Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mudhook Brewing hopes to beat The York Curse

York, Pennsylvania has had several microbreweries. There was York Brewing -- failed -- and Freedom Brewing -- failed -- and the Brick Oven brewpub -- failed -- and several breweries that were planned, discussed, and trumpeted...and never opened. York County hasn't done much better; we're still waiting on Hanover Brewing. We talk about The Curse: opening a brewery in York just doesn't seem to work.

Two days ago, on Tuesday, Jeff Lau took his shot: Mudhook Brewing opened (at 34 N Cherry Lane, York), as reported here. Sounds like opening night was a success. To officially beat The Curse (and by "officially," I mean in my eyes...), Mudhook will have to still be in operation in January of 2013. Best of luck, Jeff and company!

14 comments:

sam k said...

You're forgetting the Brick Oven. Had lunch there once...great cheesesteak and a very good pils, but to no avail.

Good luck to Mudhook!

Lew Bryson said...

Damn! You're right, I'll add that. Beer was always a blind crapshoot there, but the food was excellent. Pity about that place.
I keep hearing rumors that there was a brewpub in York city, way early on, but never got that confirmed.
I don't think anyone ever beat Red Bell's record, though: their Manayunk brewpub served their first house-brewed beers and closed in the space of a week.

Jon Harries said...

I was going to say a brewery that's named all its beers after fish is probably not going to succeed either, but then I realized I was mistaken, because one of the beers is actually named after worms.

Lew Bryson said...

I've seen dumber gimmicks...and it might suit the market.

JP said...

i like their shtick actually especially since they actually tell you what kind of style you should expect: stout, pale, amber etc makes a lot more sense to me than some esoteric name that has nothing to do with the beer that I have to decipher first .

jp said...

i like their shtick actually especially since they actually tell you what kind of style you should expect: stout, pale, amber etc makes a lot more sense to me than some esoteric name that has nothing to do with the beer that I have to decipher first .

tonyk said...

Hey Lew, You forgot York Brewing. I believe they closed before 2000.
Freedom used the same location. We sold them in Pittsburgh. Lots of low fills and mis-matched bottles.
Ruffed Grouse Stout was theirs.
Tony@Vecenie Dist.

Lew Bryson said...

You're right, Tony: I had them as Susquehanna Brewing, but that was the name of one of their beers. They were a pair of engineers from the nuclear industry, as I recall. Yes, Freedom -- the project of a plastic surgeon from Maryland, I think -- took over their building and brewery, and didn't even last 9 months.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon South County Brewing Company in Fawn Grove on the 4th of July, but unfortunately it was closed.

http://www.southcountybrewing.com/southcounty/

Alexander D. Mitchell IV said...

I just perused the South County Brewing website, and it's utterly amazing how far I had to dig just to figure out where in heck they ARE. Someone there needs to have a word or three with the website designer.

Lew Bryson said...

Sandy...
http://theoatmeal.com/comics/restaurant_website

Yup.

Justin Mann said...

Lew - it's official now. Mudhook is still in business and is doing well. As a beer-blogging Yorker, that makes me very happy. I believe that Mudhook may have paved the way for some other success stories: Liquid Hero, South County, and Crystal Ball Brewing. I think there's also another brewery in the works (St. Boniface). We've also got some good taprooms now: Cobblestones (over 100 on tap) and Holy Hound (30 on tap). Lots of good stuff going on in York.

If you're interested, you can read my most recent post about Mudhook breaking "The York Curse" at http://justinsbrewreview.blogspot.com/2013/01/mudhook-brewing-beats-york-curse.html. Cheers!

Greg Allman said...

@Alexander, for what it’s worth the South County Brewing site clearly show hours and location under the Contact Us tab which is in the Brewery section of the site.

@Justin, South County received its license on 05/03/2011 and opened two weeks prior to Mudhook and was the first licensed "Production Brewery" in York County since the Freedom and Whitetail debacles of the 90's. South County doesn't get mentioned much in the press, which is a shame because their beer is top notch and gets great reviews. The brewer from my conversations with others is quite accomplished and has brewed under several well respected brewers in PA. So really I think we owe it to them for beating "The Curse". Subsequently from a business perspective (Lew knows this) a Brewpub and a Packaging Microbrewery are two VERY different business models. So…. how we discuss success and using certain ventures as benchmarks should be done so with caution. For example Bavarian Barbarian in Williamsport, PA was open nearly 4 years and closed recently. Mike is a good man; I believe he's back at Legend Brewing now.
St. Boniface (Lancaster County) has been licensed since 01/19/2011, which predates all of York Counties’ breweries.

Crystal Ball is yet to be included in the "success story" list because they are not licensed or open to the public, which is misleading because until I researched them their social media suggested otherwise, the fact that they have been able to serve(at Brewfest) untaxed, undocumented beer to the public without a license astounds me, you saw what the BLCE did to a few bars a while back for brands that weren't registered, considering brand registration is technically the responsibility of the Importing Distributor, not the bar.

Cobblestones is a hap-hazard ghost town. Despite 67 taps (not 100)Cobblestones hasn't had decent beer management Since the Cove opened (most likely because over half of Cobblestones original staff works at Cove now). I once sent back 8 beers because I either got the wrong beer or the beer tasted foul due to a poor draft program, I've yet to return, such a shame, Cobblestones should be the York Taj Mahal of beer,

Agreed Holy Hound is the new benchmark for beer bars in York.

In closing, please don't take my remarks as hostile or argumentative. I think that Craft beer scene in York County is here to stay and what has been done by all the brewers is tremendous and inspiring. There are two others slated to open in York, I wish them well, the beer business is a tough market. With the beer industry changing so rapidly, getting facts and info correct will continue to be a challenge.

Lew Bryson said...

Only thing I'd really argue with here is classifying Whitetail as a "debacle." Very much not so; Wade made a couple bad decisions, but made good beer for quite a while, and quit more because his heart just wasn't in it anymore. And he may have been too early. But not a debacle.