Beverage Distribution Services for the Greater Lehigh Valley

Banko Beverage Co logo with year and locationBanko Beverage Co was established in 1933 in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and we’ve recently celebrated our 90th anniversary. Since our founding, we’ve expanded exponentially to serve more than 1,000 restaurants, bars, and distributors in 10 counties throughout the greater Lehigh Valley. Even though we’ve grown, our dedication at Banko Beverage Co to offering reliable beverage distribution services and high-quality products to our clients hasn’t changed. Here, we share more information about our history as a company.

Our Origins

The Prohibition Era in the United States was a period marked by the outlaw of alcoholic beverages and it was also the beginning of Banko Beverage Co, founded by Frank Banko Sr. Even though Banko Beverage Co now specializes in beer distribution, our company began as a soda distributor until prohibition was repealed. In 1933, we started offering our first beer and began to gain our first of many loyal clients.

Our Continued Growth

Frank Banko Sr. passed away in 1937 and left the business to his son, Frank Banko Jr., who continued growing the suppliers of beer we offer. Banko Beverage Co has made many partnerships throughout the years with both big and small suppliers, but some of the most notable include:

  • Miller Brewing Company in 1969
  • Miller Lite in 1975
  • Genesee Ale in 1980
  • G. Yuengling and Sons in 1988

Currently, we offer a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages from top brands like Molson, Pabst, Heineken, Guinness, Stella, and more. Banko Beverage Co aims to continuously update our product offerings to adapt to customers’ changing tastes and wants.

Our Expansion

Every year, Banko Beverage Co adds more suppliers and products to our offerings and in 2017, we helped expand our company even more to keep up with our increased growth. There are two main ways we did this:

New Corporate Offices

Banko Beverage Co opened new corporate offices for our staff in 2017 to increase our space and provide upgraded tools to continue our expansion. Our corporate team consists of leadership staff, sales representatives, operations employees, a customer services team, and more crucial players that help our business run smoothly, and this new space helped them to do so.

A Bigger Warehouse 

In 2017, Banko Beverage Co also opened a new temperature-controlled warehouse in Allentown. This is an upgraded, larger space where we store our wide range of beverages from both local and national suppliers. As we’ve continued to expand our offerings, we recently became a full-beverage enterprise, meaning we offer both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Our warehouse holds an impressive selection of beverages, including:

  • Domestic and imported beer
  • Craft beer
  • Hard seltzers
  • Cider
  • Soda 
  • Energy drinks
  • Juices and Teas

Check out our Banko Beverage Co’s Beers through the Years: 2017 article to learn more about this expansion.

Our Status Today

Banko Beverage Co is still family-owned and -operated today, with Mary Ellen Racz, Frank Jr.’s daughter, serving as the president and CEO. Her son, Tony Gallo, also serves as vice president. With the same family running our company for 90 years, our attitude and commitment to providing high-quality beverage distribution services haven’t changed. 

Banko Beverage Co also has other multi-generational employees throughout its divisions because these families know they’re appreciated and treated fairly when they work with us. Banko Beverage Co has offered steady employment for locals in the Lehigh Valley area for years and our staff now consists of 75 loyal employees. According to CEO Mary Ellen Racz, “The culture of customer service, community philanthropy, and sense of family is something that many generations of employees have contributed to over the years.”

Banko Beverage Co also shows our dedication to the Lehigh Valley area by participating in community events and providing community support. Over the years, we’ve formed lasting partnerships with many local nonprofit organizations and charities to give back. We’ve also partnered with many events like Christkindlmarkt, the Pocono Raceway, the Great Allentown Fair, the Celtic Classic Highland Games, and more to provide refreshing drinks. Banko Beverage Co is also the main beer supplier for all ArtsQuest events, including the popular Musikfest, a 10-day festival with over 500 performances. By engaging with the surrounding area, Banko Beverage Co aims to show that we care about our customers and community as a whole, and not just because of business.

Contact Us Today to Learn More

If you’re a supplier looking to get your product distributed or a restaurant owner who needs a beverage distributor, get in touch with our team at Banko Beverage Co. We currently serve more than 1,000 restaurants, bars, and distributors in the greater Lehigh Valley area and surrounding counties, and your business could be our next. Contact us today to learn more about our services or how we can help your business succeed.


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