All over the US, craft breweries have been popping up over the last couple of years, but in Lancaster County, breweries have been a staple since the beginning. Lancaster is named “Little Munich of America” from its rich brewing history, and still makes some of the best beers you’ll find on Earth. While you could stop into any brewery and expect to find a refreshing, flavor-packed brew, we’ve created a list of all the must-see breweries in the county.
Back in 2010, a couple of friends decided to make a craft brewery in Ephrata, PA, nothing big, just a couple batches here and then and only sell their product on Saturdays. That all changed when their first batch sold out in hours. Hegemony, their flagship stout was an instant hit and once word got out about this amazing brewery people started demanding more and more. Almost a decade later and they are still one of the best breweries in Pennsylvania and the taproom is always filled with smiling faces and cold beers.
When a dad and his 3 sons set out on the Black Forest Trail, no one was expecting them to come back with the idea to open a brewery. Something about that trail, the fresh air, and the lack of beer, made them want to create something great. So they did. When they returned home they found a quaint historical building in Ephrata, PA and set up shop. Nowadays their tasting room offers a warm, inviting atmosphere that begs you to “belly up” and share a laugh and a story.
Pour Man’s Brewing all started with 3 friends who were making beers in their home and wishing they could open a brewery. They all claimed they were too poor to start up a business and their beers weren’t exactly award-winning, so they kept up with their hobby until they entered a homebrew competition. To their surprise, they won. So they entered and won more. At that moment, these friends knew they were making something special. Fast forward to today, and you’ll find these friends making small-batch brews with experiential flavors and an ever-rotating tap of beers in their Ephrata brewery.
If you think craft brewing is a new idea, then you haven’t been to Stoudts in Adamstown, PA. Carol Stoudt opened the brewery in 1987 and was the first female brewmaster since prohibition. You would almost think it is still prohibition by the way people flock to Stoudts for one of her signature ales. If you want to stop in for a beer, expect to be in for a while. The restaurant on premise has some of the most amazing food, and after you’ve gorged yourself on the best beers and entrees around, you can head over to their market and antique mall for some shopping. You’ll never want to leave.
Lancaster Brewing has become one of the biggest breweries in the state, with multiple taprooms and brewpubs to taste their amazing beers. What makes their beer so amazing you may ask? They won’t tell you, but I think it’s the local ingredients that they use from over 5,300 farms in the area including our Amish neighbors. If you want to taste their brews you can head to one of their stores, but if you want to experience their brews, head to their brewery and take a tour. Their brew process will fascinate you.Visit one of these wonderful breweries to relax after a long day of exploration, or hit them all on an epic ale trail. Just be warned, after trying some of these amazing breweries, regular beer will never be the same again.Visiting Lancaster County this summer? Book a stay at the Historic Smithton Inn, a charming & modern bed and breakfast in Ephrata, PA.