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4.21.2014

Boston Brewing Company (Sam Adams) Fogelsville, PA

Pretty much everyone knows that Yuengling is the main brewer in Pennsylvania, but few folks likely know that Boston Brewing Company, the makers of Sam Adams, brew the majority of their beer in Pennsylvania.
I apologize for the photo quality of this moving shot. 

When you think of Sam Adams, you probably think of some guys chilling in their garage, making beer in a micro-brew tank and listening to Thorogood's "Who Do You Love?" In reality, Boston Brewing company has huge production facilities like the other large American breweries. Off of Interstate 78 in Fogelsville is a sprawling brewing complex that was built to brew the storied Schaefer Beer. Schaefer was purchased by another American legend, Stroh, in the 70s, which would then be purchased by another legend, Pabst, in 1999. As of 1999, according to this Morning Call Article, in addition to Stroh's, the brewery contracted out some of the capacity to brew two of the nation's most popular beers to this day, Sam Adams Boston Lager, and Yuengling's Black and Tan. It is unclear what the arrangement was after Pabst purchased the plant, but it appears that the capacity was reutilized by Pabst to make two other legendary American brands, Schmidts and Schlitz.

Pabst operations would shortly cease, leading the bulk of the brewing tanks to stay dormant. In the late 90s when he Stroh to Pabst deal was finalized, Yuengling was rumored to be interested in purchasing the Fogelsville Brewery but Diageo of Great Britain purchased the plant instead in 2001 . Yuengling would strategically purchase Stroh's former Tampa, Florida brewing operation in 1999 and the company would also build a state-of-the-art brewery near their Pottsville homebase in 2000. These two moves would cement Yuengling as the largest American owned brewing company.

When Diageo purchased the Fogelsville Brewery in 1999, their Smirnoff Ice Malt Drink was bottled and produced at the site until 2008 when Boston Brewing purchased the plant and dedicated it solely to Sam Adams brews. Boston Brewing spent in the neighborhood of 50 million dollars this past year in updating and expanding the brewery and it shows no signs of slowing in growth. The company creates a wonderful economic center for the Lehigh Valley region.

The location was originally chosen because of the location on a great spring water aquifer and water supplies. Nestle runs a very large spring water bottling operation in the same area. The abundance of our Pennsylvania water supplies needs to be taken into account when it comes to the recent drilling. We cannot afford to have these aquifers tainted in any way. This single aquifer in Fogelsville supplies a huge percentage of our nation's bottled water and beer supplies and we cannot afford to have it threatened. Anyways, now you know what that large complex on Interstate 78 is, just west of Allentown.




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