McCoole’s Launches Red Lion Brewery
Handcrafted Beers Now on Tap in Quakertown
(Quakertown, PA) – Craft beers are quickly becoming a major player in the beverage industry. One can’t enter a restaurant or bar these days without seeing multiple beer and ale listings from small microbreweries. Now, restaurant goers in the Quakertown area can enjoy premium handcrafted beers brewed on-site at McCoole’s Historic Red Lion Inn. Move over Iron Hill and BrewWorks, pints from Upper Bucks own Red Lion Brewery are being served daily at McCoole’s.
The brainchild of McCoole’s owner Jan Hench, and brewmaster Edward MacAdams of Homestead Product Supply, a Quakertown-based retail supplier of homebrew equipment and supplies, Red Lion Brewery tapped its first keg for customer consumption the week before Thanksgiving, 2013. The brew was a Wishbone Winter Ale, and the keg quickly sold out in four days. Encouraged, Hench and MacAdams started to expand their offerings, introducing two standard brews in January 2014, an Amber Ale and an IPA. On Valentine’s Day they introduced their third brew to be offered daily – a Wheat Ale. The goal is to have four Red Lion brews on tap at all times – American Amber Ale, American Centennial IPA, and American Wheat will be standard, and each month specialty brews will rotate in the mix, introducing different styles that many are not accustomed to in the U.S. These specialty brews will include everything from Scotch Ales, to Rauchbier. The brewery will introduce a true British style ESB that will be on tap by the end of March.
These handcrafted beers are very popular and have quickly moved into the top seller position at McCoole’s Restaurant and Bar. “In January, our Red Lion brews outsold each of our other beers on tap,” states Hench. “ They outsold craft brews like Brooklyn IPA and Murphy’s Stout, as well as such popular brands as Yuengling, Hoegardens, Stella Artois and Miller Lite.”
Red Lion Brewery’s American Amber Ale is Deep amber in color with crisp hop and malt profiles. Elegant citrus aroma notes let this beer speak
American Centennial IPA is bright orange in color with powerful citrus and grapefruit flavors. The aroma can be described as floral and perfume like. Bitterness, body and hop sweetness balance this beer to perfection. A golden haze emanates from this American Wheat with clove and banana notes that sharpen the flavor. This beer is very crisp and refreshing. It will also be accompanied with different fruit charters personally chosen through out the season. This beer is very well balanced and is a real crowd pleaser.
The secret to the Red Lion Brews’ popularity resides in the small batch development inherent in handcrafted beers and the unique recipes MacAdams brings to his brews. MacAdams works in a 13’ x 19’ dedicated space in the McCoole’s Arts and Events building where he develops his beers via a one barrel system, brewing 30 gallons at a time producing 6 kegs.
“It is important to us to keep the quality high and not grow too fast,” remarks MacAdams. “What we are using is often called a pilot system by many. Essentially we are making small batches, where we have the opportunity to monitor the fermentation process and fine tune our recipes on a small scale.”
According to Hench, the microbrewery concept was a perfect extension to McCoole’s offerings as a restaurant and entertainment center. “When the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY has Brooklyn Brewery constructing a building on campus to offer beer making as part of its standard curriculum, you know handcrafted beers are here to stay,” states Hench.
Hench had come to know MacAdams through McCoole’s BrewFests and approached him in April of 2012 with the concept to establish a microbrewery at McCoole’s. Hench went about securing the appropriate license for a microbrewery, obtained on October 16, 2013, and doing the renovations necessary to set up a microbrewery within the McCoole’s complex. MacAdams installed a 30 gallon, (1 barrel system) for the first brew, and Red Lion Brewery was on its way. Today (two 30 gallon fermenters) are processed weekly to produce the four brews on tap. There are a total of four 30 Gallon fermenters going at all times. Pints are available daily. American Amber Ale and American Wheat are $5.75 each while the higher alcohol content American Centennial IPA and specialty brews are $6.75.