03 February 2009
I had the pleasure of spending part of the evening talking with Chris Miller & Mark Lehman from Breaker Brewing Co. First off, I want to thank the guys for spending so much time on the phone with me and answering all of my questions...but more importantly I'm very happy to report that Breaker Brewing Co is a very exciting venture that I suspect will produce some really great local beers.
Mark and Chris literally built their brewing system by hand and even grew some of the hops in Chris' back yard and I'm confident that time, effort, and passion for brewing will come out in their beers.
I have all sorts of details that Chris & Mark were willing to share, and even more details to share in the future as they move forward. But here are the basics....Chris & Mark started with a home brewing kit about 5 or 6 years ago, progressed to a 10-gallon system, and eventually to the 1.5bbl system they just built for BBC. They are beer lovers and go in with the simple idea of always brewing a better beer.
The guys plan to brew a handful of core beers including a pale ale, a stout, a blonde ale, a scottish ale and possibly even a seasonal warmer-style beer later next winter. Yes these beers have names, but stay tuned for that. Once the label approval process is complete, I'll post out the names. I can tell you based on the specs they shared, the Pale Ale & Stout sound great. Look for the Pale Ale to be a 5% ABV, 40-50IBU with Centennial, Fuggles & East Kent Goldings among other hops, fermented with an american yeast. Look for the Stout to have chocolate malts, some mild hop character and a few other ingredients I won't share, that make it sound truly yummy.
Breaker Brewing Co will be keg-only for now with the possibility for growler sales at certain locations in the future. The guys shared some of the bars that their beers will be available in, and promised to get me a formal list as each bar signs on. I can tell you the list of verbal agreement bars will guarantee local beer lovers will be able to find BBC beers in many of our regular bars....so stay tuned.
The process to build a licensed brewery in your garage is not an easy one. Mark & Chris both related the steps they had to go through with the TTB, the LCB, the local zoning authority and even their neighbors to get all of the paperwork in line. I can tell you that anyone that goes through this process, including a phone-book sized collection of paperwork, must love brewing beers. I for one am very excited to taste their first few brews.
The guys have promised to keep us up to date, so stay tuned here for the latest Breaker Brewing Co news. I also plan to stop down and visit the "brewery" soon, so I'll send some updates after my visit. The Times Leader will also be interviewing the guys later this week, so watch for an article to appear there as well in the future.
Finally, I wanted to highlight that these guys are dedicated and passionate about the beers, and as I said above I think that energy will come out in their brews. Also know that Chris & Mark have many aspirations to grow Breaker Brewing Co, so watch as they brew, enjoy their beers and support them as they grow.
Breaker Brewing Company was named to pay tribute to the local miners and mining history of the Wyoming Valley and I'm excited that these guys plan to brew hometown beers for hometown beer lovers in that hometown tradition.
Cheers & Welcome to Chris & Mark...
UPDATE: If you know of any bars looking to carry Breaker Brewing Co beers please let me know and I will give them Chris' e-Mail info.