Beer In Ads #1228: Its Heart Belongs To Europe

Friday’s ad is for Imperial Pilsener, from 1976. Imperial Pilsener was made by the Hofbrau Brewing Co. from Allentown, Pennsylvania. It’s interesting to see a beer using “imperial” in its name in the 1970s. Using the tagline “Its heart belongs to Europe,” it seems less like they’re using it to denote strength than an air of European-ness.



  1. Gary Gillman says

    This was made by Horlacher Brewing Co., one of the great pre-craft breweries of Pennsylvania – and the U.S. – which couldn’t survive into the 1980’s. Straub, The Lion, Yuengling, Schmidt and some others in PA did, but Horlacher didn’t make it. Horlacher was famous for its Perfection Beer, aged 9 months, like some 1800’s lagers in Europe. They were both behind and ahread of their time. Imperial Pilsener was another of the Horlacher top-quality range. Jim Robertson reported in his The Connoisseur’s Guide To Beer (1982) that it was: “light but pleasant, clean and complex, very good brew”. I would suggest Imperial meant Vienna to the brewery.

    I wonder if some PA old-timers still remember Perfection and Imperial Pilsener, you’d have to ask around Allentown I guess. If I ever get there, I will.


    • says


      I see now that Hofbrau Brewing Co. may have been a dba or they used that name as a separate entity. According to Tavern Trove, while it was Horlacher Brewing Co. from 1933-1978, it was also known as Hofbrau Brewing. Co. from 1960-1964, and 1967-1972, although this ad was apparently from 1976.


  2. Gary Gillman says

    Jay I think that must be right about the dba. Roberston lists it under Horlacher’s name but puts Hofbrau Brewing Co. in brackets after the specific name Imperial Pilsener. Maybe Horlacher absorbed a brewery called Hofbrau Brewing, hard to say. (or vice versa). I wish someone would recreate some of these old beers, especially this one or Perfection!


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