.
If you would like to explore this topic further, check out the digital collection containing selected materials related to the history of the Becker Brewing and Malting Company and Becker family. For a full inventory of USU’s holdings on the brewery and the Becker family, reference the finding aids for the Becker Brewing and Malting Company records and the Gustav Lorenz Becker Photograph Collection.
This exhibit was made possible by generous contributions from Karen Becker Edson and the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation.