In November 2010, we covered Central PA’s growing craft beer scene by highlighting the region’s 11 microbreweries at the time.
In a short three years since, that number has more than doubled, with 17 more breweries (and one cidery), opening up production and adding to the tradition of long-standing area craft breweries like Troegs, Appalachian Brewing Company, Stoudts and Lancaster Brewing Company. Clearly, the trend isn’t slowing down, so we’re raising a glass to the new class.
Baldy Beard Brewing Company
East Market Street, York
Brewmasters: Jarret Dement, Dan Leiphart, Jonpaul Terwilliger and Mike Terwilliger
Production: under 200 bbl/year
Philosophy: Baldy Beard wants to remind you that drinking should be fun and done with friends. The brewing is a collaborative effort between the four passionate founders who are not confined by limitations of styles, and they offer a unique line-up of beers for every season. The nanobrewey is currently under construction, but beer is available at local brewfests and, soon, in growlers.
On Tap: Pale Ryeder (6.6% ABV) An imperial pale ale brewed with bitter hops and dry rye grain with a classic pale ale aroma.
The Brewery at Hershey
598 Schoolhouse Road, Middletown; 944-1569
Brewmaster: Ryan DeLutis
Production: 400 bbl/year
Philosophy: The Brewery at Hershey shares space with The Vineyard at Hershey, creating a unique experience meant to be shared with friends. Along with four flagship beers, seasonal offerings and an experimental line of beer/wine hybrids are featured. The collaborations don’t stop there; the brewery is working with other local breweries and businesses, utilizing many local ingredients.
On Tap: Sap Sucker Maple Porter (5.5% ABV) Want to drink beer for breakfast? (Shout out to The Replacements.) Here’s your beer – an American porter with big notes of maple syrup and a subtle nod to the flavors of breakfast staples like pancakes, coffee and bacon.
Crystal Ball Brewing Co.
1612 West King Street, York
Brewmaster: Ryan Johnstonbaugh
Production: less than 1,000 bbl/year
Philosophy: Crystal Ball Brewing Company is looking into the future and the past, using the latest technology combined with traditional brewing techniques to provide the best possible beer. Brews range from traditional styles to highly experimental offerings.
On tap: Coconut Porter (5.2%) This velvety-smooth traditional style porter has notes of roasted malt and chocolate and a hint of hops. The coconut adds some sweetness to the mix, creating a nice balance.
15556 Elm Drive, New Freedom; 759-0330
Brewmaster: Martin Virga
Production: 900 bbl/year
Philosophy: Named after the Gunpowder Falls located southeast of New Freedom, the brewery adheres to authentic German brewing techniques and focuses primarily on Bavarian-style lagers. Brewmaster Martin Virga has more than 20 years of brewing experience, including four years at brewing school in Munich. It’s honest straight-up beer without any gimmicks.
On Tap: Gunpowder Falls Dunkel (5% ABV) Brewed in the traditional Bavarian style, Gunpowder Falls Dunkel is slightly sweeter than a traditional dunkel, with notes of coffee and caramel and a sessionable alcohol content.
Liquid Hero Brewery
50 East North Street, York; 814-9250
Brewmaster: Josh Hoke
Production: more than 1,000 bbl/year
Philosophy: Three friends transformed their homebrewing project into one of the fastest growing microbreweries in the region. Liquid Hero has expanded its distribution and has started canning its beers. They recently released “White Rose Lager” dedicated to the people of York.
On Tap: Irregardless IPA (6.5% ABV) Liquid Hero’s flagship IPA is light and smooth, brewed with a hop strain grown on the West Coast called Citra, which provides a heady grapefruit aroma and a subtle bitterness.
Manu Forti Brewery at Seven Sports Bar & Grille
14 East Franklin Street, New Freedom; 759-8707
Brewmaster: Mick McKee
Philosophy: Mick McKee is a former homebrewer and boxer, and his beers all feature fighting-themed names. The Manu Forti logo is a nod to his family’s crest. The name translates to “strong fist” in Latin. He brews on an innovative fully electronic system, and his passion for experimenting with new beer recipes is evident.
On Tap: Seven Knuckle Knockout (7% ABV) Available exclusively at Seven Sports Bar, Seven Knuckle Knockout pale ale utilizes a wide array of hops, including Centennial and Chinook, without being overly bitter.
Mexitaly Brick oven Brewhouse
2440 East Market Street, York; 600-8226
Brewmaster: Rick Kunkle
Production: projected at 525 bbl/year
Philosophy: The new microbrewery appeals to drinkers who may not typically imbibe craft beer, with a rotating selection of flavorful and drinkable beers. The new location seats 135 people and has an open wall allowing patrons to see the behind-the-scenes operations.
On Tap: The People’s Pilsner (about 6% ABV) A clean, mildly hopped session pilsner that pairs perfectly with the restaurant’s fresh fish tacos.
Millbock Brewing Co.
Brewmasters; Alan Miller and Albert de Bock
Production: 100 bbl/year
Philosophy: Miller and de Bock are old school hands-on brewers using techniques developed in the 1800s. Because of township regulations, the brewery cannot admit visitors, but plans are in the works to relocate and open a traditional tasting room in the Harrisburg area within the year.
On Tap: Something Dark (7.5% ABV) A dark and complex peat smoked ale with a roasted barley character. Think of a complex single malt Scotch.
Pizza Boy Brewing Co.
4520 Valley Road, Enola; 728-3840
Brewmasters: Al Kominski and Terry Hawbaker
Production: 500 bbl/year
Philosophy: Brewmaster Al Kominski began brewing out of necessity (to keep his pizza shop’s taps fully stocked) a few years ago with relatively no commercial experience. What Kominski lacks in experience he makes up tenfold with passion and an attitude that allows for improvisational experimentation. His motto is “the beer isn’t going to suck,” and it definitely does not.
On Tap: Royal Tannin Bomb! (4.50% ABV) Pinkish copper colored lightly carbonated sour ale with a funky tartness and hints of blueberry, raspberry, cherry and white grapes.
Rumspringa Brewing Company
3174 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird-in-Hand; 768-7194
Brewmaster: Mike Osborne
Production: about 200 bbl/year
Philosophy: Located in the heart of Amish country, Rumspringa Brewing Company is a division of the Mount Hope Estate Winery, featuring four traditional-style staple brews and a rotating selection of seasonal beers on eight taps. You won’t find any over-hopped IPAs or stouts with wacky ingredients here – just ales and lagers.
On Tap: Red Caboose Amber Ale (4.8% ABV) Rumspringa’s best seller is a dark amber-colored traditional American ale – a very sessionable malty ale with a slight citrusy hoppy aroma and taste.
South County Brewing Company
104 Mill Street, Fawn Grove; 382-4016
Brewmaster: JR Heaps
Production: 500 bbl/year
Philosophy: Beer and rock n’ roll just go together. South County Brewing Company has a specialty line of craft beer and indie band collaborations. Great session beers prove that you don’t need to get hammered to get big flavor.
On Tap: Black Cowgirl Double IPA (8% ABV) A collaboration with the Lancaster-based hard rock band Black Cowgirl. It’s a true black IPA brewed with black malt. An earthy roasted quality and a dank, hoppy profile with hints of citrus adds flavor.
St. Boniface Craft Brewing Company
1701 West Main Street, Ephrata; 466-6900
Brewmaster: Jon Northup
Production: 330 bbl/year
Philosophy: Owners Mike Price and Jon Northup share a fondness for English-style ales and stouts. Six beers are featured regularly at the 10-seat taproom.
On Tap: Paideia Pale Ale (5% ABV) Paideia Pale Ale is a light amber-colored hoppy session ale combining the tropical fruity notes of Citra hops with Crystal and Munich malt, giving the ale a slight bitterness. It’s a perfect example of an English pale ale.
The Sturgis Haus Brewery
43 East Main Street, Lititz; 627-7827
Brewmaster: Jim Ament
Production: 20-25 bbl/year
Philosophy: Ament draws inspiration from the historical origins of Lititz, and his brews are influenced heavily by German brewing techniques. Local flavors include Moravian Wheat Ale, Sturgis Oatmeal Stout and Double Chocolate Milk Stout.
On Tap: Angry Leprechaun Ale (8.5% ABV) A strong American red ale brewed with Perle and Willamette hops – smooth malty flavor with a hint of caramel.
Warehouse Gourmet Bistro & Brew Pub
7 Pennsylvania Avenue, Hanover; 451-9898
Brewmaster: Zane Miller
Production: about 250 bbl/year
Philosophy: A former biology student, Miller prefers the title “brewer” to “brewmaster” and sees brewing as a continual learning process. Warehouse Gourmet brews high-quality beer to complement its quality menu. The venue has two floors, a bistro with 40 seats and an upstairs brew pub seating 26.
On Tap: Black IPA Dark, Dank and Ominous (7% ABV) The Black IPA has a light roasted quality with hints of bitter chocolate, grapefruit and a dank hemp-like aroma.
Zuckfoltzfus Brewing Co.
12 South Market Street, Mount Joy; 342-5749
Brewmaster: Michael Boyer
Production: about 160 bbl/year
Philosophy: Husband-and-wife team Michael and Karen Boyer have a 936 square-foot, 37-seat microbrewery and gastropub featuring four staple brews (Oatmeal Stout, Squirrel Bait Nut Brown, Woodshed Red and Whiney Sarah IPA), along with monthly experimental seasonal beers. The menu is as experimental as the beer list.
On Tap: Oatmeal Stout (5.5% ABV) A full-bodied stout with hints of chocolate and coffee, it pairs well with gamier meats like the lamb stew and lamb burgers featured on the menu.
R.I.P. Zuckfoltzfus (2013-2014)
And elsewhere in the land of fermenting…
555 Centennial Avenue, Hanover; 698-3358
Owner Jason Mininger is opening a new brewery in Hanover. The opening of Aldus Brewery was delayed by last year’s government shutdown, but Aldus is scheduled to open in late spring or early summer this year.
Columbia Kettle Works
40 North Third Street, Columbia
Brewer Rod Smith and manager Bill Collister are set to open the microbrewery and brewpub this March. The microbrewery expects to produce about 150 barrels in its first year. Offerings include Bald Guy Imperial Ale (7.2% ABV), a coffee stout called While the Stout (6% ABV) and seasonal brews. Small plates, including panini sandwiches, are available in the 48-seat (including a 12 seat bar) establishment. Tentative hours for the microbrewery are Thursdays and Fridays from 5-9 p.m. and Saturdays from 12-9 p.m. Check the website for more details.
Wyndridge Farm Cidery
885 South Pleasant Avenue, Dallastown; 244-9900
It’s not technically a brewery, but Wyndridge Farm Cidery (established in late 2013) is getting in on the exploding cider trend. It produces small batches of cider utilizing locally sourced apples. Wyndridge Crafty Cider is 5.5% ABV and is available in 12- and 22-ounce bottles at the cidery, its stand in the York Central Market and select bars in the York area.