6 Lancaster Breweries to Visit in 2017
It’s no mystery that Pennsylvania is a force to be reckoned with in the craft beer world, with the keystone state ranking near the top of the nation in breweries and production. A lot of that can attributed to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, but it’s area like Lancaster County really put the state over the top with incredible breweries. Below, in no particular order, are the breweries in Lancaster you must visit this year!
Located right in the heart of Lancaster, Lancaster Brewing’s large, stoic red, all brick building is hard to miss, not to mention the huge grain storage silo right next to the entrance. The historic building once used as the Edward McGovern Tobacco Warehouse dates back to the early 20th century and still uses the original freight elevator for transporting grain, kegs and service. The brewery provides all of their flagship favorites like Milk Stout, Strawberry Wheat and Hop Hog while offering tons of other options like their award winning black lager, Jump Seat.
With roots tracing the origin of the Wacker name all the way back to the middle of the 1800’s there’s not many breweries with the depth of history like Wacker. After surviving prohibition the original Wacker Brewing was forced to shutter its doors in 1956 when then owner Paul Danz sold the brewery. Thankfully in 2014 the brewery was reborn under Bryan Kepner to begin producing classic German-style beers. Their Wacker Pale and Little Dutch, a German dunkel each pair well with the steal that is $1 taco Thursday at the brewery.
How do you know a beer’s from Spring House, other than it being awesome? Well, it probably sounds like it should be showing as a part of the double creature feature at the local drive-in. With names like She-Monster, Big Gruesome and Braaaiins! there’s a clear vibe that the Lancaster brewery puts out, namely that their names are, but their beers are delicious. The brewery has also gained some notoriety for their limited releases such as their egg nog stout, Martians Kidnap Santa! as well as JOOP, their juicy IPA that has also been made into orange, grapefruit and Mosasic hop variants.
St. Boniface, derives its name from one of the numerous patron saints of brewers, with monks and monasteries having a history of brewing beer in the times of less safe drinking water for themselves and those seeking refuge. Carrying on that philosophy of brewing for the people, St. Boniface opened their doors in early 2011 and have been gaining more and more steam since then. With a successful 2016 campaign to can their 3lb. IPA the brewery has had enormous success with limited releases of Mosaic, Hegemony and of course Kettleface.
If the name of Spring House’s game is creepy names, then Bube’s ratchets up the creepy factor about 10 notches with its Catacombs Restaurant. Deep below the brewery, several stories down into the aging cellar you can enjoy a pint, a steak and gaze at the stone walls as you enjoy your candlelit dinner. Dating back to the 19th century the brewery also offers ghost tours from its purported haunted location. All spookiness aside the towering historic building also offers a lush biergarten that suits a spring weekend day out for anyone looking to enjoy nature and a brew.
About that Kettleface we mentioned early, no it’s not an homage to this awesome boat name, it’s an awesome collaborative brew between, as the name suggests, between Columbia KETTLE Works and St. BoniFACE to make an imperial red ale that’ll not your beer drinking socks off. CKW is all about working together, it’s why on their homepage you can find a list of “road trip” options that shows brewery lovers a way they can visit a bunch of breweries in the area. In general it is this kind of hospitality that makes Lancaster, and Pennsylvania beer as a whole so awesome, it’s about the community and helping your fellow man…with beer!