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117 Years in the making: Public Tours commence June 1

By Jaime | May 30th, 2012

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The original Susquehanna Brewing Company was started in 1895 by George W. Flach, son of a successful Philadelphia brewery owner. Two years later the company was purchased by the Stegmaier Brewing Co. which operated it as their ale and porter brewery. By 1902, Charles Stegmaier passed on brewery management issues to his sons, Christian E., Fred and George. He died in 1906 at the age of eighty-five. 1910 brought the last addition to SBC when the family added a three-story bottling hall and were producing just under 40,000 barrels per year. The brewery closed at Prohibition and was not brought back on-stream after Repeal…but their large Wilkes-Barre brewery was expanded to more than make up for the retired capacity and capability. So it’s something to open up the reincarnation of Susquehanna Brewing Company to the public.

Complimentary brewery tours commence on June 1 at 3:00 and 5:00 p.m Monday through Friday and at 2:00 on Saturdays. We have to limit our sample sizes for obvious insurance reasons but we’re hoping to offer for our visitors small sample bags of fine malt flour to take away. I find fascinating what Orval, Lefebvre and De Koninck do for their visitors in offering them ahabbit’, or a yeast shot. A yeast shot that is poured alongside, after filling the beer glass. Some visitors choose to combine the two but with our two strains, the yeasts each carry different notes along with their common big yeastiness. Some of our beer savvy guests have really enjoyed sampling the beer yeast, or ‘barm beer’. My colleagues smile that this extra effort requires a special fridge and special shot glasses to honor a Belgian tradition and make it part of ours, but it also means extra work and diligence for the team. So we’ll see!

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