Berks' newest brewery taps into history of old building

1787 Brewing Company now open in downtown Hamburg

HAMBURG, Pa. - Making craft beer is an example of how good things, sometimes, take time. In a similar way, it's taking time to revitalize Hamburg's downtown, but a new company hopes to fill the borough's glass with life.

"1787 Brewing Company started about a year and a half ago as a vision between myself and my co-owner and brewmaster, Jim Gerner," said co-owner Steven MacBeth.

MacBeth, a real estate investor with properties across the area, is helping to open the new brewpub on South Fourth Street. He decided to tap a new investment and capitalize on the booming craft beer industry.

"I thought it was just the proper place to do it, to see Hamburg kind of spring back from what was essentially a downtime the last few years, would like to see it come back to life and re-energize, particularly this area," said MacBeth.

The name 1787 comes from the year Hamburg was founded, and it also happens to be the year Pennsylvania ratified the U.S. Constitution. Not long after that, the building was up.

"It was built as a house in 1819," said Janet Barr of the Hamburg Area Historic Society. "It wasn't until 1921 that the family, the Miller family, decided to open a 5 & 10 in the front part, what I guess would be their living room."

Miller's 5 & 10 was a staple in the borough until it closed in 2015.

Every keg has to kick at some point, but MacBeth hopes this one stays fresh for years to come.

"This is kind of my way of giving back to the town," said MacBeth.

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