The Little Engine That Could

So here we sit, it’s the 10th day of May, and we’ve had our TTB approval for nearly two months.  What’s been going on?

We’re working out a few issues with the power requirements for our building, which is proving to be a bit more involved than we had thought or hoped.  Our 18,000 square foot facility does have three phase power, unfortunately, it’s not solely for our building’s use.  That means PECO has to come out and put in a new power transformer and a whole new three phase line has to be built into our building, as well as separate metering for that line as well as some gas services too.  All of that has to be done before the final U&O permit from the township so we can function as a business in Bristol Township, which is the next step as soon at the electrician is finished doing what he has to do to make sure we’ll pass inspection with flying colors.  Oh yeah, somewhere in there a permit had to be pulled, and we all know that takes a few weeks.  Much like most things involved with starting a brewery (or any business for that matter), time seems to be the enemy.

In other news, we’re expecting the final delivery of our Stromberg 20 BBL brewhouse and 40 BBL fermentors in the next 9-12 weeks.  We’re hoping everything will be in place so that when they arrive we’ll be able to set them in place, hook up the gas, water, steam, and electric (where applicable), and be doing water brew tests within five days.  As long as we don’t run into any snags with the plumbing for the trough drains, we should be ready to rumble when everything arrives and all set to rock ‘n roll.  If we hold to our current schedule we should have beer in tanks early to mid-August.  Of course, we won’t be able to sell anything until the PLCB gives us our final approval for our state brewery permit.  Our state application has been submitted, and we hope to be approved right as we’re ready to go online.

I’m sure everyone is gearing up for and really excited about Philly Beer Week 2011.  We’re hoping to be involved in a few events, but since our state permit application is still pending, we’re going to hold off from any full-blown events for the brewery.  We will be involved in a few special events which we’ll have the information for shortly, so please check back soon.

Also, for those that have been asking about what styles we’re going to launch with, here you go.  Our first two styles will be an aggressively hopped Northern German styled Pilsner and American IPA.

Our Pilsner, which we have tentatively named Trauger Pils,  is assertively hopped with Hallertau and Tettnanger noble hops and has a great cracker-like malt backbone that finishes crisp and dry.  Our test pilots have been coming in at 4.5% ABV, which makes this one highly drinkable (which is the point, duh).   We named this beer in honor of the Trauger family of Bucks County who came to America in 1747 and were among some of the earliest German immigrants to the area.  In 1767 Christen and Henry Trauger purchased two farmsteads in Nockamixon Township and have been a part of the fabric of this county, state, and country ever since.  Five generations and 6847 family members later I somehow got lucky enough to be a small stem that’s part of a bigger branch and trunk of that family tree, and this is my way of looking back not only on that history here in this country, but also our family’s history dating back to Germany.  Ironically enough, many parts of my family’s German heritage predate the introduction and widespread popularity of the Pils style, but nonetheless, this beer is brewed and named in their honor.

Our other offering will be our County Line IPA.  In our search for a location to start this brewery took us across much of Lower Bucks County, many times traveling down the well known divider between northern Philadelphia, and southern Bucks, and Montgomery Counties, County Line Road.  One of the original names we thought of for the brewery was that of County Line Brewing Company.  I don’t know how or why we didn’t settle on that, but in recognition of our location so close to Philadelphia and that potential namesake, we decided to pass the name on to our flagship IPA, which is hop monster of a beer that comes in at 6.63% ABV and is chock full of five different hops; Warrior, Chinook, Columbus, Simcoe, and Amarillo.  It’s got a bready, slightly biscuit-like malt backbone to counter some of that hop bitterness, but not so much that this five hop combination won’t put a smile on your face (or a giant pucker). Anyone that has had this pilot at all over the past six months from some of our test batches already know it’s got a huge citrus-grapefruit note because I’m a huge Amarillo junkie, so obviously this thing has West Coast styled IPA written all over it!

Alright, that’s a whole lot of information to digest all at once.  Sorry for the lack of updates lately.  Between Rob and I’s business/research/vacation trip to Germany last month and all the comings and goings on around these parts, we’ve been swamped!  Thanks again for stopping by and for all your support.  More beer event announcements soon, plus we’re brewing a fun summer time Hefeweizen this week that we’ll have with us in the coming weeks, so be on the lookout.  Until then, vote for The Hulmeville Inn for best beer bar in the burbs as well as Paul over at Wine, Barley, and Hops Homebrew Supply and the Aleiens in Best of the Philly Beer Scene Awards.  Both Jeff at The Hulmeville and Paul at Wine, Barley, and Hops have been really supportive and encouraging with this project, and we can’t thank them enough!


  1. Jim says:

    Sounds great, but please tell me your water isn’t straight out of the creek!

    • In a round about way, it is. Like most municipal water authorities in the area, the main source of water is the Delaware River, which of course the Neshaminy is a tributary. While not directly taken from the Neshaminy, water that ends up in the Delaware ends up in not just the water we use, but water that any of the breweries in the immediate area use, for example, Yards and Philadelphia Brewing Company both use municipal water from the Philadelphia Water Authority. What is the PWA’s main water source? You guessed it, the Delaware River.

  2. Lisa says:

    omg, just went by there to go kayaking, totally oblivious.
    Just found your site/blog by accident.
    I am stoked to see a new local craft brewer.
    I am amazed that you are dealing with the morass of muni svcs of B. Twp. You guys have guts!
    And I soooo know about dealing with both PLCB getting new product to PA.
    I am a NE Philly CC licensee who had to get new labels listed in PA and find an ID to distribute.
    However, I live in Bensalem.
    I drink real beer anywhere.
    You need a FB page! You need a hand with that?

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