New Beer Near the Susquehanna River

Most of my life, I’ve lived within close proximity to the Susquehanna River, so it is interesting to me that so many new places are opening up within minutes of the river.  Here is a rundown of what I’ve been hearing about lately:

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Lancaster opened November 28. This is the seventh facility for Iron Hill. Located at 781 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster, PA  17603

Spring House Brewing Company in Connestoga (nice report in Bar Fly, and reported on the tenpints blog, which says it is open; very interesting article in York Sunday News about the operation.) Located at 2519 Main Street, Conestoga, PA 17516

Bavarian Barbarian Brewing Companyin Williamsport opened December 28. I’m not sure when I’ll get to Williamsport again to check this place out, but my uncle thinks brewer Mike Hiller is a former student of his, so he’d like to check it out (I’m hoping to get a full report!) Located at 429 W. 3rd St, Williamsport, PA 17701

I learned the following from an article on Billtown Live

  • The Horde Room (tasting room) will be open from 2-6 PM, Tuesdays through Thursdays, and 2-8 PM on Fridays & Saturdays for beer purchasing. Beer enthusiasts can enjoy a tour of the brewery, led by head brewer, Mike Hiller, every Saturday at 4 and 6 PM. 
  • Hammerin’ Ale and Headbangerz Brown Ale are two of the five beers the Barbarian will brew year-round. In the spring, the Barbarian will release either the Square Feet Wheat Ale or the Weldspatter IPA (the choice of which beer to be released next will be left up to the people – a voting and comment system will be installed on the website.) The winning beer will be released in the early spring and the next beer will be released in the summer. Steel Drivin’ Stout will be released in the fall of 2008.
  • The phone number is 570-322-5050.

Lancaster Brewing Company in Harrisburg opened in the very last days of December 2007 (while we were on vacation.)  We visited for dinner on Tuesday, January 2, and were thrilled to learn it is a completely non-smoking facility, as is the Lancaster location now. Located at 469 Eisenhower Blvd, Harrisburg, PA 17111

Thoughts on our visit:

  • First impression is that this location isn’t quite ready for the public yet. There is no outside signage visible from the road, and the building, which is very attractive (in a plain and simple sort of way) may not be obvious to people coming from out of town. I hope that will change.
  • The bar and restaurant areas are very nice – I like the dim lighting and the dark wood and brick interior – but the bar seems very “stiff”. While I’m sure we will go there with friends, hang out and be as loud as we want to be, it reminds me a bit of a hotel bar where quiet is the expectation. I hope that isn’t the case.
  • Our waitress needs to learn how to greet customers at a brewpub. After welcoming us, she said, “Can I get you a cocktail?” A what?!?! Beer, please. (She was, otherwise, a great waitress.)
  • The menu is lovely. It’s not a cheap restaurant, but the prices are fair. There is a nice mix of appetizer bites, pizzas, burgers and full entrees. My meal (seared tuna salad) was big enough to share with D, who ordered soup and an appetizer.
  • We can’t take our vegetarian friends to LBC Harrisburg at this time. Even the squash soup was made with chicken stock; a garden salad and two pizzas were the only veggie options I observed. Perhaps they can add a non-meat burger (spent grain, walnut & barley or otherwise), a tofu selection or even a great big vegetable salad?
  • Mug Club – will there be one? We hope so.
  • Pints only. This was a disappointment. They do offer a sampler tray of 5-oz glasses, but I’m always looking for an opportunity to buy just one 10-oz or 12-oz glass at a time. That way I can drink more styles with less consumption.
  • Beers are currently being shipped from Lancaster (brewing facility at Harrisburg has yet to be constructed.) They offered almost any LBC beer a person could want. I know this isn’t a complete list, but I recall that they had Hop Hog IPA, Amish Four Grain, Strawberry Wheat, Milk Stout, Fest Beer Amber Lager, Winter Warmer and probably three or four more.
  • The management staff seemed very interested in making sure customers were satisfied (they didn’t come to our table, which is fine, because we were generally satisfied!) I think that’s a good sign.

LBC Harrisburg, is practically in our back yard, so I’m hoping it is successful and becomes a place we frequent.

Appalachian Brewing Company in Lancaster – still waiting for one or more locations to come through.

One Guy Brewing in Berwick had a soft opening yesterday (beer has been available at B.F. J’Eats since late December; grand opening TBA.) Probably the best information available is on Lew Bryson’s blog(read the comments – it gets more and more interesting as the days pass.) Located at 328 W. Front St., Berwick, PA 18603

A friend of ours made a visit yesterday, and learned the following:

  • There are four beers currently on tap.  Number 1 (the first One Guy beer ever brewed; a  golden lager), Dark Lager, Peach Wheat and Rauch Bock.
  • There are two glass sizes to choose from. A small glass (perhaps 10-oz?) ranged from $2.25-2.75. Shaker “pints” were $3-3.50. Growlers were $4.01+tax for the glass, and the fills were $7.50-10.

He reported that the beers were “spot on excellent,” so this sounds like a place that needs to get on our schedule!

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4 responses

  1. One Guy opening was super. If you like German beer this is it. The peach wheat, actually reminds me of Maisel from Bayreuth, not at all a weenie brew. Looking at a ”grand opening” on Jan 26th with maybe a wood keg etc.

  2. I did a drive by at LBC-Harrisburg tonight on my way to a dinner meeting. At 6 PM, the parking lot was absolutely packed, and the building was much better lighted than our last visit. Looking good!

  3. Thanks for the update on One Guy. I have been waiting and waiting for this for months now and my desert oasis is only one week away! Yeah! Based on Roger’s comments above, it sounds like he’s hitting all the right notes with a very disparate selection of beers for all tastes. This is great news for beer enthusiasts in NEPA and my mouth is watering already! It’s going on my beer-calendar for next weekend.

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