The Lion Brewery traces its roots to 1905, when the Luzerne County Brewing Company built a brew house in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on land purchased for one dollar from the Delaware and Hudson railroad. The new firm, which had a capacity of 100,000 31-gallon barrels per year, changed its name to The Lion Brewery in 1912 and made beer until “Prohibition was enacted in 1920. It then turned to making “near beer;’ a grain-based beverage that contained one-half of 1 percent alcohol, about one-tenth that of beer. Like most brewers, the company struggled to survive during Prohibition, but when the law was repealed in 1933 it was purchased by Ted Smulowitz and Leo Swartz, who renamed it The Lion, Inc., and began making beer under the Gibbons brand name. Swartz later sold his stake to the Smulowitz family, who took full control of the operation. By the 1940s the brewery had grown to produce an average of 200,000 barrels of beer per year, and in 1954 the company installed a new 390-barrel copper brewing kettle to further boost capacity.