In 1951, two brothers opened a retail store along the Culver-Narrows rail line on McDonald Avenue in Brooklyn and aptly named their place of business the "Culver - Narrows Beer Distributor".
In those days, Schaefer and Rheingold were the most popular beers whose breweries were located near The Brooklyn Navy Yard. Beer was not the only beverage sold, you could also purchase seltzers by the case in thick glassed bottles that featured a "spritz" top for serving this bubbly beverage as opposed to the "twist" tops used today.
Who could forget Hammer Soda that was also sold here with their tasty varieties of Cream, Root-Beer, Ginger Ale, and Black Cherry, also coming in those thick glass bottles? There were also chocolate and vanilla syrups, as well as Coca-Cola syrup, for those wishing to make soda at home, do you remember Egg Creams?
Soon, the neighborhood was buying most of its beverages from Culver-Narrows. You could cash and carry, or get your purchase delivered, thus getting the nick name of a "Home-D". Everyone having a party, barbecue, or wedding could satisfy their beverage needs at Culver-Narrows. Kegs of Beer with taps to serve were not uncommon!
Not only did these brothers provide a service, they provided a place of employment for local residents full-time, as well as summer employment for teens attending school. Over the years, hundreds could boast of working at "the beer distributor"!
The brothers worked hard at the business over the years and when their children were old enough, were brought in to help out after school and during the summer. Eventually, in 1986, one of the sons became sole proprietor of the establishment.
Prior to this, the brothers joined in a collective advertising and purchasing enterprise of over 50 independent stores known as "Thrifty Beverage Centers" , who would run adds in local newspapers featuring sales of the week on many different brands of beer and soda sold at these stores. Culver- Narrows, never changing its name, through these ads , became known to many as simply, "Thrifty.”
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