Tru-Blu Pilsener


“Made at Home by Home Folks for Home Folks”

Trademark abandonment 1997

Tru-Blu was the most successful of the beer and ales produced by Northampton Brewery Corporation of Lehigh Valley, PA. Situated in an area now rich in brewing history, Northampton began operation in the early 1900s. The brewery capitalized early on its location which was in close proximity to a massive cement plant whose workers needed beer, and Northampton was eager to provide it.

On May 5, 1933 the brewery introduced Tru-Blu, and it became very popular very quickly, being distributed up and down the east coast. The World War II years were among its most prolific, when it produced more than 150,000 barrels per year, sending beer to army camps in the Carolinas and Georgia.

Wanting to make the beer even better, the brewery made a fatal error, not unlike that of Coca~Cola when it introduced “New Coke” in 1985. Of course, we all know how that worked out – 79 days later Coca-Cola Classic was reinstated.

The Northampton Brewing Company paid a whopping $50,000 in 1934 for a new recipe from a brewing school. Like Coca~Cola, the Tru-Blu customers preferred the original recipe, and the new one was quickly replaced with the original… a testament to the fact that sometimes it is best to not mess with success!

Northampton eventually closed in 1950, but not for reasons you would expect. In fact, the brewery’s customers and local supporters claimed it was only a temporary closure when they heard the news. When brewmaster Sam Duld died in November 1949 he left the brewery in violation of Pennsylvania’s 51% Law which required the majority shareholder to be a PA resident. The decision was made to close down operations rather than try to find a PA resident to hold the shares. In 1955 everything went to auction including tanks, bottles, brew kettles and 55,000 barrels. The main building still remains and has been home to a variety of businesses over the years.