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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.


  1. Good account of the history of this brewery! Growing up in the LV, it's nice to find out who did what when and why. I didn't know it changed hands so often! I must note though, that Nestle should no be bottling here, as they are pretty much an evil company. They sometimes will open plants on Indian Reservations, so they do not have to disclose the information on how much they bottle. This, coupled with the drought that pretty much is going to unmake most of the South Western US, is partly caused by companies like Nestle. They steal water by millions of gallons, and then sell it back to the people that wells have dried up.
    I would LOVE to see Nestle go away.

  2. My company installed new boiler breaching at the brewery in the early 1980s. It was the Stroh brewery at the time.

  3. I worked as a security guard at a gate back in the mid 80s it was Stroh's at that time , my only job was to check trucks and coolers of all contractors leaving this gate, I'm not sure what the other gates procedures were. Never caught anyone snuggling beer out. Was a boring job they came in the morning showing ID and I waited until quiting time and they All knew the procedure made it go fast.


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