The History of the Duquesne Brewing Company
Includes the History of the Independent Brewing Company

July 27, 2015, Revised
This document originated as the Independent Brewing Company

In 1889, two brewing companies were formed. The Pittsburgh Brewing Company was a consolidation of a number of individual brewing companies. Several months later the Duquesne Brewing Company incorporated as a stand-along brewery. I do not know the reasoning but Duquesne re-incorporated in 1903 and tried to consolidate a large number of breweries not under the control of Pittsburgh Brewing. This pretty much failed but they tried in once more in 1905 under the company named Independent Brewing. As illustrated in the work,
History of the Pittsburgh Brewing Company, directors at Pittsburgh Brewing created Independent Brewing. I can find no other connection between Pittsburgh and Independent but Duquesne Brewing and Independent were one in the same. Pittsburgh Brewing was formed by people outside of the brewing trade and there was speculation at the time that these people wanted to control the brewing and saloon business in Western Pennsylvania. In looking at the history of the brewing business in this area I can say that this was a plausible plan. Trying to take control of all the breweries at once would not have been feasible and would have caught the eyes of the Federal Government. Taking a step by step approach would have worked and it looked as though it was. But just as this plan was steps away from coming to a close national prohibition was enacted and that was the end of evil empire.

Another theory that could have merit was the fight against the English Syndicate. The syndicate was a group of investors based in London whose purpose it was to buy all or the majority of the major breweries in America. The syndicate did purchase many breweries and several in Pittsburgh were interested. But they were fought off and lost capital and the syndicate dissolved.

This work will explore the history of the Duquesne Brewing Company and the Independent Brewing Company.

Key Dates:
Pittsburgh Brewing Company created: January 1, 1899
Duquesne Brewing Company created: April 4, 1899
Duquesne Brewing Company consolidation: 1903
Independent Brewing Company created: January 7, 1905
Independent Brewing Company dissolves: 1933
Duquesne Brewing Company re-incorporated: 1933
Duquesne Brewing Company dissolves: 1972.

Duquesne Brewing Company 1899

The Duquesne Brewing Company was officially incorporated on April 4, 1899.
Its main office was in the Park Building at the corner of Smithfield Street and Fifth Avenue.

Friday family:

John Benz, President
Lived at 14 S 12
th St in 1900. L Benz & Brothers Contractors were on S18th St.

Peter Hermes VP
Ohio & Pittsburgh Milk Co. Diamond & Boyd Streets. Home the same.

Charles E. Succop, Secretary
Lived at 118 South 17
th St, Succop & Henning, 1411 E Carson St.

Frederick N Stucky, Treasurer (He always went by F N Stucky)
Stucky was a director in the Pittsburgh and Castle Shannon Railroad in 1882.
In 1900 he was living at 1722 Sarah Street on the South Side.

Directors: John Benz, Peter Hermes, J F Grimes, Justin Mulert, Charles Ott, Albert Ernwein, Charles E, Sucop

Henry Miller was president in 1900 per the Pittsburgh Directory.

To be moved:
Grant E. Friday (March 26, 1915 Pittsburgh – Pittsburg), President (son of John A. Friday). He took over after his father’s death along with his brother John. This ended in the 1960’s.

Raymond H. Sogesmund

Duquesne Brewing Company 1903

The 1903 edition of
American Brewer’s Review, Volume 17 noted the (re)formation of the Duquesne Brewing Company. Duquesne, which was already in existence consolidated (or tried to consolidate) 15 breweries, which were (partially):
American, Millvale, Allegheny County (Formerly Willow Grove Brewery)
American was not known to have been founded until 1906.
Anchor Brewing, Tarentum/Brackenridge, Allegheny County
Anton Brewing, Monongahela,
Butler, Butler County
Chartiers Valley, Carnegie, Allegheny County
D Lutz, Allegheny City, Allegheny County
Elk Brewing Co. (1874-), Kittanning, Armstrong County
Hilltop, Mt. Oliver Borough, Allegheny County
These breweries were merged as they were profitable at the time.
The consolidation originally considered 21 breweries.

This was Duquesne’s attempt to follow in Pittsburgh Brewing’s path of controlling the beer business in western Pennsylvania.

John Benz, president of the Duquesne Brewing Company remained as president of this new company. The negotiations which led to the creation of this company were conducted by John P. Persch of New York City. He has also been identified in 1903 as being from Philadelphia. The Pittsburgh Press noted Philadelphia on July 31, 1903 when a new brewing concern was being formed. Four breweries, Union of Sharon, New Kensington of New Kensington, Charleroi of Charleroi and D. Luyz and Sons of Allegheny. The acting head of this syndicate was Persch.

The complete list of the breweries in the new combine is: Duquesne Brewing Co., Chartiers Valley Brewing Co., of Carnegie; First National Brewing Co., of McKee's- Rocks: Highland Brewing Co.; Home Brewing Co., of Braddock; Hill Top Brewing Co., of Mlllvale: Homestead Brewing Co., of Homestead; Clairton Brewing Co., of Clairton; Lucyville Brewing Co., of Lucyvllie, Washington countv; Union Brewing Co., of Sharon; New Kensington Brewing Co., of New Kensington; Charlerol Brewing Co., of Charleroi. Washington county, and E. Lutz & Sons brewery, of Allegheny.

Independent Brewing Company

The Independent Brewing Company was incorporated on January 7, 1905, after the incorporation of Duquesne. Independent dissolved in 1933 leaving Duquesne to continue on its own. This interesting history of Independent is in a separate document. It is interesting to see that Independent was formed shortly after Duquesne Brewing’s failed consolidation of breweries. Was this “Plan B”? Duquesne was merged along with the other breweries into the Independent portfolio but clearly it was the dominant brewery and mostly likely called the shots.

Industrial Refrigeration, Volume 32, 1907 reported that architect Oscar Beyer was to design a new 5-story addition to the Duquesne Brewery.

Operations during Prohibition

Duquesne Brewing Company 1933

Became the Duquesne Brewing Company of Pittsburgh in 1937. The company, reformed under their original charter, emerged as the largest brewing company in Pennsylvania at a yearly production rate of 325,000 barrels.
Expansion of the South Side buildings occurred in 1950.
South Side plant closes in 1972 after a fire gutted the building during a labor strike,

Add the date for this: The brewery decided to use refrigerated train cars to ship the beer, an innovated move the early twentieth century. A Chicago stockyard man, Max Epstein, connected Duquesne with Armour and Company, and had Duquesne’s company logo emblazoned on one of the cars. At first sight, the Duquesne reps thought the car was a giant billboard for their company and purchased twenty cars. The money that Epstein netted from the sale enabled him to found the General American Transportation Corporation.

The Independent Brewing Company tried to re-enter the brewing business after prohibition but was unable. Duquesne Brewing Company was the dominant brewery to emerge from prohibition and reincorporated once Independent dissolved. Duquesne continued in business as it did prior to prohibition.

The following breweries were a part of the newly organized Duquesne Brewing Company:
Duquesne Plant No. 1
First National Plant No. 2 closed in 1951
Chartiers Valley (Carnegie) Plant No. 3 closed in 1952 after a strike.
*Razed and the property sold.
Per American Breweries of the Past David Moyer Author House publishers 2009

Duquesne Brewing Company 1950

Duquesne purchased the brands of the Pilsner Brewing Company of Cleveland on September 16, 1963.

1966 Department of Justice Decree

Justice Department issued a consent decree (
US v. Pittsburgh CCH Trade Cases, papra. 71,751) in 1966 to shalt the merger. Pittsburgh Brewing Company tried to buy Duquesne.

Duquesne Brewing Company Clock

The clock that adorns the old Duquesne brewery originated on Mt. Washington overlooking the Monongahela River. It was built and erected (1932) by the Audichron Company for Coca-Cola. John L. Franklin founded Audichron. The clock was purchased by Duquesne and moved to the South Side in 1961. The clock face is an eight-sided octagon and measures sixty-feet square. London’s Big Ben is 23-feet square,

Duquesne Brewing Company 1972

Duquesne, d.b.a. Duke, Inc. ceased production on December 8, 1972. The labels and rights were sold to the C. Schmidt & Sons company, doing business as The Philadelphia Brewing Company.

International Union of United Brewery, Flour, Cereal, Soft Drink, and Distillery Workers of America. Local 22 represented the brewers. Local 67 represented the drivers and Local 144.

Charges against Duquesne Brewing Company chemist David Balog will be dropped if: He pays for the three-inch hole which police say he admitted blasting in the brewery's roof last Thursday as a "prank." An investigation proves that the "prank" was not a plot. Balog, 40, of the 4300 block of Gladstone Street, Hazel-wood, admitted to police that he was responsible for the explosion which also blew out five windows. He explained that the damage was caused by a smoke bomb fashioned from a flare which instead exploded in the brewery's bottling plant. Balog is among the 425 union and non-union brewery workers affected by the closing after the brewery sold its name and label to a Philadelphia brewing company. While there have been some workers already laid off, a Duquesne spokesman said that "the general layoff is scheduled for Friday."

Workers at western Pennsylvania beer breweries were represented by three locals of the International Union of United Brewery, Flour, Cereal, Soft Drink, and Distillery Workers of America. Local 22 represented the brewers, Local 67 represented the drivers, and Local 144 represented the bottlers. In 1946, Local 144 engaged in a literal battle with a faction of bottlers who formed Teamsters Local 232. The two groups exchanged beatings and fire bombs during the jurisdictional dispute after the breweries refused to recognize the Teamsters and fired anyone who did not return to work, resulting in pickets from the American Federation of Labor. Both Local 144 and 22 are now affiliated with the International Union of Electricians-Communication Workers of America (IUE-CWA).

Historic Status of the Duquesne Brewery

Duquesne Brewery
The Brew House was built in 1899 as the headquarters of the Duquesne Brewing Company. Over the years, Duquesne Brewing added other buildings to its complex, which are also a part of the nomination. These are:

National Register of Historic Places

2225-2235 Mary Street, built in 1937 and 1954 as a shipping facility;

Self-Storage Building at Mary and S. 22nd streets, built ca. 1940 for grain storage;

160 S. 22nd Street, now Beitler-McKee Optical, built in 1948 as offices of Duquesne Brewing Company;

2250 Mary Street, now South Side Lofts condominiums, built in 1949 as a warehouse;

2201 Mary Street, adapted as a bottling building ca. 1950;

The “Clock Tower” building at Mary and S. 21st streets, built in 1950 as a state-of-the art, modern brew house;

Building at Jane and S. 21st streets, built in 1956 as a combined bottling/shipping facility.

Duquesne Brewing Company X

The Pennsylvania Department of State list several companies:

Duquesne Brewing Company
127 Edward Street Philadelphia
Incorporated: November 1972
Owner: C Schmidt & Sons, Inc.

Duquesne Brewing Company
3340 Liberty Avenue Pittsburgh 15201
Incorporated: December 10, 1987
Owner: Pittsburgh Brewing Company

Duquesne Brewing Company of Pittsburgh, Inc.
932 W North Avenue Pittsburgh 15233
Incorporated: November 2, 1995
Owner: Michael & Tom Youchak (Engineering Services)
Thomas M Youchak was also known as Thomas B Shearer

Duquesne Brewing Company
2581 Washington Road Pittsburgh 15242
Incorporated: December 15, 2008
Owner: Mark J Dudash (formerly with Pittsburgh Brewing 1980’s)
Owner of the brands. Production at City Brewing, Latrobe.
Formed Duquesne Bottling Company, November 9, 2009 (owner: Duquesne Brewing)

It is a business corporation registered on December 15, 2008 by Mark J Dudash. 2555 Washington Rd, Pittsburgh (Mt. Lebanon) 15241.
Current name: Duquesne Brewing Company.
Formerly: Duke Brewing Company, Inc. and Duke Brewing Company.

The Duquesne Brewing Company of Pittsburgh, Inc. is an active company; registered on November 21, 1995.
Michael & Tom Youchak, 932 W North Avenue, Pittsburgh 15233-1606.