I was just talking to a fellow beer writer, Stan — who writes several beer blogs for Real Beer and himself, among much else — and he told me he’d gotten a call or e-mail from someone telling him the Pabst Tower in Newark, New Jersey is being torn down right now. Demolition of the brewery itself began in August of 2004 but the famous landmark water tower so far had escaped the wrecking ball. It came to prominence again recently when it was featured in the HBO series The Sopranos.
Roadside America has some more info on the water tower:
What is perhaps the World’s Largest Bottle — 60 feet tall, with a capacity of 55,000 gallons — is gradually being pried loose from its 100+-foot-tall tower in Newark, New Jersey. The bottle, a water tank originally built in 1930 to promote Hoffman Pale Dry Ginger Ale, was slated to be torn down in 2004, and again in 2005, but each time it proved more sturdy than the machinery sent to destroy it.
Now a third attempt has begun to remove the bottle — this time with the goal of preserving it. But the bottle is still putting up a fight.
The bottle achieved fame when the Hoffman plant was taken over by Pabst, which turned the tank into a glossy blue Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer bottle. Six men could stand on its glittering gold stopper, and the bottle was even featured in episodes of The Sopranos. But the plant closed in 1986, and in recent years the bottle, untended, has rusted to a uniform red. Now the old facility is being demolished, and the bottle is in the crosshairs.
The most appropriate photo I could find of the tower, this one is by Justin Makler.
A close-up of the tower.
UPDATE 6.27: Stan from Real Beer Therapy, who told me about this story in the first place, has a link to the New York Times story about the demolition as well as the real beer history of the tower.