This weekend, I traveled 45 minutes outside of the Lehigh Valley into Berks County, my old stomping grounds, where I joined in on the celebration of the grand opening of Saucony Creek Brewing Company‘s Gastropub and third anniversary of the brewery!
Through the town and down Main Street, nestled alongside Kutztown Road you’ll find Saucony Creek Brewing Company, named after the creek and water source that runs through the town. I’ve visited the brewery prior to the opening of the gastropub, so when approaching the former car dealership, excitement grew once I saw the filled parking lot and large crowd lined up outside. People from all over were gathered to praise the new era of the brewery, and now, gastropub.
A little background on the brewery…
Founder and Owner, Matt Lindenmuth, officially launched Saucony Creek Brewing Company in March 2013 in none other than his hometown, Kutztown, PA. With a focus on “crafting adventurous beers for adventurous people,” Saucony Creek Brewing Company does just that. First during their 2013 Philly Beer Week debut, stopping traffic for a BMX stunt show and tap-takeover at the Pub on Passyunk East. And again when they wrangled up a group of over 90 kayakers to carry kegs down the Schuylkill River to a tap-takeover at Grace Tavern.
The Brew Master behind these award-winning beers is Lehigh Valley native, Nick Micio. With a brewing degree from The American Brewer’s Guild and experience brewing at Russian River Brewing Co., Moat Mountain Brewing Company, Fegley’s Brew Works, and Weyerbacher Brewing Company, Micio was the perfect fit for Saucony Creek Brewing Company once he joined in Fall 2014.
Now back to Saturday’s events…
This was not your ordinary gastropub grand opening. Not only was there live music, good eats, a family-friendly atmosphere, and of course, tons of brews, but also an action sports team. Since the brewery’s Founder and Owner has a professional X Games and action sports career, Dialed Action Sports Team was there to join in on the party.
The food menu was tailored just for the event and included Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese, Field Greens Salad, “Happy Birthday Matt” Nachos, Rodale Farm Sausage Sandwich, Moroccan Chick Pea Stew, and Loaded Rice Crispy Treats. All menu items had a local farm-to-table focus (Rodale Institute potatoes and Scholl Orchard apples were amongst the ingredients) as well as a focus on incorporating Saucony Creek brews (peach ginger saison dressing, IPA braised pork, beer queso, and coffee stout were all included ingredients). During hours of business, the gastropub offers a full menu paired perfectly with the beers.
Speaking of beer, at this point, I’m sure you’re dying to hear about the brews! Well here we go!
From “Lindy’s Secret Stash” I sipped on the Maple Mistress aged in A. Smith Bowman Bourbon Barrel. The pumpkin, maple, and butternut squash flavors make Maple Mistress one of my go-to Fall beers, so this rendition definitely peaked my interest. The added flavor from the barrel-aging process enhanced those Fall flavors making for almost an Autumn-like apple cider.
My personal craft beer expert (a.k.a. my significant other) also sampled the Maple Mistress aged in bourbon barrels, as well as the Hop Suplex Imperial IPA and xReserve Peach & Ginger Saison. Having drank the Imperial IPA before (and really liking it), Hop Suplex was his first beer of choice. With a 10% ABV, this Imperial IPA is good because it’s not too heavy as others can be. Clear notes of honey are picked up, balancing perfectly with the piney-ness.
xRéserve Peach & Ginger Saison changed the mind of my beer connoisseur who usually is not a fan saisons. He enjoyed this one because of its perfect mix of fruitiness and wasn’t too tart (which you can find in some other saisons). Before even sampling this brew, you know it’s going to be good having won a gold medal at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival!
The gastropub’s grand opening and brewery’s third anniversary was a Saturday well spent. It’s a great thing to see the new beginning of an up-and-coming local business being celebrated by not only locals, but visitors to Kutztown. After my experience on Saturday, I can tell you one thing…I’ll definitely be paying another visit to Saucony Creek Brewing Company in the near future! So stay tuned!