By Bruce Adams and BJ McCloskey
Featuring a spacious wooden deck overlooking the Schuylkill River Trail and only a few minutes from 76 and the Blue Route, Conshohocken Brewing Company, opening today April 1, believes the popularity of its taproom will grow side-by-side with its thriving, active surroundings.
“Our brewery and tap room are right in the middle of a lot of new development in the area, including a lot of new businesses and residences — we are excited to be part of this tight community,” said Ken Buonocore, co-founder and self-described “Head of Merriment” at Conshohocken Brewing.
Given the proximity to the Schuylkill Trail, cyclists and runners can come in and sample the handcrafted signature brews, seasonal ales and limited small batch pilot beers at the Conshohocken Brewing Company taproom, located at 739 E. Elm St.
The fermenters at Conchohocken Brewing Company. (photo courtesy of Conshohocken Brewing Company)
With 10 draft lines, the team plans to have a wide variety of beers available to satisfy different tastes. Among their opening line up are ESB (extra special bitter), Golden Ale, IPA (India Pale Ale), Cascadian Dark Ale, Pale Ale and Oatmeal Stout.
Beers served at the tap room are poured in three glass sizes, four-, eight- and 16-ounce glasses, while 64-ounce growlers are available to go and are available in two styles — glass and stainless steel.
Conshohocken will also offer a small food menu including flatbread pizza, soft pretzels, chili, grilled cheese sandwiches and hummus and pita bread.
The decor of the soon-to-be green-certified taproom is reminiscent of the industrial surroundings of the neighborhood, with large, exposed air ducts just below the 16-foot-high ceiling, and repurposed wood on the bars and tables.
“We wanted to keep an industrial feel to the space, while making it cozy for patrons to come in and have a beer with us,” said Buonocore. “Back in the mid-1800s, Conshohocken was an industrial force in the United States, particularly with steel production. In fact, from 1898 to 1900 a brewery operated under the name Conshohocken Brewing Company only two blocks from here. We carried that same historic American industrial spirit into our branding as well.”
Conshohocken’s award-winning head brewer, Andrew Horne, has worked at many acclaimed breweries across America, including Avery Brewing Company and Oskar Blues in Colorado; Breakside Brewery in Portland, Oregon; and Yards Brewing Company. Horne, a Villanova University graduate, joined the Conshohocken team fresh off a 2013 Great American Beer Festival medal for his ESB (extra special/strong bitter).
The company’s investors are local people, most notably long-time WIP sports talk radio host Glen Macnow of Havertown. Wynnewood resident Andy Rosen, a dentist who practices in Media, and is part-owner of the Rose Tree Restaurant, also in Media, put together the financing and helped bring Macnow (a good friend) and others into the fold.
Quite a few local celebrities were at the brewery to get a first taste of the beer as part of a pre-opening event March 29, including former Eagles coach Dick Vermeil, Temple men’s basketball coach Fran Dunphy, Eagles announcer Merrill Reese, Ray Didinger, Lauren Hart, Brian Propp, Leslie Gudel and Ben Davis (who was the Main Line Times Athlete of the Year when he played baseball at Malvern Prep).
“We are proud to bring a brewery to Conshohocken,” said co-founder John Remington, who lived in Conshohocken for more than 10 years after graduating from Saint Joseph’s University. “The greater Philadelphia area is one of the country’s top craft beer regions, and the team and I are excited to join the thriving scene here.”
You can expect to see Conshohocken beer at a bar or restaurant near you in the near future. Conshohocken Brewing Company plans soon to kick off its keg distribution to bars and restaurants in Montgomery, Chester, Delaware and Philadelphia counties in the coming weeks.
Parking for Conshohocken customers visiting the tap room is available only a short walk away, at the large Quaker Chemical parking lot just past Sandy Street. Conshohocken Brewing Company is open Mondays through Thursdays from 5-10 p.m., Fridays from 5-11 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 11 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 10 p.m.
Conshohocken Brewing Company’s phone number is (610) 897-8962. For more information on the company, visit www.conshohockenbrewing.com, like them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/conshohockenbrewing) and follow them on Twitter (@conshybrewing) and Instagram (@conshohockenbrewing).