Steel City Coffeehouse owners-operators Laura Vernola-Simpson and Ed Simpson announced today that they are bringing a fresh perspective to the growing list of breweries that can be found in downtown Phoenixville, a town which has more breweries per square foot than anywhere else in America. The addition of an in-house artisanal brewing operation allows Steel City to pair their diverse menu and eclectic music scene with easy-drinking beers.
Head Brewer Seth Clearwater, a multiple-medal-winning brewer and Phoenixville resident, is planning a steady rotation of beers inspired by the pubs of England and beer halls of Germany, some of which incorporate Hobo Ed’s Artisan locally-roasted coffees that Steel City is rightly famous for.
“We’re not going to be a ‘beer bar,'” Clearwater says. “This is still a café, coffeehouse and listening room – but it’s going to be a café, coffeehouse and listening room with some of the best beer you’ll find anywhere in the Philadelphia area.”
Adding to the brewing operations and creative brain trust will be Josh Weikert, internationally famous (particularly in Latvia) beer writer, Contributing Editor of the Craft Beer & Brewing magazine, and two-time Eastern Pennsylvania Homebrewer of the Year. He brings 11 years of experience in writing about, talking about, and most importantly, brewing beer.
“I’m unbelievably excited for what we’ll produce,” Weikert says. “Our intention is not to compete with the existing beer scene. It’s already fantastic. But what we are setting out to do is bring a personal, approachable craft beer experience that you probably won’t find in a dedicated brewery. We’re offering a unique gateway for soon-to-be-beer-lovers and beer geeks alike.”
This is not a new idea. Laura Vernola-Simpson and Ed Simpson purchased Steel City Coffeehouse just over two years ago, with a clear vision for future plans.
“Our strengths lie in running a business, and bringing in the right talent to help us deliver our vision,” Laura says. “We are working with some of the most talented beer aficionados around. Between their knowledge, and our passion and business acumen, we’re confident that we will produce a product that will be just as impressive – if not more so – as our coffee and food menu.”
Small batch testing and tasting will begin with a small focus group this fall, with three taps becoming available to the general public starting in November 2018. Their signature beer is appropriately planned to be a coffee stout brewed with Hobo Ed’s Artisan Coffee. Growlers will be available on a first come, first served basis, and Steel City plans to offer their iconic cold brew coffee in growlers as well.
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