WEST READING, Pa. - A group of guys has turned their great friendship into a great beer business.
Chatty Monks is nestled on Penn Avenue in West Reading, and it's becoming the talk of the town.
"This is not some kind of big corporate-backed idea that was put together. I mean, we just literally took a passion and put it into business," said Rob Metzger, the visionary and assistant brewer.
You can call the five owners a beer-loving brethren. They collaborated to make a couple of brews, and they plan to incorporate local products into the new venture.
"It's just been an incredible adventure, and to actually see it come out and work well and actually be better than we expected is really cool," said Norm Eaton, the head brewer.
The birth of the brewery began when part of the group started brewing beer together on the weekends. Metzger said they donated some of it to local fundraisers, and the community pushed for them to open a business.
"We were just asked by people in the community, and they said, 'You have to open a tasting room or something because this place needs something like that,'" Metzger recalled.
Each of the five guys has different careers, but Eaton handed in his resignation from his state job Thursday. He plans on working full-time at the brewing company.
Down in his beer bunker, Eaton grinds the grains and whips up more than 20 recipes. The unique start-up is small, but the owners have big plans. One idea is to start using local products in the near future.
"We want to stay true to doing business with local businesses," said Metzger.
Chatty Monks was contacted by Penn State Hops Farm in Bern Township last week. It's only its second year in the hops business, and its first harvest officially started Friday.
"We're interested in providing a product for our community, which is Berks County and southeastern Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic," said Stephen Meckley, who works on the hops farm.
The guys at Chatty Monks said they hope to start working together with the hops farm in the future, and come fall, they're looking to contact local farmers to update their food menu.
"Now that we sort of have our feet under us a little bit, we're looking to see what we can get from Berks County, Lancaster or somewhere around here," said Eaton.
Business has already been busy, and the owners hope their hobby is destined for greatness.
"We really are just five guys that really enjoy the art of making beer," said Metzger.
Allentown, PA 18102