Reading Brewing Company was an American beer brewing establishment founded by Philip Bessinger in 1886 in Reading, Pennsylvania. It was located at 9th & Little Laurel Streets.
Reading produced a Pennsylvania Dutch Lager at a volume of 1,200 barrels a year. The brewery raised its production to approximately 50,000 barrels a year by 1891. Reading suffered from difficulties after Prohibition began in 1920. From 1928 to 1933, the brewery was closed down. The facility itself was almost dismantled, but U.S. Marshals had trouble breaking the padlock on the front door and eventually left the plant intact. After considerable litigation, Reading brewery reopened in 1934. From 1934 to 1951 Reading ran a ‘retro’ advertising campaign which played on the nostalgia for simpler times.
In 1958, due to flagging sales, Reading re-branded as “The Friendly Beer for Modern People.” The change proved successful in reversing the slump and Reading made strong sales that lasted into the 1970s.
In 1976, Reading ceased operations due to increasing pressure from larger macro brewers. The label was purchased shortly afterwards by C. Schmidt & Sons. The brand changed hands several times until 1999, when it was again retired. In 2006, the Label was revived by Legacy Brewing, which produced original Reading recipes. In 2009, the Reading label and its recipes were purchased by Ruckus Brewing.