Tuesday, January 29, 2008

One Guy Brewing Grand Opening

Me, my brother John and Dad rushed over to the One Guy Brewing Company on 328 West Front St. in Berwick PA on Saturday January 26th to participate in the opening of a new brewery owned and operated solely by one guy, Guy Hagner. The name of the brewery is One Guy Brewing.

The brewery and taproom is located in a oldish brick building that was formerly a bakery (Vaughn's?). The taproom is oh about 16' by 32' or 40' and simply and tastefully decorated with various original and reproduction artwork adorning the walls. There's an especially nice, large, vintage Pabst Blue Ribbon metal sign gracing the white back wall. On the front wall to the right of the front door as you enter is the bar and behind the bar is what looks like an original sliding wooden door the type you might see in an old warehouse that's painted a nice blue (Prussian blue?) that leads to the brewery and kitchen. Oh, there are about 10 bar stools and a few tables and chairs arrayed around the room as well. There's warm wooden flooring spreading across at least half and perhaps all of the taproom--I didn't get an especially good look at the other side of the seating area due to the mass of beermanity present. I didn't have a chance to anything but peek behind the blue door to see what was back there. Maybe next time?

There were a good 30 people there when we arrived on the scene just before 1 p.m. and by 2 p.m. I would say the taproom was thick with beer bellies that made it difficult to get around...perhaps 75 people packed the place by the time the ceremonial first keg was tapped. Guy himself was helping out behind the bar along with a couple of friends and were they ever busy pouring their savory brew into glasses, shakers (pints), and growlers! Word to the wise: there are growlers available for takeout and while we were there, I saw a number of them being filled.

We stood at a bistro table in front of the PBR sign and enjoyed the company of Uncle Sam who was present to officiate at the opening. Uncle Sam (a.k.a. Terry) was of course dressed in his Red, White, and Blue finest including stars and stripes top hat. What a sight! As it turns out, Terry put in the suspended ceiling for Guy.

I would say for the first hour there wasn't a letup from the customers queuing up in front of the bar to sample the various brews, but eventually it slowed down enough for Guy and his friends to bring out the wooden keg. But before tapping the keg Guy thanked everyone for coming and made a point that it couldn't have been done without a lot of his friends. I didn't catch anyone's name or know anyone personally, but he listed various friends who: helped find equipment for the brewery, put up the suspended ceiling, plumbed the placed, and helped behind the bar. He thanked his mother and father who were there, his sister and brother-in-law to be who traveled in for the opening from Boston, and finally his family kids and wife. Then, Guy himself, holding the mallet pulled his arm back and thunked a mighty blow that drove the tap home into the barrel to a roar of approval. Quickly he filled glasses, steins, and pints and raised them to shouts of Prost!

One Guy Brewing (Guy) has about six or seven of their own beers on tap including: Beer Number One (the first beer he brewed and served out of a wooden cask--a firkin?), Berwick Lager (faintly reminiscent in the finish of Yuengling Lager to me, but not corny tasting), a wonderfully light, refreshing Pils, a Peach Wheat (sorrowfully, I didn't taste it), a Rauch Bock (regretably didn't get a chance to exploit this one either), and one or two other beers I didn't taste. One Guy Brewing seems to have a definite German influence in their beer selections. Each beer was unique in character, like the brewery--I'll try to review them all later when the excitement dissapates a little!

I will most definitely go there again to savor all of the beers and perhaps get a chance to talk to Guy. If you're in the area and want to have a great pint or two you should stop by. You'll also have the chance to see first-hand one guy's fulfilled dream.

Contact Details
Guy Hagner
One Guy Brewing Company

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