Jacob Ruppert’s Brewery

Business Type: Brewery (NY 467 a,b,c)

Years of Operation: 1867 to 1965

Location: 1601/1639 3rd Ave. Between 91st & 92nd St. Manhattan

Description: The history of this brewery dates back to 1835 when Franz Ruppert moved to America from Bavaria and established himself in New York City. Ruppert ended up starting a malting business in 1845 and in 1850 purchased an existing brewery “Aktien Brraueri” located in the Turtle Bay section of Midtown East, Ruppert decided to re-name the business “Turtle Bay Brewery” after the name of the neighborhood. Eventually in 1869 Franz Ruppert would sell his business to another brewer Jacob Robinson. By the time Franz retired however, his son Jacob Ruppert had already begun following in his footsteps. At an early age Jacob Ruppert worked with his Father at the Turtle Bay Brewery and by 1867 he was helping manage the entire company, this same year Jacob would branch off and open his own and grow to become “One of the largest figures in the brewing world” (H.S. Rich & Co., 1903). The Jacob Ruppert Brewery started out on 3rd Ave. between 91st & 92nd streets and was immediately a success, according to One Hundred Years of Brewing the operation produced 5,000 barrels of beer it’s first year. After experiencing consistent growth Ruppert built a much larger plant on 92nd street in 1874 and expanded again in 1877 & 1880. In addition to operating several ice houses to aid in the lager beer manufacturing, Ruppert also implemented the latest in brewing technology which at the time included glass lined steel tanks to achieve greater purity in his beer. As Ruppert’s success grew further he invested in several other businesses outside of brewing including real estate, silk & lumber companies. Ruppert’s son Jacob Jr. would go on to continue operating the family’s massive brewing enterprise and much like his Father, he branched out beyond a career in brewing. In addition to serving in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1899 to 1907 Ruppert Jr. purchased the New York Yankees in 1915 and owned the baseball team until his death in 1939. Perhaps his most notable influence on the team came in 1919 when Ruppert struck a deal with the Boston Red Sox to bring Babe Ruth to the Yankee’s. Ultimately Jacob Ruppert Jr. would be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013 for his contributions to the sport. The Jacob Ruppert Brewery closed in 1965 and was demolished to create a high rise condo/apartment building named Ruppert Yorkville Towers to pay tribute to the famous brewery.

There are many variations of the Jacob Ruppert’s bottle. Pictured is a very common blob top version embossed “JACOB RUPPERT’S NEW YORK LAGER BEER”, there is also a J.R. monogram surrounded by the words “TRADE MARK”
This variation of the Ruppert bottle is also embossed “JACOB RUPPERT’S NEW YORK LAGER BEER” w/ J.R. monogram. This variation is rare in that it is not embossed with the words “TRADE MARK” as seen in the first bottle shown. *Photo courtesy of David Tingen
Original porcelain stopper reading “JACOB RUPPERT NEW YORK” w/ J.R. monogram. *Photo courtesy of David Tingen