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Buffalo's First Brewers

Kane, Peacock, and Relay Corner of Niagara & Morgan Sts. 1825?


According to one newspaper account, there were two breweries in the village of Buffalo in 1825.1 Another account states there was only one.2 This one brewery may have been run by three men; Dennis Kane, Charles Relay, and a Mr. P. Peacock, who were all listed as brewers at the same address on Niagara St., according to the Buffalo Village Directory (1828).

Further supporting evidence of the brewery within the village limits of Buffalo is a map of the village showing a brewery at this location (item "O") on or near the site of what was later called the Moffatt Brewery.3 It should be pointed out for historical accuracy that these three brewers may not have been employed as brewers and were just listed by their trade in the directory. It is also possible that John Moffatt may have taken over this brewery or built a new one on the same location in 1832. The extent of Moffatt’s involvement is unclear. He is said to have come to Buffalo in 1828, but all accounts have do not have him starting his business until 1832.4 Also, if Moffatt did not arrive in Buffalo until 1828, who were the brewers mentioned in The Emporium and Sheldon Ball’s letter in 1825? It is most likely that Kane, Peacock, and Relay were the first to operate a brewery at Buffalo, based on the evidence.