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4.15.2015

The Former Neuwiler Brewery, Allentown, PA

Here is the Neuwiler Brewery. It was built between 1911 and 1913 and has sat abandoned since 1968. Various tenants have occupied the distribution area in the years since it closed, but they have closed since then as well. The building has sat completely abandoned for decades.

At first glance, things look pretty bleak for this cool building. However, this part of Allentown is on the upswing, with another formerly endangered building, the former A&B Meats plant headquarters, being saved through the creation of the awesome America on Wheels museum. Similar restorations plans are being Plans for the building can be found here, with plans to create a microbrewery and entertainment venue within the building, similar to Pittsburgh's Penn Brewery, that repurposed another abandoned brewery into a microbrewery and restaurant. I wish the best of luck to those working on this venture.

Now back to Neuwiler's history. The brewery was founded by Benedict Nuding in 1878 and brewed out of the back of an old hotel on Seventh Street. Louis Neuwiler bought out Nuding in 1900 and the growth of operations led towards the Neuwiler's building this new production plant in 1911. The brewery boasted a German brewing lineup similar to the many other regional brewers throughout the state of Pennsylvania, including Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville, and Straub in St. Mary's. Neuwiler brewed a light lager, cream ale, stock ale, premium ale, bock, half and half, porter, stout, and hochberg. 

Look at that beautiful copper roof. 
Stunning old building.
They don't put detail like this into buildings anymore. It is a wonder that after nearly 50 years in abandonment that this building is in decent shape. It is a wonder how much better construction was done in the early 20th century compared to the mid 20th century to now. Compare this building that has sat in abandonment for fifty years to Monsour Medical Center that has sat in abandonment for not even ten years, or compare it to the abandoned collapsed shopping malls. This is one strong building.
A stately building that sits in ruin. If you wonder what it might look like if the apocalypse happens, this building is a great example of that. 
This section was clearly built in 1934. I cannot find anything documenting this addition from any official sources, but it is pretty clear that the distribution center addition dates back to that point. 
The distribution center was utilized by various tenants for many years after the brewery closed. 
I wish the best to those trying to rehabilitate this building. It has lots of potential of some dedication is put into it. Allentown is a city looking up, with major projects having been completed, including the America on Wheels Museum, and the PPL Center arena complex. There are lots of opportunities for growth and improvement, including this brewery complex. I hope the plans for this building are put into place within the next decade. 

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