New Year, New Beers

Happy New Beer! Last year we were astounded by the number of new breweries popping up in Central PA. This year the spread continues. From the slow and steady to the quick risers, the selection of breweries in the area is growing steadily.


wacker-Brew-inset-0116Wacker Brewing

Brewmaster: Michael Spychalski
417 West Grant Street, Lancaster

Wacker traces its roots back to 1853 and is documented as the oldest institution of its kind in Lancaster County. After being closed for more than 55 years, the folks at Wacker Brewing have rekindled Joseph Wacker’s legacy by offering local, handcrafted beer throughout Lancaster city and in their taproom.

On Tap: Little Dutch (5% ABV) – The standard for Wacker’s taproom, this light-bodied Dunkel presents a mahogany color and a slightly off-white head. The star is the yeast as it provides much of the
beer’s flavor.


HowlingHenry-Brew-Inset-0116Howling Henry’s Brewery

Brewmaster: Greg Schertzer
119 N Duke St., Hummelstown

Greg Schertzer started brewing back in 2009. Howling Henry’s is all about offering full-flavor, traditional recipes with a few unique twists and non-traditional additions. Who is Howling Henry? Schertzer’s tri-color beagle. On tap at Nick’s Bistro (324 W. Market St., Marietta).

On Tap: The Swagger Brown Ale (6% ABV) – This flagship brew is smooth, and not overpowering. The malty sweetness finishes with a mild sour note with a hint of citrus from the Cascade hops. It’s not your average brown ale.


SomethingWicked-Brew-Inset-0116Something Wicked

Brewmaster: Bill Seidler
34 Broadway, Hanover

Through “blood, sweat, and beers” the team of owners at Something Wicked want to push the limits of what defines traditional beer. Since opening in May 2015 (with 700 gallons of beer at the ready), Something Wicked continues to offer a constant rotation of newly crafted beers.

On Tap: Afraid of the Dark (7.4 %ABV) – Boo! Afraid of the dark? You shouldn’t be. This definitive black lager is rich and malty and displays accents of coffee and chocolate.


HitPoint-Brew-Inset-0116Hit Point Brewing Company

Brewmasters: Dave Palmer and Phil Fanara
Co-located with The Hanover Hub, 11 York St., Hanover

What happens when a bunch of gamers start talking beer? You get Hit Point. Currently their brews are only offered as samples at select events, but the plan is to have drafts flow at The Hanover Hub in 2016.

On Tap: Level One Wit (5% ABV) – this twist on the classic Belgian witbier substitutes the traditional orange peel and coriander with lemongrass. Hopefully, we’ll find it on tap in several places this summer.


Blackcap-Brew-Inset-0116Black Cap Brewing

Brewmasters: Greg Bentley and Jim Waller
5 W. High St., Red Lion

Using their combined homebrewing experience of more than 25 years, Black Cap Brewing’s co-owners Greg Bentley and Jim Waller desire to bring fresh, handcrafted beer of the highest quality to the community. They pride themselves on their flexibility in brewing.

On Tap: Imperial General Gates Porter (7.7 % ABV) – This potent potable was brewed to mark Black Cap’s first anniversary on December 4.


MooDuck-Brew-Inset-0116Moo-Duck Brewery

Brewmaster: Mike Brubaker
79 S. Wilson Ave., Elizabethtown

What is “Moo-Duck Style?” It’s many things: small batch beer; high quality barley, hops and yeast; respect to the traditional beer styles while embracing alternative components; local ingredients; and most of all, creativity. The folks at Moo-Duck also strive to be stewards of the land.

On Tap: HONEY! Basil Blonde (5% ABV) – Grab this beer if you are looking for a light, refreshing blonde full of flavor. As its name implies, this flagship brew is enhanced with local honey and fresh basil leaves. It is crisp, spicy and easy to drink year round.


Fetish-Brew-Inset-0116Fetish Brewing

Brewmasters: Mike Simpson, Aaron Risser and Brandon Stetser
Event locations around Lancaster County;

Fetish is a creative and fun CSA (community supported agriculture) project where members are rewarded with beers made with meticulous care. They’re into swapping and throwing wild parties. If you are into Fetish and want to join in, find the guys on Facebook.

In Bottles: Wild American Dark (7.74% ABV) – This new, limited brew for 2016 incorporates 30 pounds of organic sour cherries. Aged for two years, it promises to be a sour ale on the sweet side with thick maltiness—something similar to a Lambic.


Miscreation-Brew-Inset-0116Miscreation Brewing Co.

Brewmaster: Brent Stambaugh
6 Center Square, Hanover;

Tats and beer! The crew at Miscreation takes their beer so seriously they wear it on their sleeves – literally. Look for the hops and logo ink on some of the crew. They couldn’t have asked for a cooler location for their brewpub. People-watchers can enjoy the downtown excitement while sipping some creatively risky brews.

On Tap: Frank’n Stout (6.5% ABV) – Think of your ordinary stout flavor profile; the flavors of roasted grains and coffee come to mind. They are present in this Frank’n Stout, but it turns into a real monster in the finish with a bit of spice that is really nice.


<<< Up your local craft beer IQ and get a refresher with our 2014 round-up featuring 17 more Central PA breweries here. >>>



Funks-Brew-Inset-0116Funk Brewing Company

Brewmasters: Jon “Norm” Norman, Kyle Funk and soon Ryan Mock
28 S. Market St., Elizabethtown

Quality! It’s the first word out of brewmaster John Norman’s mouth when he starts to talk about Funk beers. The brewery opened their second location (first is in Emmaus) in E-Town and plan to brew (and hopefully distill) there in 2016.

On Tap: White Christmas (6.8% ABV) – One of the most kick-ass holiday beers to ever hit your lips; not too much “spice” and just enough life (yeast)! This take on a winter seasonal is brewed with Chardonnay grape must.


BlackForest-Brew-Inset-0116Black Forest Brewing

Brewmaster: Robert Harter
301 W Main St., Ephrata;

Drink local, walk home: it’s the motto of Black Forest Brewing. The brewery attached to the 1777 Americana Inn Bed & Breakfast celebrated its first anniversary in December 2015 and continues to add members to its crew of devoted fans.

On Tap: J.G. Belgian Golden Strong Ale (7.6% ABV) – Don’t be deceived by the soft fruit flavor of this big beer. The more you drink the more complex it gets.


Springgate-Brew-Inset-0116Spring Gate Brewery

Brewmaster: Marty Schoffstall
5790 Devonshire Rd., Harrisburg

One of the most unique breweries in the area, Spring Gate is a family-owned farm brewery. Working off a 250-year-old homestead, brewers source water from a crystal-clear spring and hops from an on-site garden. The brewery hosts many public functions, like beer pairings and special menus in their year-round Bier Garten.

On Tap: Belgian Dubbel (7%ABV) – This big and boozy brew is a wonderful nightcap after a few hours in the snow. True to its style, the beer is fruity on the palate, rich in malt flavor and has a mild bitterness with no lingering hop flavors.


Aldus-Brew-Inset-0116Aldus Brewing Co.

Brewmaster: Mitch Zost
555 Centennial Ave. Hanover;

Located in the former Snyder’s of Hanover factory bakery, Aldus Brewing wants to take the fear out of craft beer. The brewpub offers simple food selections and most importantly houses a flavor-enhancing infuser for select drafts — offerings change regularly.

On Tap: ABA (6% ABV) – This American blonde ale carries a citrus-forward taste. Created with German yeast and a blend of American, English and German malt, the result is a light-bodied ale described as a “stepping stone into the world of craft beer.”


TatteredFlag-Brew-Inset-0116Tattered Flag

Brewmaster: Tony Schneider
1 South Union Street, Middletown;

The Tattered Flag philosophy is simple: “give back to the communities around us while providing a one-of-a-kind experience.” It’s by the people, for the people. Coming early 2016, Tattered Flag will be the Capital region’s first co-branded craft brewery and distillery.

On Tap: TBD. At various events around the area, Tattered Flag has introduced its Pilsner, IPA, English Mild, Hefeweizen, and Breakfast Stout.


MadChef-Brew-Inset-0116Mad Chef Craft Brewing

Brewmaster: Francisco Ramirez and Greg Kendig
Village Commons shopping center, 2023 Miller Rd.,
East Petersburg;

Mad Chef co-owner Francisco Ramirez and Greg Kendig wanted to create a place where the “community could enjoy high quality, craft-brewed beer and simple, but elegant food in a relaxed environment.” Bingo! They did it. The Mad Chef Cheese Sauce for their pommes frites is the bomb.

On Tap: F-18 IPA (6.3% ABV) – This West Coast style IPA is for all the hop heads. Named after the 18 pounds of Falconer’s Flight hops used—from boil to dry hop—to make this full IPA, the beer delivers a full hop flavor without a lot of bitterness.


Zeroday-Brew-Inset-0116Zeroday Brewing Co.

Brewmaster: Theo Armstrong
250 Reily Street, Suite 103, Harrisburg;

Co-owner Brandalynn Armstrong first started handing out samples of her and her husband’s beer under the moniker Alter Ego and she is still pushing clean, balanced ales and lagers as Zeroday. Her beer space in hip midtown Harrisburg features rotating brews, local art and live music.

In Bottle: Grievance (8.5% ABV) – This limited release is brewed with Madagascar Bourbon vanilla and cinnamon, and aged in Elijah Craig bourbon barrels while sitting on split vanilla and cinnamon sticks resulting in a dry finish with toasted coconut undertones.


Cox-Brew-Inset-0116Cox Brewing

Brewmasters: Nick Cox and Tim Kreider
276 Heisey Quarry Rd., Elizabethtown,
(Located in Building 1, Bay 5);

Born of sweat and blood, the veteran-owned brewery in E-Town opened in April of 2015. Tim Kreider and co-owner/brewery namesake Nick Cox aim to create great craft beer while establishing a first generation family legacy. Their taproom is open for three hours each Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, but their beers can be found around Lancaster County beer-centric bars and a few local veteran’s clubs.

On Tap: Liberty Lager (4.3% ABV) – Liberty Lager is Cox Brewing’s signature American lager. It’s fairly light on alcohol content while still packing in tons of flavor.


What are your favorite craft breweries in Central PA? Are you celebrating happy hour at one of these new breweries? Tag us on your Instagram photos using #FlyAfter5



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Posted in Articles, Craft Corner, Drink, Drink – Harrisburg, Drink – Lancaster, Drink – York, Headlines

Michael C. Upton works as a freelance writer specializing in arts and leisure covering subjects ranging from funk punk to fine wine. He graduated with a B.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Maine at Farmington and is actively published by trade journals, specialized websites, and regional and national magazines. Upton lives in Southeastern Pennsylvania—in the heart of Amish Country—with his wife and two youngest children.

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