"There are so many great breweries producing excellent beer today," said Bob McCafferty, owner of North Country Brewing Company. With so much competition, it's great to know that all of the breweries have their own unique specialties. For Bob, it's a dedication to being sustainable and creating styles that are grown on their our farm. Seasonal beers such as Heather Ale and Lavender Abbey bloom from pasture to pint. A fall favorite, Late Night Pumpkin Ale is brewed with real pumpkin meat and hand spiced rather than with flavorings, extracts or additives.
In 2015, North Country Brewing won the National Can Award for its Buck Snort Stout. How did this unique creation come to be? "When we were finishing the renovation on the pub, a curious passerby came in to see what progress had been made and handed me a two-point antler as a parting gift. At the end of the day, we grabbed beers and picked the antler up and talked about what it could be reused for. On the frame of the present day bar, we decided it would be a great tap handle. After a few more beers, the name Buck Snort Stout was birthed, and after a few more beers came the slogan 'guaranteed to straighten your antler and warm your doe'.”
Shubrew, possibly the smallest microbrewery in Pennsylvania, humourously names its beers after shoes, a play on the owners' name, Shumaker. Their “flagship” beer is called Jungleboot IPA. It is an ode to the west coast style IPA’s that owner Zach fell in love with while living in San Diego, as well as a nod to the Marine Corps which is what brought him to San Diego to begin with. ShuBrew is unique in the sense that the level of detail put into crafting their menu is second-to-none. Every menu item offered is designed to deliver an experience they would expect themselves when going out to dine. This includes the beer, food and cocktails... nothing pre-made, and no compromises.
Reclamation Brewing Co. is currently partnering with the Penn Theater Performance Company. Their Belgian IPA,Curtain Call is hop forward with a slightly piney taste and a good bit of citrus flavor with just a hint of banana and clove on the finish. Fifty cents from every pint sold goes toward the restoration of the Penn Theater on Main Street in Butler. If you're looking for locally-brewed craft beers in a casual environment accompanied by comforting and delicious pub grub, Reclamation Brewing is the place for you.
Also in downtown Butler is the long-anticipated Butler Brew Works. They love unique ingredients and are inspired by all things adventure, like “Tokoloshe,” a chocolate and habanero infused porter that carries a sneaky heat behind rich molasses and coco flavors. Expect that this Fall. Also hitting the taps soon is “Ponce de Saison” which is a Belgian Farmhouse Ale brewed with hibiscus, green tea, and orange peel. These ingredients are all full of antioxidants and said to be age defying, a nod to Ponce de Leon’s search for the fountain of youth. If you’re going to the pub for food, you won’t be disappointed. either Chef Joshua Clouser has brought his big city culinary experience to Butler. He too prides himself on creativity and refuses to compromise on the quality of his dishes.
For those who love beer so much they want to make it themselves, there is Porter House Brew Shop. Located on Route 19 just north of Zelienople, the shop carries equipment and supplies for making beer and wine. Ingredients for beer include a wide selection of base and specialty malted grains, hops, and dry and liquid yeasts. The store also has 5-gallon extract kits to make 40 different flavors of beer. If you are interested in learning how to brew beer or make wine, they even offer classes to demonstrate extract beer brewing and kit wine making.