Foodservice Equipment Reports

Beverage-Air Celebrates 70 Years

Beverage-Air, founded in 1944 by John Buffington in Punxsutawney, Pa., is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. The refrigeration maker then was known as The Punxsutawney Co. It carried the trade name “Beverage-Air” and introduced the industry’s first horizontal, forced-air cooler. In 1950, the firm expanded its product line beyond deep-well models to include shallow wells, club bars, dairy models, cube makers and direct-draw systems.

As the demand for commercial refrigeration products increased, Herman Buffington joined his brother to help expand the business. In 1958, the company built a new manufacturing plant in Spartanburg, S.C. The facility became the corporate headquarters, and the company was renamed Beverage-Air. Booming business prompted construction in 1969 of a second facility in Brookville, Pa. The original Punxsutawney Co. closed its doors, and all operations were moved to Brookville and Spartanburg. Beverage-Air constructed a third facility in Honea Path, S.C., in 1995.

Beverage-Air changed ownership over the years; its owners included Specialty Equipment, from 1986-2000, when it was sold to Carrier Corp. In 2008, the Ali Group acquired Beverage-Air, and, two years later, the corporate headquarters was relocated to a newly constructed, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified facility in Winston-Salem, N.C., where it remains today as part of the Ali Group North America campus.

In commemoration of its anniversary, Beverage-Air has published a limited-edition 2014 calendar that illustrates old/new model innovations with product benefits and features throughout the years. Copies are available by contacting Beverage-Air at

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