A Working Mans Brew
Prohibition saw the close of many local breweries and distilleries, only a few managed to make it out unscathed. Stoney's Beer is one of those lucky brews. What would one day become Stoney's Brewery started off in Sutersville, PA under the name Eureka Brewing Company in 1881. In 1907 fortune change hands when William B. "Stoney" Jones won the brewery in a game of poker, he then moved the operation to Smithton, PA. As years went on locals started asking for "one of Stoney's beers" when ordering.
On February 25th 1919 the state of Pennsylvania enacted prohibition, making it one of several states to start prohibition before the Volstead Act on January 17th 1920. Many local breweries shuttered or found other ways to turn a profit. "Near beer" or brewed beer with most of the alcohol removed was one option available to brewers, but the product wasn't very popular with the public. Some brewers made "near beer" but also continued making real beer in secret, William "Stoney" Jones was one of these brewers.
In 1921 Jones was caught, for the first time, with over 4000 barrels of beer. He paid a hefty fine of $25,000 and had to allow the government temporary control of his brewery. He persevered through prohibition getting caught a few more times but managed to stay afloat, showing his tenacity and drive. In 1933 prohibition finally ended and Jones renamed the brewery to Jones Brewing Company and gave his flagship beer the name it had been called for years, Stoney's. Stoney's remains today an old world style lager for the working man.
William B. "Stoney" Jones