The Budweiser Clydesdales have returned to York. See them walk around PeoplesBank Park and parade downtown, June 12, 2019. Cameron Clark, York Daily Record
Hooray beer! As the craft beer industry continues to boom in Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania ranked first in production and second in economic impact according to the 2018 Brewer’s Association report), we decided to take a look back at some of the biggest beer news from around central Pa.
From blueberry beer to Yuengling’s first-ever collaboration, take a look below at some of the biggest craft beer stories from 2019:
Rough Edges Brewing — Waynesboro
Rough Edges Brewery is scheduled for a December 2019 opening. The Waynesboro-based brewery will open in the former site of Main Street Diner.
Greystone Brew House — Dillsburg
Greystone opened in April in the former site of Noonan’s Tavern. The brewhouse is partnering with Boneshire Brew Works in Harrisburg to produce Greystone’s A-Roundabout IPA and Dillston Irish red ale.
Rotunda Brewing — Annville, Hershey
In October, Irv’s Pub in Hershey and Batdorf Restaurant in Annville announced they’d be rebranding under Rotunda Brewing Company. The Annville-based Rotunda opened in 2018.
Devil’s Eye Brewing Co. — Dillsburg
Devil’s Eye Brewing Co. opened in July in the former site of Flapjack’s Restaurant and Pub. The brewery features seven taps, including the Vestibule American porter.
Hemauer Brewing Co. — Mechanicsburg
Originally slated for a Dillsburg opening, owner Brook Hemauer opted to relocate and opened a taproom in Mechanicsburg in November. The brewery is also featured on several taps at Greystone Brew House in Dillsburg.
Red Lion Alesmiths — Red Lion
Red Lion Alesmiths opened in September inside The Hub in Red Lion. The nano-brewery features eight taps, including the Station 86 American Imperial Stout, which pays homage to the Red Lion train station that was exactly 86 miles north of Baltimore.
Sign of the Horse Brewery — Hanover
The small-batch nano-brewery opened in October. Sign of the Horse, which is named after an 18th century Hanover tavern, specializes in small batches and frequently rotating eight out of the 12-taps.
Taproom expansions and soon-to-open breweries
Lebanon Valley Craft Brewery — Lebanon
The near-century-old Lebanon Valley Brewing will soon get new life under Lebanon Valley Craft Brewery. The project, which has been underway for since 2016, picked up significant steam in August after a 20-barrel system was installed on-site. The brewery is still undergoing renovations and is expected to open in 2020.
Bube’s Brewery — Mount Joy
In February, the historic destination announced several changeswere underway including a revamped menu, entertainment schedule and Air BnB-styled accommodations at the renovated Frank House directly across from the brewery. Bube’s opened in 1861 and is considered the only “lager-era” brewery still in existence.
Gift Horse Brewing — downtown York
In May, Gift Horse Brewing unveiled its outdoor patio area. The new seating area was open for the 2019 season, featuring picnic tables, an outdoor satellite bar, cornhole boards and live music and entertainment.
Beer taxes & new ordinances
The beer tax
It was a tumultuous year for craft brewers, beginning with the government shutdown in January that could have potentially increased the cost of production for craft breweries.
However, the state’s beer tax was the hot button issue for several breweries across the state. The state first announced was going to add a 6 percent tax rate on every retail dollar sold for manufacturers or holders with a “G” license. With the pending tax, breweries were expecting to have to pass the cost onto the consumer, meaning a $6 pint would cost a minimum of $6.36.
The tax was initially expected to take effect in January 2019 before a revision pushed the implementation date back to July 1. Led by a revision from Rep. Natalie Mihalek, R-Allegheny, the tax was revised to add a 1.5 percent tax on taprooms in comparison to the initial 6 percent tax.
Cheers in Chambersburg in 2020
In October, the Chambersburg borough council passed an amendment that abolished a long-standing ordinance that prohibited the sale and consumption of alcohol on borough-owned property.
The new ordinance is expected to improve community-wide events such as ChambersFest and Chef’s Walk.
Yuengling Chocolate Porter
In October, Yuengling announced it would release its limited-edition Hershey Chocolate porter, the 200-year-old brewery’s first collaboration beer. The beer will be available between October through February and will be featured on tap at select breweries and restaurants.
Project Coffee Hopz & Project Brewberry Muffinz — Sheetz, Evil Genius
Sheetz unveiled its first-ever beer collaboration in May with the launch of Project Coffee Hopz, a coffee bean IPA. The convenience-store chain partnered with Philadelphia-based Evil Genius Beer Company for the project. In August, the two partnered up again for Sheetz’ Project Brewberry Muffinz, a blueberry blonde ale.
More on Project Coffee Hopz: Sheetz is unveiling its first-ever craft beer, and it has a neat connection to York
York City Six — Collusion Tap Works, Crystal Ball, Liquid Hero, Gift Horse Brewing, Mudhook, Old Forge
The six downtown York craft breweries joined together twice in 2019 for a collaborative brew affectionately named the ‘York City Six.’ The first edition featured a pilsner and Volume 2 featured a summer saison. Additional limited edition York City Six collaborations are expected in 2020.
Six downtown York craft breweries are working together for a limited edition summer saison. York Daily Record
Evil Genius Hard Cider — Evil Genius, Wyndridge Farm
While it may not be beer, Evil Genius’ hard seltzer line does have a York County connection. The Dallastown-based Wyndridge Farm teamed up with Evil Genius Beer Company for the new trio of hard seltzers. The seltzer line launched in October.
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