Craft Beer's Award-Winning Reputation on the Main Line
From ales to stouts and everything in between, the area's brewery scene is home to some of the nation's top libations.
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The ever-expanding Iron Hill Brewery empire continues to add locations (Chestnut Hill is the latest) as it racks up the hardware here and abroad. Its Russian Imperial Stout has earned the Great American Beer Festival’s gold medal three times in the past 10 years—and its 2010 gold at the World Beer Cup ain’t too shabby, either. (ironhillbrewery.com)
Another local favorite, with a new location in Devon, McKenzie Brew House was recently ranked among the top 35 breweries in the world by CNN. It’s also won gold medals three years straight (2007-10) at the Great American Beer Festival for its Saison Vautour. (mckenziebrewhouse.com)
Not to be outdone, Downingtown’s Victory Brewing Company keeps forging ahead on a national scale. Celebrating its sweet 16 in 2012, Victory has some fresh bragging rights following January’s Good Food Awards, which honors the country’s most sustainable, ethical and talented food and beer producers. The brewery’s Helios and HopDevil ales stood tall among hundreds of other entries, earning top honors. (victorybeer.com)
No stranger to the national awards circuit, Chester County’s Sly Fox Brewing Company has seen its signature brew go up against some of the nation’s finest pilsners, nabbing gold at the Great American Beer Festival (2007). Pikeland Pils was also hailed by Gourmet magazine as a “textbook summer refresher.” Sly Fox just opened an expanded brewing facility in Pottstown, where production capabilities will be tripled to meet growing demand. (slyfoxbeer.com)
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Fairly new to the local beer scene, Boxcar Brewing Co. may not have the cache of its nearby competitors, but its goodwill efforts earn the West Chester brewery a thumbs-up in our book. Boxcar’s community-sponsored beer program donates proceeds from sales of its IPA and original and brown ales to local charities. Last we heard, there’s a mango-ginger IPA in the works, just in time for spring. (boxcarbrewingcompany.com)
Jean Broilliet of Tired Hands Brewing Company began his love affair with brewing in his parents’ garage about eight years ago. From a brand-new Ardmore location set to open this summer, Broilliet is out to make complex brews that pair well with simple food. The former employee at Weyerbacher Brewing Co. in Easton and Iron Hill’s West Chester location clearly has his head on straight. “Education is paramount to the enjoyment of many of life’s finer things,” he says. “And beer is no exception.” (tiredhands.com)
Another promising newcomer, Coatesville’s Proletariat Brewing Company takes its inspiration from America’s founding fathers for its Life, Liberty and Pursuit IPAs. Proletariat is also known for off-the-wall “dessert” beers like Tiramisu Stout, the orange-cream-flavored Sueno and the spicy Punk’n the Trunk. (proletariatbrewingcompany.com)