Lancaster Brewing Company: Where History and Innovation Converge

From Grain to Glass: The Legacy of Lancaster Brewing Company

The Lancaster Brewing Company has been a beacon of excellence in the world of craft beer since its establishment in 1995. With a deep respect for the region’s rich brewing history and a commitment to using the finest ingredients, Lancaster Brewing Company has earned a reputation for producing consistently great and approachable ales and lagers.

The brewery’s success can be attributed to its prime location in Lancaster County, where the fresh country air, pure water, and fertile, non-irrigated farmland provide the perfect foundation for crafting exceptional beers. The team at Lancaster Brewing Company takes pride in being part of a community known for its genuine craftsmanship, artisan quality, and stubborn self-reliance – values that are deeply ingrained in the brewery’s ethos.

Lancaster Brewing Company’s story is intricately woven into the fabric of Lancaster’s brewing history, which dates back to the early 1700s when British settlers introduced rustic, flavorful ales brewed in the back rooms of inns and taverns. German immigrants later brought their expertise in lager-style brewing, establishing a thriving industry that, by 1810, produced over 200,000 barrels of beer annually and accounted for 7% of all beer brewed in the United States. The quality of Lancaster’s beers was so renowned that even the famous Baltimore Sun columnist and social satirist Henry L. Mencken praised them, comparing Lancaster’s standing in America to that of Munich in Germany when it came to the brewing industry.

Despite the challenges posed by World War I and Prohibition, which forced many breweries to close their doors or operate in secrecy, Lancaster’s brewing tradition persevered. However, by 1956, the last commercially produced beer in Lancaster was brewed, marking the beginning of a 39-year hiatus in the county’s celebrated brewing history.

It wasn’t until 1995, when Lancaster Brewing Company opened its doors in the historic Edward McGovern Tobacco Building at 302 N Plum Street, that the city’s brewing legacy was revived. Under the leadership of the Keares Family, who still operate the brewery to this day, Lancaster Brewing Company has become a symbol of excellence, paying homage to the legendary brewing history for which Lancaster is so highly regarded.

Crafting Excellence in the Heart of Lancaster County

At the heart of Lancaster Brewing Company’s success is its unwavering commitment to using superior quality, non-GMO grains, including 2-row barley base malt and an array of the finest specialty grains from around the world. The brewery’s skilled team of brewers carefully selects the freshest, highest-grade hops from the Pacific Northwest, Europe, and even local growers to impart exceptional aroma and flavor to their beers. The art of brewing lies not only in the ingredients but also in the timing and technique of infusing these hops, much like a chef’s use of spices in cooking.

The brewery’s state-of-the-art filtration system ensures that the pure, mineral-rich water used in the brewing process is free from contaminants, allowing the flavors of the grains and hops to shine through in every sip. Lancaster Brewing Company also takes great care in selecting the perfect yeast strains for each beer, enabling them to create a wide range of styles, from clean-tasting lagers and funky ales to aromatic saisons, tropical fruit-forward hazy IPAs, and complex barrel-aged creations.

Beyond the Beer

In addition to its commitment to crafting exceptional beers, Lancaster Brewing Company is dedicated to environmental sustainability. The brewery has transformed its south-facing exterior into a stormwater collection zone, featuring rain gardens, a patio with permeable pavers, and a 750-gallon, 35-foot-tall cistern. These green infrastructure initiatives help prevent millions of gallons of stormwater runoff from flowing into local waterways and, ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay. The cistern, titled “The Lancaster Gateway Bundle,” is a public artwork created by Austin+Mergold that pays homage to Lancaster’s brewing culture and agricultural roots.

Furthermore, Lancaster Brewing Company has partnered with GREENCROWN® Energy to secure Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) that account for each unit of power used at the brewery. By supporting wind-powered electricity production, the brewery ensures that every meal and every brew is produced with 100% renewable energy.

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A Toast to Lancaster: Discovering the Flavors of Lancaster Brewing Company

Visitors to Lancaster Brewing Company can immerse themselves in the rich flavors and aromas of the brewing process while enjoying a great meal or a pint at the bar or restaurant. Although brewery tours are temporarily unavailable due to the construction of a new distillery operation, the brewery’s layout allows guests to witness the brewing operations firsthand, adding to the immersive experience.

Lancaster Brewing Company’s commitment to quality, sustainability, and community has earned it a loyal following among craft beer enthusiasts and locals alike. From the Double Chocolate Milk Stout, with its unbelievably rich and velvety chocolate goodness, to the Hop Hog IPA, boasting layered hop flavors and a solid malt profile, and the refreshing Strawberry Wheat, a Lancaster original since 1995, the brewery’s diverse lineup of beers offers something for every palate.

As you explore the vibrant city of Lancaster and the surrounding countryside, be sure to visit Lancaster Brewing Company and experience the passion, dedication, and skill that goes into every pint. Raise a glass to the rich brewing heritage of Lancaster County and the hardworking individuals who continue to innovate and push the boundaries of craft beer while staying true to their roots. Lancaster Brewing Company is more than just a brewery; it’s a testament to the spirit of Lancaster and the enduring legacy of its brewing tradition.

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