Neuweiler Brewery, October 2011
|Location||401 North Front Street, Allentown, Pennsylvania|
|Area||4.5 acres (1.8 ha)|
|Architect||Peuckert & Wunder|
|NRHP Reference #||80003554|
|Added to NRHP||June 27, 1980|
Neuweiler Brewery, also known as Germania Brewery, is a historic brewery complex located at Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. The complex was built between 1911 and 1913, and consists of the office building, brew house, stock house, pump house, wash house, chemistry lab building, boiler room, bottling house, garage, fermenting cellar, and smokestack with the name "Neuweiler" on it. The office building is a two-story, brick and granite building. The remaining buildings in the complex are built of brick. The brew house stands six-stories, and has a copper hipped roof with cupola. The stock house is a long, narrow four-story building. The brewery closed in 1968.
Neuweiler Brewery was founded by Louis Neuwiler, who bought out longtime local brewer Benedict Nuding in 1900. Nuding’s operation was limited by its location, and in 1911 Neuweiler and his son, Charles, eager to expand, hired Philadelphia architects Peukert and Wunder to build a new complex some distance away, at Front and Gordon streets.
The brewery, featuring its own generators for electric power, opened in 1913. By 1932, the brewery buildings and the warehouse building were joined as one structure, and the former machine warehouse became an independent electric plant with an ammonia tank and ice machine. A pump warehouse had been added onto the northwest corner of the former stock warehouse, and a two-story bottling plant with a basement was located to the north of the other buildings. Neuweiler produced several brands of beer: Light Lager, Cream Ale, Stock Ale, Premium Ale, Bock (seasonal), Half & Half, Porter, Stout and Hochberg. Most were available in the 12 oz. "Steinies" or Export bottles, quarts, cans or kegs. When in full operation, Neuweiler's was one of Allentown's largest employers.
By 1950, the bottling plant was extended to the corner of North Front Street and Liberty Street, the stock warehouse was extended toward North Front Street, and a tile ash hopper was located behind the boiler house.
Brewery operations ceased in 1968 due to competition from national breweries. However, the Neuweiler recipes and brand names were purchased by the Ortlieb Brewery of Philadelphia, who also purchased the Fuhrmann and Schmidt (Shamokin) breweries in 1966. After the brewery's closure, the F&S Brewery produced several of the Neuweiler beers (Porter, Light Lager and Cream Ale) from around 1970 until closing in 1975. After F&S closed, the Ortlieb brewery continued Neuweiler Cream Ale at the Philadelphia plant until the late 1970s.
The building was abandoned for over two decades until the bottling house was leased to Ingnatios Hadjiloukas from 1992 to 1998. Mr. Hadjiloukas operated a pesticide, herbicide and detergent re-manufacturing business under the company names of J.L. Hoffman Company and Trading, Inc. for a period of approximately ten years. The Site was abandoned in the fall of 1998 and has been vacant ever since.
Today, although the buildings have been vacant and/or underutilized since the Brewery's closing in 1968; the towering structure and copper cupola atop the brew house has been an iconic part of the City's skyline for nearly 100 years symbolizing Allentown’s rich industrial history.
Neuweiler and the Neighborhood Improvement Zone
Neuweiler was recently zoned as part of the Waterfront Redevelopment district of the new NIZ (Neighborhood Improvement Zone) in Allentown. A New York Firm, Ruckus Marketing, purchased the brewery for $1.7 million in March 2014. It currently has plans to redevelop the entire property, converting the majority into a new brewing facility. The remainder of the space will be converted to mixed use commercial office space. The new plans call for a $30 million renovation.
- National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "National Historic Landmarks & National Register of Historic Places in Pennsylvania" (Searchable database). CRGIS: Cultural Resources Geographic Information System. Note: This includes David J. Hojsak (n.d.). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Neuweiler Brewery" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-04.
- Ruckus Brewing reaches deal on Neuweiler building, The Morning Call, 30 April 2013
- Ruckus closes on Neuweiler deal, plans for brewery, The Morning Call, 7 March 2014
- "Ruckus Marketing Plans to Revitalize Neuweiler Brewery with Launch of 'Brewers Consortium'", Brewbound, BevNET.com Inc., 18 September 2013
- Various photos of Neuweiler Beer paraphernalia
- Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) No. PA-152, "Germania Brewery, Front & Gordon Streets, Allentown, Lehigh County, PA", 6 photos, 2 data pages, 1 photo caption page