Crafting a better brew
Local brewing companies attract new fans
It’s a pretty unique product. It’s a chance to educate people on what is mead and what they’re going to taste. Scott Rudich Round Guys Brewing Co.
If you’ve never personally met the person who makes your beer, maybe now’s a good time to start.
Round Guys Brewing Co., 324 W. Main St., Lansdale, held LWV RIfiFLDO JUDQG opening March 9. From noon to 7 p.m., there were beer and food specials — including $4 pints of Original Slacker brown ale — prizes, giveaways and live music by The Fermentors, a musical group comprising brewers from the Pottstown area.
Co-founder Scott Rudich said he was most excited about giving away a membership in the new Round Guys Mug Club.
Sure, the brew pub at Main and Wood streets has been open for a while, but Rudich explained that it was the one-year anniversary of Round Guys “getting licensed,” and a golden opportunity to announce that the brew pub will now have hours seven days a week and new items on the food menu.
Also recently added to the brew pub’s bill of fare are meads from the North Wales-based Boyd’s Cardinal Hollow Winery. Mead is a honey-andwater-based alcoholic beverage that dates back to ancient times.
“It’s a pretty unique product,” Rudich said, noting that one of the Cardinal Hollow meads is aged in whiskey barrels. “It’s a chance to educate people on what is mead and what they’re going to taste.”
New brews that will be available soon are the WDOOflRwHU HHIHwHLzen wheat beer and the fruit-aged saison, named Moisson.
Hours are currently 5 to 11 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays through Fridays (Tuesday hours starting soon), noon to 11 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 8 p.m. Sundays.
Call 215-368-2640, visit www.roundguysbewery. com or www.facebook.com/ roundguys, on Twitter @RoundGuysBrewer.
Prism Brewing Co.’s taproom repurposes the back of an old warehouse building off Dickerson Road in Upper Gwynedd, located along the SEPTA R5 tracks, in upscale fashion. The Prism Beer Facebook page — www.facebook. com/prismbeer — proclaims that their beers stand out like Lady Gaga if placed next to Budweiser.
Considering that Prism’s Insana Stout is brewed with Bespoke Bacon made in Lansdale, indeed Lady Gaga’s infamous meat dress comes to mind.
The man that started it all, Rob DeMaria, has successfully experimented with various food ingredients while brewing. Another example — Shady Blonde is made with blood oranges. If you were wondering what some of these brews would taste like without the adjuncts, the fiUVW RI 3ULVP’V 1DNHG VHULHV, a straight-up Irish red called Naked Red, is about to be unveiled. Each Naked beer will have a corresponding model from the Quakertownbased Bombshell Pinups to market it.
“They’re real models, not twigs. It’s classy, not pornographic,” said DeMaria, noting that some of his Twitter followers have criticized the decision.
Almost-nightly entertainment at the taproom includes “Cards Against Humanity” on Mondays — think an adult version of Mad Libs — trivia on Tuesdays, live jazz with The International Bitterness Units (a scale important to brewers and hardcore beer geeks) on Thursdays and an hour of the music of Pink Floyd on the jukebox for “Floyd Fridays.” Prism’s logo is partly inspired by the “Dark Side of the Moon” album cover, and DeMaria said that taproom visitors like to request albums for Floyd Fridays.
Hours are 4 p.m. to midnight Mondays through Thursdays, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays, noon to 2 a.m. Sat- urdays and noon to 10 p.m. Sundays.
The brewing operations will eventually have to move to a larger space to keep up with demand, but DeMaria, a North Penn grad, said he will not move Prism’s home base beyond the borders of the North Penn School District.
Call 267-613-8572, visit www.prismbeer.com, on Twitter @prismbeer.
We brew to taste, fiW WR VWyOH” LV the motto at Perkasie’s Free Will Brewing Co., which was founded in 2010 by Souderton Area High School graduate Dominic Capece and Pennridge High School grad John Stemler. Their beers have been featured at the Lansdale Beer Tasting Festival and are on tap at bars across southeastern and central Pennsylvania, as well as in the Poconos.
Located at the rear corner of a multi-unit building at 410 E. Walnut St., Suite 10, the Bucks County brewers have recently branched out into community events. According to Capece, a “Malt, Fire & Art” event held March 3 at Free Will raised more than $1,500 for the Perkasie Volunteer Fire Company.
However, Capece said, “We’re not looking to do a lot of crazy events. We’re focusing on quality beer and sticking to our business plan.”
The tasting room is open 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 4 to 8 p.m. Fridays and noon to 7 p.m. Saturdays. Free samples are given to the public during those hours and 64-ounce JURwOHUV FDQ EH fiOOHG IRU $8 to $18. Their “no alcohol for consumption on the premises” liquor license prohibits them from selling beer by the glass.
Tours are given at 1 and 3 p.m. Saturdays.
Current growler offerings are Citra Pale Ale, Pale Stout, Hop Geek, 10w Porter and C.O.B. (Coffee Oatmeal Brown).
They just started bottling their beer, which is available at Whole Foods stores and will soon be sold at Wegman’s stores.
Call 267-354-0813, visit www.freewillbrewing.com or www.facebook.com/FreeWillBrewing, on Twitter @FreewillBrewing.
The Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in the Shoppes at English Village, 1460 Bethlehem Pike, Horsham, has its own on-site handcrafted beers on the menu. From noon to 5 p.m. March 9, it’s “Release the Hounds” marked the release of Winston’s Wee Heavy, a new beer named in honor of head brewer Vince DesRosier’s rescued dog, Winston.
Other featured beers that day were Iron Hill’s medal winners from the Great American Beer Festival — a bourbon barrel-aged Winston’s Wee Heavy, Grand Inquisitor, Russian Imperial Stout and Belgian Trippel.
Don’t forget about Sly Fox, which last year opened a 30,000-square-foot brewery in Pottstown on Circle of Progress Drive, with a “Tastin’ Room” on the same street.
The company was founded in December 1995 by the Giannopoulos family when Peter Giannopoulos opened the Sly Fox Brewhouse & Eatery in Phoenixville. The company was an early proponent of the craft-beerin-a-can revolution. According to www.slyfoxbeer.com, LW wDV WhH fiUVW EUHwHUy LQ WhH Mid-Atlantic region to put in a canning line in 2006. Its list of awards includes a Gold Medal at the 2007 Great American Beer Festival for the Sly Fox Pikeland Pilsner. According to the brewer, it wDV WhH fiUVW WLPH D G$B) medal of any sort had been given to a canned craft beer.
Free tours of the Pottstown brewery are at 2 and 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Call 484-524-8210 for reservations.
Triumph Brewing Co., with locations in New Hope, Philadelphia and Princeton, N.J., also brews its own. Check www.triumphbrewing.com.
Above, Scott Rudich at Round Guys Brewing Co. in Lansdale.
Right, Scott Rudich at Round Guys Brewing Co. in Lansdale.
Above, Rich DiLiberto at Round Guys Brewing Co. in Lansdale.