Stegmaier Porter NOW Available in Sixtels

09 January 2009

I spoke with Leo from Lion Brewery this afternoon and he tells me that Lion racked Stegmaier Porter into sixtels this morning. They'll take a little time to get to the distributor, but you should see them soon. For those looking to tap Steg porter that can't fit a half, this is very good news.

34 comments (click to read or post):

Lee Botschaner,  09 January, 2009 16:50  


Yummy stegmaier porter draught will be pouring sometime soon in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.

Thanks Leo for being so considerate of your loyal customer base.

mybeerbuzz,  09 January, 2009 17:05  

You bet....AND Darel tells me this is a prticularly tasty batch too!

leoorl 10 January, 2009 12:38  


Darel is correct. I tasted the brew again yesterday and it is phenomenal!

mybeerbuzz,  10 January, 2009 12:41  

Can't wait to try it...

Professor Bartels,  10 January, 2009 12:51  

Steg porter is always phenomenal. What you do, throw some licorice in the mix like the old days?

Dave,  10 January, 2009 16:24  

4 halves on deck at Zeno's....

mybeerbuzz,  10 January, 2009 16:47  

I'll let Leo, Bob or Darel answer the licorice question. Glad to see we're getting out local brew on tap at Zeno's

Darel Matthews,  10 January, 2009 17:38  

No licorice, however, stay tuned over the next couple of months for the next Steg Special Edition, which won't be porter with licorice but similar...

ClockworkOrange 11 January, 2009 01:08  

Just picked up a single bottle at the Beer Stop in West Hazleton to re-visit the Steg Porter. Well done. Much better than the porter from Pottsville.

mybeerbuzz,  11 January, 2009 09:44  

I'm anxious to taste this batch, however it's always a favorite of mine when I can find it on draft and even very tasty in bottles as well.

sam k,  11 January, 2009 14:59  

Unless things have changed, Wilkes-Barre-brewed porter is a true top-fermented product. Pottsville porter was switched to bottom-fermentation years ago, making it a dark lager, not a true porter.

Hats off to the Lion for their efforts, and I will definitely head down to Zeno's for a couple. Dave had it on years ago, but everyone wanted Yuengling despite the quality differential. Wanna bet things will change now that consumer focus has shifted from brand recognition to what's in the glass?

Professor Bartels,  12 January, 2009 08:48  

ah, those kids dont know how to pronounce "stegmaier." after all, it took them 50 years to learn how to say "yuengling" and even then most of them just say "lager."

Sam, if I'm not mistaken I think that the Pottsville porter has always been bottom fermented...

Cant wait to try the next steg porter release!

Darel Matthews,  15 January, 2009 06:10  

While I can't comment on Yuengling's product I can confirm that Steg Porter is made with ale yeast.

mybeerbuzz,  15 January, 2009 07:56  

Thanks Darel....

sam k,  15 January, 2009 20:57  

This is a random observation that I hope Leo sees and can respond to. I've had a thing for Stegmaier Gold Medal ever since I first tasted it in 1975, after the Lion had taken over production of the brand. I buy 16 oz. returnables from Pletcher's in State College, and am thrilled that we have a Lion master distributor in town again!

The latest batch, for some reason, is the best and cleanest Steg ever, and I'm wondering why that might be. It's the first ever that doesn't display the Lion "house flavor" quite as heavily on the palate, and I'm wondering what might have transpired to make this happen, or is it just my imagination?

Keep up the great work, boys, and I'm heading to Zeno's this weekend for some Steg Porter draft! Also can't wait for the return of the awesome Steg 150, now bottled as Stegmaier Amber! Maybe next truck!

mybeerbuzz,  15 January, 2009 21:35  

Interesting observation Sam....Leo does tune in to mybeerbuzz.

leoorl 16 January, 2009 06:00  

Sam K,

First of all, thank you so much for your wonderful support of The Lion.

As brewers, we are constantly striving to improve our beers. We are never satisfied, even if it is the best beer we have ever tasted. It can always be better.

Yes, the beer is cleaner and it will continue to improve.

Bob and Darel and the rest of the staff do a wonderful job and I am so lucky that they work for The Lion.


Lee Botschaner,  16 January, 2009 16:43  

Sam K, did you drink it back when it was brewed at the original steg plant? Interested in comparisons. I was just in kindergarten at the time so didnt start on Lion product until the mid 80's.

sam k,  16 January, 2009 20:47  

Nope, Lee, I never had the "original" Steg, but started soon after the Lion took over. Will Anderson, author of the seminal breweriana publication "The Beer Book" from the late 1970s, claimed also that Gold Medal was one of his favorites, back in the day when pale American lagers were nearly all we had.

I remember passing through W-B once on a Sunday (when beer was tougher to get on the Sabbath) and coming out of a bar with a paper bag containing six stubby NR singles of Steg for my ride home.

I also remember the time I stopped to get a case of Steg cans in W-B on my way to Hammonasett beach in CT with the family about 15 years ago. Got to the shore, cracked a can, and thought "This isn't Stegmaier!" Looked at the can and found that it was being contract brewed by F.X. Matt in Utica. They make good beer alright, but couldn't replicate Wilkes-Barre's finest worth a damn!

Bought another case of 16 returnables (my birthright as a Pennsylvanian...just try to find that package anywhere else!) tonight, and am enjoying one with a Rittenhouse Rye (another former PA brand), and I feel like all is well with the world!

Much is made of the influence of the California micros on the current craft beer scene. Having grown up among the heritage of the great Pennsylvania regional breweries, I think they had as much to do with keeping interest in small brands and obscure styles alive as anyone. The porter flame was kept burning by the Lion and Yuengling when the style had all but been erased from the international brewing map. God bless you all!

mybeerbuzz,  16 January, 2009 22:17  

Thanks Sam & everyone else...this is good really stuff. You all have a raft of insight and a ton of great local historical beer knowledge that I hope I can get you to contiue to share. I'm no young man by any means, but in the beer world I'm a baby. I appreciate the info and I read (and re-read) many of these posts over and over again. Stegmaier and Lion have such a rich history that It's a lot of fun to learn more. PLEASE keep contributing. Also if any of you are interested in contributing a feature article (or articles) with some of your unique historical knowledge on Lion, Stegmaier or anything else in our local beer scene, I'd love to post it for everyone to read. All too often we forget what came before the beers of today and the crazy craft beer scene we live in today. Anyone interested?

mybeerbuzz,  16 January, 2009 22:17  

I should mention contributing authors get paid in beer...

Anonymous,  17 January, 2009 07:56  

i second this...i live in CT but travel to NEPA and am especially fond of Steg and the Lion in general... this blog is definitely the best Lion coverage around, i think it's actually the centerpiece here so i hope it keeps up.

mybeerbuzz,  17 January, 2009 09:02  

Thanks Anon...Lion is our hometown brewery so we are happy to feature their information. I'm very excited that Lion is a part of mybeerbuzz and honored that the guys (and girls) at Lion take the time to participate with us and with the beer community.

Lee Botschaner,  17 January, 2009 09:33  

Agreed. Mybeerbuzz you are doing a very cool thing and a tremendous service. Although I do not live in NEPA my parents are from there and I've always held the lion brands in particular affection. They were always a brewery easy to love but difficult to find information on, even during this on-line age. That added to some of their appeal I suppose. When I discovered your site and all of the inside Lion information I was overjoyed. Keep it up!

Sam K, we are definitely brothers in spirit. Coincidentally, last night, the very same night you mentioned I got home from work after a long week and mixed myself a rittenhouse rye manhattan. No crap! And like you I always have a case of 16oz returnables in my house but I generally dig a bit deeper with bartels or gibbons, as I like to see those brands continue, even if we have lost esslinger and liebotschaner.

Good idea about writing on beer, mybeerbuzz. I will try to put something together at some point. I too enjoy hearing the historical perspective on how things used to be, and how they used to taste, especially from folks who go further back then I. There was once an amazing list of eastern PA breweries, as recently as the late 60's, that we will never get to try.

Lee Botschaner,  17 January, 2009 09:37  

Sam, any comments about other beer from that time, say from horlacher or eastern in hammonton?

I have a book from 1975 that mentions a pub crawl in manhattan and although they mention the draft list of about 15 bars I was surprised to read just how many had stegmaier porter, stegmaier "dark" (which i assume was porter, and one even had gold medal which they said was good. Was probably Lion at that time but not definite as the book was published in '75 and not sure when the crawl took place.

mybeerbuzz,  17 January, 2009 09:52  

Thanks guys...

sam k,  19 January, 2009 21:34  


My Dad worked for the Jones Brewing Company in Smithton, PA all of my life, so I grew up around the beer business. My most vivid memory was being there in the summer as a kid (1960s), and closing myself into the refrigerated hop room, filled with bales of whole flower hops, and taking in the aroma. I later watched them switch to hop extract, then back to pelletized hops, which made me glad that they were concerned with quality.

Since my life was so closely tied to one brewery, most of my formative drinking years were spent with Stoney's and Esquire exclusively. Though, on any road trip, the local was the choice, from Hudepohl and Falls City, to Little Kings and National Premium. all were good examples, including New England's Haffenreffer Malt Liquor, which came in a 16 oz, green NR bottle, and was known as "Green Death!"

My first brewpub was Commonwealth in Boston in the early eighties, which served all cask beers, drawn with beer engines, which was a revelation for me. Since then, I've visited breweries around the country, and have enjoyed every one, no matter how fabulous or ordinary their beers may have been. My wife and kids have patiently put up with entire vacations planned around breweries, and I have had some unbelievable experiences.

I watched the number of breweries decline through the seventies, and wondered how long it would be until there were only national brands left. Then the brewpubs and micros turned the industry on its head, and we will never go back to those dark days again.

My home in the Monongahela River valley in southwest PA was also the cradle of American rye whiskey production, and I've never lost my taste for that spirit, either.

Let's get together some time and kill some rye and local beer! And thanks to mybeerbuzz for making this discourse possible!

mybeerbuzz,  20 January, 2009 07:48  

Thanks again Sam....always good stuff and of course I'll be re-reading it a few times to digest everything. The Mrs. & I are regularly our on Friday evenings for Happy Hour if you're ever up our way on a Friday we'll buy you a pint (or single malt). Thanks again

Lee Botschaner,  20 January, 2009 10:21  

Thanks for the insight Sam. I'd love to get together and hear some of your stories, particularly old Jones brewing stories. I toured the place a couple of times before they closed and was sad to see them go.

I get out to Pittsburgh quite often as I have some erudite beer loving friends out there I will let you know the next time and perhaps we can have an iron and some rye and you can tell me all you know. If you're ever in the Harrisburg area, I've got some pikesville and bartels and liebotschaner ready for you.

Lee Botschaner,  20 January, 2009 11:53  

I remember the painted green 7oz split bottles of esquire. Came in cases of 40 I believe. They were hard to come by though.

sam k,  21 January, 2009 22:05  

Actually, the Esquire (Vitamin E to the locals) came in a brown 7 oz. The Rocks were green. You could drink 'em endlessly! Another interesting tidbit: the last two painted label 7 oz returnables in the country were produced in Westmoreland County. At one time, both breweries offered them in cases of 24 or 42. Rolling Rock eventually chose to stick with the 24 bottle case, and Jones chose the 42, and both were packaged that way for the duration.

I live in State College now, and just went to Harrisburg over the holidays to visit ABC, Troegs, and the Lancaster location. You'll have to show me some good beer bars next time around, Lee!

Darel Matthews,  22 January, 2009 06:15  

Wow! Reading Sam's post I'm proud to point out that Stoney's, Hudepohl (Hudy Delight), Little Kings and yes, even Haffenreffer are all made by the Lion today!

mybeerbuzz,  22 January, 2009 07:49  

It's not only amazing to read the history of some of these beers, but fascinating t know they continue to be brewed and better yet continue to be brewed locally. Thanks again guys....I'll have to start a new Lion thread soon so we can get this topic up farther on the blog.

Lee Botschaner,  22 January, 2009 18:29  

Sounds good Sam. The best beer bar in Hburg is right around the corner from me. And right now on my house tap I have sixpoint brownstone from Brooklyn... not sold anywhere in PA (yet) and wont be on too much longer in my house (need to make room for those steg porter sixtels). SOrry you missed market cross in carlisle, their excalibur is one of the top 5 beers I have had anywhere, anytime. I get up to Happy Valley fairly regularly as well.

My last case of vitamin E in painted splits was around '98 or '99.

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