Duquesne Brewing Company-Have A Duke

Crossing  the Smithfield  Street Bridge in Pittsburgh to the South Side, we see a tremendous complex of dining, shopping, live entertainment, and education.  Known as Station Square,  it was the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Passenger Railroad  Station.   The station itself has the restaurant at two levels.  The old train sheds are specialty shops.  There is an exhibit of Pittsburgh’s Industrial Age.  At my last visit, there was a Sheraton Hotel.  Someday I hope we will see commuter trains in Pittsburgh to the Great Lakes.  They should never have stopped.


At one time in the South Side stood the  Duquesne Brewing Company.  The building itself is a rich collection of

Romanesque Revival and assorted designs from the late 19th to the Mid-20th Century.  The trademark for the Beer was a picture of a Duke holding up a Pilsner Glass of Beer.  On the top of the building was a clock with the words “HAVE A DUKE” around it.  Millions of people checked their watches every day with this clock.  It could be seen for miles.

Duquesne had a theme which provided music for a song or march.   Until 1962, Duquesne Beer sponsored the Pittsburgh Steelers on WWSW Radio and away games for CBS Channel 2.  As might be expected,  the march style began and  ended the broadcast.  Lyrics were the background for commercials during the game.

As written

Have a Duke, Have a Duke, Have a Duuuke.  Duquesne’s the Magic Million Beer,  a Million Barrels every year,  the certified proof of quality from the U.S Testing company,  have a Duke,  have a Duke,  have a Duke.  Have a Duke, have a Duke and you will see the reason for its pedigree,  bright and sparkling Duquesne’s first, preferred in every favored test, have a Duke,  have a Duke,  have a Duke.

I cannot remember the exact words from another lyric.  Brand B says ???????, Brand C says??????, that’s all you hear from year to year, confusing claims about their beer,  How do you know it’s the truth?,  Believe your taste, When choosing beer, Don’t be mislead by those confusing claims you hear,  Just taste Duquesne and you will see,  How great good tasting beer can be, Believe your taste and Have a Duke, have a Duke, have a Duke, have a Duke.

At intervals during a game,  the announcers just while  broadcasting Have a Duke the finest beer in town

In addition to Duquesne Beer, the Pilsner, the Duquesne Brewing Company had Silver Top its Lager Beer.  As might be expected Silver Top was to provide variety and never matched Duquesne in sales.  It did provide a balance to its major competitor  in Western Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Brewing Company.   This brewery did things in reverse.  Let me spell this out to avoid confusion.

Duquesne Brewing Company-Primary Brew was Duquesne Pilsner and the Secondary was Silver Top Lager.  Pittsburgh Brewing Company-Primary Brew was Iron City Lager and the Secondary was Tech Premium Pilsner.

After Carling became Steelers’ beer in 1962, the Duquesne Company changed their marketing techniques.  The title was simply DUKE beer.  I cannot remember the exact words.  They said you will like the bold flavor of DUKE beer. Where tastes run strong, make it DUKE.   The company abandon its royalty image for something more blue collar.  The pictures were different showing rodeo cowboys, miners, steel workers, or truck drivers.

When the Duquesne Brewing Company folded in 1972,  C. Schmidt’s and Sons bought and packaged DUKE beer at its Cleveland Branch not its headquarters in Philadelphia.  The Duquesne plant on the South Side became a meeting for artists and writers.




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