Now, this is sad: The abandoned Kaier’s Brewery in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, is falling down.
Old brewery buildings tend to be large and/or sprawling edifices, and there’s something about them that merits preservation, I think.
(The general public evidently disagrees with me, as lots of breweries have been demolished over the decades. The decrepit Kaier’s building was on track to be taken down, too, before it got tired of waiting and started doing the job on its own.)
Think of all the truckloads of hops and barley that went into that building …
… and all the bottles that clinked out, and all the coal-country bars, stores and homes where they ended up …
… and all the refreshment, relaxation and good feeling that came out of those bottles …
… and all the regional identity the company created — the sense of place that came from having a cold bottle of Kaier’s in your hand and knowing you had to be within, oh, a certain 50-mile or 100-mile chunk of Planet Earth where the brand did business.
No, a brewery isn’t just any industrial edifice. Television factories? Wood-pulp plants? Those can go. Breweries ought to remain.
Of course, the only sure way to ensure a brewery building never disappears is to drink a bunch of beer.
Just a suggestion.
Epilogue: I do not usually beer on school nights but last night I had a can of Lord Chesterfield Ale, made by Yuengling, the coal country brewery that survived. Their building won’t be collapsing anytime soon, but it seemed like an appropriate gesture all the same. The beer was cold and bitter and entirely to my liking.