Cremo Beer began in 1905 when New Britain tavern owner John Skritulsky gathered a cohort of investors to start Cremo. The group reopened a closed brewery on Belden Street (where John Downey Drive meets Belden St. today) and Cremo Beer began to flow. Distributed in wooden barrels, Cremo developed following that extended well beyond it’s New Britain borders.
Cremo Beer thrived until the advent of Prohibition in 1920. The brewery survived by making a low alcohol “near beer” but in 1922 Prohibition Agents confiscated 8,000 barrels of full strength beer from the facility and fined Cremo $100,000. Cremo was closed until the repeal of Prohibition in 1933.
The reopening of Cremo brought over 5,000 people out to the brewery to celebrate the event. The next 15 years would mark the most successful period in it’s history. The plant was upgraded, a bottling line was added followed by a canning line in 1938. Cremo Beer was distributed under a variety of labels and brands, with production of over 50,000 barrels per year at it’s apex.
The late 1940’s brought labor strife and increased pressure on the operation from rising material and labor costs. Quality suffered and competition increased, forcing closure of the brewery in 1955.
Avery’s Beverages, a New Britain soda bottler with roots going back to the first days of Cremo, recently obtained the Trademark for Cremo Beer. In partnership with Alvarium Brewing Company, they are bringing back this iconic brand. The Alvarium Brewery where Cremo is now made is located on John Downey Drive in New Britain, a few blocks from where the original Cremo Brewery stood.