Former Brewery an Empty Shell
Southwestern Pennsylvania was once home to many neighborhood breweries where loyalty to a specific beer was often defined by where you lived. Among those breweries was this site built in 1907. The operation terminated alcohol production during the prohibition in 1920, and shifted to de-alcoholized beer. Upon the repeal of prohibition in 1933, the brewery moved back into alcohol and grew to a production capacity of 100,000 barrels of beer per year.
In 1940, the company was slammed with fraud charges from some illegitimate operations during the prohibition on the part of the companies owner. The was placed into receivership and was declared bankrupt in 1941. Another company took over the property less than a month after the bankruptcy and continued beer production. In 1957 the company shifted it’s operation to a different plant and sold the brewery complex to a corporation that manufactured artificial trees, gift wrap, and ribbons.
In June 1966, new equipment costing $100,000 was installed and an additional 200 employees were hired. Additionally, land was purchased in a nearby town for a 780,000 square-foot plant that was completed in early 1967, and about 75% of its equipment and inventory from the former plant was relocated to the new facility. The former brewery turned gift wrap manufacturing plant was shuttered in the mid-1970s.
The upper floors of the six story facility are entirely empty. If I weren’t educated on the history of the place I would have never known it was a brewery at one time.
The bottom floor of the property housed many interesting items including a large amount of broken computers, a massive room filled with cardboard boxes, and even a ‘Big Boy’ sign.