Southern NJ & Eastern PA

Our plans are to visit eight breweries in the area. 

Two have a long history and six are relatively new on the scene.

However, all have two things in common, great beer and growing success!



Weyerbacher Brewing was founded in 1995 by Dan & Sue Weirback. They have a small tasting room with limited hours on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons and is located in Easton, PA, just minutes off of I78. After landing at Newark airport, we proved that you can drive from the airport to the tasting room in just 65 minutes! When you gotta you gotta.  With 30 minutes before last call we were greeted by a very friendy staff pouring 2 oz tasters of a dozen different beers.

The must have beer of the day was Innsanity 2013, Insanity is made by aging Blithering Idiot Barleywine in oak bourbon casks. The combination creates a taste of rich malts, raisins, and dates along with oak, vanilla, and bourbon. The delicious Blitering Idiot is available at Stuff Yer Face, however this combo was really kicked up a notch. Another BIG beer of the day was Heresy.  It’s made by aging Old Heathen Imperial Stout in oak barrels that were used for making fine Kentucky bourbon! The result is a dark creamy stout whose aroma is filled with vanilla, cocoa, and roasted coffee.

We would love a pint of this stuff.  Most beers available for tasting are also available by the bottle for a trip home.

Flying Fish is finalizing their move to a new location in Somerdale, NJ, closeby to Philadelphia.  Brewing capacity will quickly increase two to three fold, with room for more! This brewing company is socially and enviromentally minded. Recently a special beer was brewed to raise money for the relief efforts of Super Storm Sandy.  The beer is a white IPA named FU Sandy (Forever Unloved), an experimental yeast was used, and around $50,000 was raised.  The color scheme on the new building will brighten up the neighborhood and create jobs. Be on the lookout for the exciting Exit Series of beers.The recipes are crafted in regards to historical significance to the areas located along the NJ Turnpike for which they are named.  Although the new tasting room is not complete, a portable tap and refrigerator were set up for a little tasting! Perfect.  Stuff Yer Face proudly served Flying Fish Abbey Dubbel as its 35th Anniversary Ale.

Pictured with Bill is uber saleman Rick Stype.

Yuengling in Pottsville, PA is America’s oldest brewery and family owned since 1829! The original brewery still brews about a quarter of the total output and the building steeps in history. When we were driving to the location we were surprised to find it centrally located in the city center. When it was built, there was nothing around it! Yuengling brews almost a dozen styles, with the Traditional Lager the flagship brew.  The historic brew room is a beautiful sight with painted murals and a stained glass ceiling.  After the tour we entered the Rathskeller for a beer tasting.  Nina and I were both impresssed with the Yuengling Porter, nice and malty with a hop balance. Traditional lager is always on tap at Stuff Yer Face.

We were very lucky to meet President and 5th generation family owner Dick Yuengling in the gift shop.  He was nice enough to speak with us for several minutes while he was on break from “driving the fork lift”.

Troeg’s brewing just completed their move to a new facility in Hershey Park. Included is a large and friendly tasting room with plenty of variety and an interesting snack bar.  We sampled some fries that were drizzled with hop oils…you could taste a slight bitterness which went well with the Perpetual IPA, an Imperial with 85 IBU. A new release is Nugget Nectar, an Imperial Amber, which seems to please a wide group of beer lovers. It’s 7.5%, 93 IBU, with a straw to orange color, and is brewed with Nugget, Warrior, Tomahawk, Simcoe, and Palisade hops

. Stuff Yer Face will see if we can get this on the menu.  We normally offer the Troegenator Bock and during the Holidays, Mad Elf Ale.

There’s also a huge gift shop on premise.

Bube’s Brewing, pronounced Boo’ Bees, is located in Mount Joy. The original brewery was founded in 1876 by Alois Bube, an immigrant from Germany. The building and facilities reminded us of old Europe, with many different buildings all connected, including underground catacombs used as dining rooms. The catacombs were originally used to store the brewed beer in cooler temperatures located 45 feet below ground.  The stairs and floors creak as you walk across them, and the rooms are dimly lit with candles.  A really cool place.  They serve their own brews plus a few guest beers.  Have you ever seen a beer tap like the one pictured above? I would like to know the history and story behind this. I’ll check into it.

Stoudt’s Brewing is located in Adamstown.  The brewery is celebrating 25 years and brews styles across a wide spectrum.  They have a talent for brewing German style beers with their Pilsener being a favorite of Bill. It reminds of Germany or The Czech Republic, the white foamy head, noble Saaz hop aroma, and crisp dry flavor.  It’s 5.4% and 40 IBU.  The pub also features rare brews such as Old Abominable, a Barley Wine Ale, which blends the English and American versions of the style.  Smooth… at 8.5% and 55 IBU!. The pub has an old world charm with several rooms to choose from.

The food menu is varied and the items delicious.  There is always a wide selection of beers to enjoy plus some surprises.

Also on location is an antique mall, a cheese making facility, bread bakery, and acres of room for fun such as their annual Oktoberfest Party and Craft Beer Festival. You can even have your wedding here!

Victory Brewing is located in Downingtown.  They have earned success and are adding brewing capacity in another nearby location. The Victory BrewPub is huge and cavernous.  Beer pennants hang from the ceiling, and tops of old copper brew kettles cover two tap systems behind a forty foot long bar.  The beer offerings total about 18 and are available in three pour sizes. The beer menu is really good because it lists each beer with details.  A rare find that evening was Baltic Thunder, representing the Baltic Porter style.  Very dark in color, rich thick malty toffee flavors using European hops, 8.5%.  Who can resist Victory Storm King?  9.1%, black, malty complexity, blasted by the Northwest hops?  There’s also plenty of room for diners with a complete food menu. We started with a fantastic German style pretzel and edamame humus.  We eat humus all the time but had never even thought of making it with edamame…awesome.  Our mussels were steamed with Golden Monkey Belgian style ale in a butter broth with red pepper flakes and garlic.  If I lived nearby I would be here every night of the week.

Yard’s Brewing moved into their new home five years ago, on the Delaware River just north of the Ben Franklin Bridge.  They have a great tasting room with a very popular tour given on Saturdays. Some light fare is available, and a food truck will park outside for delights.  During our visit they were serving three variations of their Valentine’s Day beer Love Stout, Bourbon barrel aged Love Stout and Love Stout with chocolate.  They also have a series called Ales of the Revolution.  They are brewed according to written historical recipes of G. Washington, T. Jefferson, and B. Franklin. The Frankin Spruce ale was unique brewed with spruce tips and molasses.  The Washington Porter tasted awesome with coffee and chocolate flavors

A great way to finish in Philadelphia is at the Farmer’s Cabinetrestaurant.  They have a terrific small gem beer collection and food direct from the farm to your plate.  The atmosphere is cozy, woodsy, and lit by candles.  The staff is knowledgeable and fast.  The pours are properly sized according to the ABV which enables you to drink several.  We enjoyed a cheese plate with several meats, nuts, and a raspberry mustard. Our last beer in the Philly area was an import from Norway, from our old friend Jens at Haandbrygerriet near Oslo. Hespoel is a smoked wonder that is silky smooth.

Philadelphia is great place to visit for food and drink.  Oh, and the history too! The city of brotherly love is also known as little Belgium with more Belgian beer drank here than any other city except for Brussels!


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