The end of the Prohibition Era was highly celebrated across the United States – and for good reason. Not only did this momentous occasion have a tremendous impact on culture and social life, but it also enabled companies like Banko Beverage Co to begin distributing alcoholic beverages and become one of the most trusted distributors in the Greater Lehigh Valley area. Here, we tell the story of how we began distributing Schaefer Beer, our first beer product, in 1933.
What Is Prohibition?
Beginning in 1920, the Prohibition Era, as it became known, marks the time in U.S. history when alcohol production, sales, and transportation became illegal. After the Volstead Act was passed, the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect, banning activities related to manufacturing alcohol for the consumer market.
By this point in history, Americans already had a soft spot for imbibing their favorite beverages and were unready to give up alcohol for good. The legislation proved to be a challenge to enforce, and after 13 years, Congress was ready to make a change. The 21st Amendment to the Constitution was adopted by Congress, which would repeal the 18th Amendment.
How Prohibition Led to Our First Beer Distribution
Prohibition ended on December 5, 1933, marking the beginning of a very successful journey for Banko Beverage Co, which began as a soda distributor. As soon as it became legal again, we began distributing our first alcoholic products with a brand called Schaefer Beer, and other notable brands were soon added to the roster. At the time, our team worked diligently to increase Banko Beverage Co’s distribution area and tirelessly promoted our products to big-name customers – some of whom became loyal purchasers of Schaefer Beer and other products.
While we are physically located in Allentown and Jessup, Pennsylvania, we now serve as the go-to beverage distributor for countless clients in the following areas – and it’s all thanks to the efforts of our employees in the 1930s:
- Lehigh County
- Northampton County
- Carbon County
- Monroe County
- Pike County
- Luzerne County
- Lackawanna County
- Wyoming County
- Wayne County
- Susquehanna County
The History of Schaefer Beer
Why did Banko Beverage Co start with Schaefer Beer? In short, the brand’s mission and values aligned with ours, and Schaefer Beer sure was delicious! Branded with its iconic red circle logo and gold script on each can and bottle, Schaefer Beer was an invention of F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Company in 1842. With roots in New York City, Schaefer Beer was Banko Beverage Co’s opportunity to bring big-city beer to the landscape of Eastern PA. Schaefer Beer was known to be brewed in New York State until 1976, and today, the brand is owned by Pabst Blue Ribbon, one of our suppliers.
Thanks to our initial success with distributing Schaefer beer, Banko Beverage Co was able to expand our services and grow into the beverage powerhouse we’ve become known as today.
Learn More about Banko Beverage Co’s Beers Through the Years
While Banko Beverage Co started with Schaefer Beer in 1933, it’s quite a different story today. Banko Beverage Co currently partners with more than 30 breweries and has become known for our reputation as experts in the beer and alcohol industry. Not only do we deliver the classic brands Americans have come to know and love, but we are also dedicated to making new products available throughout the Greater Lehigh Valley. Learn more about Banko Beverage Co and the history of beer by contacting us today.