Allentown Beverage is an Anheuser Busch wholesaler based out of eastern Pennsylvania serving Northampton, Lehigh, Schuylkill, and Carbon Counties for over 70 years.
In 1933, as the Prohibition was coming to an end, Raymond Baurkot Sr. believed that there would soon be a void in the beer industry. With his characteristic entrepreneurial spirit, Baurkot opened a closet sized wholesaler next door to his mother’s butcher shop at 129 ½ N. 3rd Street in Easton. He was the company’s only employee.
As beer sales flourished, Baurkot grew increasingly short on space and was forced to relocate several times, first to an alleyway in historic Easton and then to a former car dealership at 225 N. Third Street. Baurkot’s four sons Unis, Sammy, George, and Raymond began to take active roles in the company and to assist their father with sales and delivery. Raymond Baurkot & Sons Inc. was born.
On November 15, 1958, Anheuser Busch awarded Baurkot a franchise to sell their products throughout Northampton County. The tremendous sales boom that ensued prompted Baurkot to relocate once again to Sullivan Trail in Forks Township. The onetime 4 x 28 storefront had evolved into an 18,000 sq. ft. empire.
In 1989, motivated by the pursuit of superior quality and unsurpassed service, Baurkot decided to sell Anheuser Busch products exclusively. This decision resulted in record-breaking sales and a great deal of personal satisfaction for Baurkot, who was immensely gratified by the quality of service associated with Anheuser Busch products.
Raymond Baurkot Sr. passed away on January 25, 1994 and his four sons assumed the reins of the company. An era of growth and triumph had come to an end, but another decade of change and prosperity was on the horizon. Inspired by Baurkot’s vision of expansion and consolidation, Raymond Baurkot & Sons acquired Allentown Beverage on April 1, 2005.
Allentown Beverage, like Raymond Baurkot & Sons, arose from humble origins. In 1953 Julius Schwab, the company’s founder, read a local obituary and was struck with the inspiration to purchase Pat’s Bottling on Dauphin Street in Allentown. The company began by selling flavored sodas but soon made the transition to selling beer instead. In 1969 Allentown Beverage acquired a franchise to sell Anheuser Busch brand products throughout the Lehigh Valley.
Allentown Beverage thrived as a result of this franchise and was forced to expand in order accommodate increasing sales. In 1975, the company relocated to its current location on Quebec Street in East Allentown. The company’s success grew and in 1987, Allentown Beverage purchased Reinhardt Beverage in Tamaqua and merged the territory with its own.
After Raymond Baurkot & Sons purchased Allentown Beverage, the company resituated to its current location on Quebec Street in Allentown and unified under one name. Allentown Beverage continues to operate under members of the Baurkot family, retaining an atmosphere of excellence in quality and service.