Craft beer-brewing a booming business in Berks, beyond

300% rise in number of Pa. breweries since 2011

Video report by WFMZ's Jim Vasil

CUMRU TWP., Pa. - Lucan Schmidt and his brother-in-law brewed up a dream.

"He wanted to work as a brewer in a brewery. He made awesome beer, where I did more business stuff my whole life," said Schmidt. "I was like, 'Dude, we can start a brewery instead of working for a brewery.'"

Now, as co-owners of Schaylor Brewing Company in Cumru Township, they're part of a movement.

According to the state, Pennsylvania has seen a 300 percent increase in breweries since 2011 and ranks number-one in the nation in barrels of craft beer produced.

The craft beer boom continues in Berks as Maxatawny Township-based Saucony Creek Brewing Company plans to open a brewpub at the Franklin Street Station in Reading.

Meanwhile, Schaylor Brewing has tapped success since its grand opening in November.

"The community's really liked what we're doing," said Schmidt.

So, what is it about craft beer that draws people in?

"They want to know where their beer is brewed," said Carol Stoudt, founder of Stoudts Brewing Company in Adamstown. "They want to meet the people brewing the beer. They want to visit it. It's very exciting, because when I was the first one, it was tough to talk to tavern owners and restaurants on what Stoudts is about."

In that regard, Stoudt said it's easier than ever to start one of these businesses.

"You have to make sure you support your local, your regional Pennsylvania craft brewery so that in the next 50 years, they're here to stay for the next future generations," said Stoudt.

Berks-area beer brewers

1787 Brewing Company (opening this spring)
43 South Fourth Street, Hamburg

Golden Avalanche Brewing Company
272 West Main Street, Kutztown

Black Forest Brewery
301 West Main Street, Ephrata

Broken Chair Brewing Company
424 Penn Avenue, West Reading

Chatty Monks Brewing Company
610 Penn Avenue, West Reading

Hidden River Brewing Company
1808 West Schuylkill Road (Route 724), Douglassville (Union Township)

Klinger's Pubs (collaborated with St. Benjamin's Brewing Company in Philadelphia to develop Stage One Klinger.)
Airport (Bern Township), Carsonia (Lower Alsace Township), and Fleetwood

Oakbrook Brewing Company
628 Park Avenue, Reading

St. Boniface Craft Brewing Company
1701 West Main Street, Ephrata

Saucony Creek Brewing Company
15032 Kutztown Road, Kutztown (Maxatawny Township)

Schaylor Brewing Company
2390 Lancaster Pike, Shillington (Cumru Township)

Sly Fox Brewing Company
331 Circle of Progress Drive, Pottstown

Stoudt's Brewing Company
2800 North Reading Road, Adamstown

The Other Farm Brewing Company
128 East Philadelphia Avenue, Boyertown

Union Barrel Works
6 North Reamstown Road, Reamstown


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