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The Brewery at Hershey

Something new and unique has just opened in Hershey – Pennsylvania’s first combination winery and brewery. Initially known as just The Vineyard at Hershey, this past weekend marked the grand opening of The Brewery at Hershey. Beer and wine are both brewed, fermented and sold all on the same 40-acre plot of land.

Grapes being grown next to a natural spring on the property

Grapes being grown next to a natural spring on the property

Nestled off the beaten path, but only a few minutes off the highway, the location is in a prime spot to attract locals and tourists alike. I decided to familiarize myself with the brewery by taking a tour, which was offered as part of the private event I was attending that evening. As of now, the brewery is only open on the weekends, but will more than likely add more hours as they get rolling. After getting an initial beer – Endless Summer Saison – on the patio, Brewmaster Ryan DeLutis gave us a tour of the current operations. He explained their story of meeting each other founders of the winery/brewery in a local piano bar, talking about how Pennsylvania could use more quality dry wines. Only a few years later, their vision came true by utilizing this farm land in their first phase of opening their own winery. After having a greater-than-expected success in sales, this year marked the iteration of the second phase – a brewery. A new dedicated building now sits on the land, housing both the wine and beer making equipment. In order to satisfy PA Liquor Laws, a “wall” separates the operations. On tap were three out of their four planned flagship beers: Hip Hops Hooray IPA, Pond Jumper ASB (American Special Bitter), Weize Guy Hefeweizen, as well as the seasonal Endless Summer Saison. Upcoming releases include a seasonal Pumpkin beer “Flash Gourd’n” (September 14th) and  the fourth flagship beer, Chocolate Brown Ale (tbd). The upper level of the building is nearly complete, a large room with an outdoor porch, and is planned for private events and as a larger tasting room. Future ambitions include to turn another portion of the building into a sports bar, and phase three is a distillery – something that will be even more unique to the area: A trifecta of drinks! I am very excited about the direction this is going, and hope to frequent the location in the future. If you are anywhere in the Central PA area, consider visiting here!

The "wall" that separates the winery and brewery

The “wall” that separates the winery and brewery

Brewery logo on the side of a keg.

Brewery logo on the side of a keg.

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Written by Kenton Martin

Kenton is a Southeast PA native who began diversifying his beer tastes alongside many of The Beer Circle writers at Zeno’s beerfests in State College, PA. He continues to live in the area and is an avid follower of the local microbreweries – going so far as to try his hand at brewing himself. Initial results have been very successful. Find Kenton Martin on Google Plus

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