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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Penn Stays Open!

Good news first: Penn Brewery has signed a five year lease to stay in their current building. As reported in the Post-Gazette today, that much is sure. More details are promised tomorrow. The details I'm sure everyone is interested in? What about the actual brewery, which is currently listed for sale? (The bottling line's already been sold.)

Until I know about that, I'm reserving judgment.


Brian P said...

It will be interesting to see how that's handled. I am keeping my fingers crossed for a good outcome.

Anonymous said...

Here's the latest, in a story that wasn't easy to find in our paper or on our home page today:

Anonymous said...

Saw the brewery this weekend, it's a great old brewery, but a little too large and awkward for my plans. Also the effort to remove the brewhouse is going to be a big one. I asked the current onwer if they will keep the current brewery and he said that they will if they don't find a buyer. They would like to purchase a newer system for the brewery. Which is odd.

Oh and the Hofbrauhaus will be amazing. I hope Pittsburg knows what it has. I really don't think we'll see an opening this month though. Two lagers in the tanks as of yesterday and much work to be done on the inside.


Anonymous said...

Oh sure, this old relic stays open but what about my house of Jones in Smithton?

Anonymous said...

Article here about Hofbräuhaus, including opening dates . . .

As for Penn, that article was written before the official announcement that it will stay open.

I am happy to hear that Penn will stay open, but am suspicious, and like Lew, will reserve judgment until I see it enough to believe it.

If they decide to brew beer again, than I will continue to patronize it, if not, then I will not be drinking fake Penn, brewed @ Lion.

More Penn & Hofbräuhaus info here for all you Facebook users . . .

Stop Penn Brewery from moving!


Anonymous said...

more info

Anonymous said...

Fake penn? Excuse me but I disagree. Penn contracted their bottles for most of their existence, at stoneys and elsewhere until they finally got a bottling plant.

It's naive to snub your nose at contract brewing. If you like the brewery and want it to succeed then you better infuse some cash into it, why not buy a contract brewed beer if it tastes good? Lord knows the dixie folks could use all the help they can get after their tragedy.

I guess if a famous chef comes into your kitchen and cooks a dinner for you you would call it a fake meal as well.

Farmer troy you are exhibiting horse and buggy thinking... time to get back to the fields.

Anonymous said...

Bill Smulowitz ,

There is nothing wrong with "horse and buggy thinking" . . . and to tell me to get out in the fields during winter shows your ignorance.

If I want to call it fake Penn than so be it. When I go to Penn, I always ask for beer that was brewed on site. Usually that would be the medal winning St. Nick's or the Kaiser Pils.

I am not a big fan of buying Penn in bottles, so if I choose to snub my nose, that's my business and we will agree to disagree. My purpose is to support the brewery as a brewpub.

There are plenty of other places to spend my money on local beer (East End, North Country, Sprague's, BrewErie, Blue Canoe) . . . and when I go to Penn Brewery, I want to include food, beer, atmosphere, history and tradition (none of the above can give me that), and without the whole package, I'm just not that interested.

As for the chef in my kitchen, it would be his (or her) meal. If I tried to put my own name on it then yes, that would be fake.

Anonymous said...

I stopped by Penn Brewery last week on my day off for a late lunch. I wanted to see it one more time before it closed. I had a weizen and 2 kaiser pils. Both were excellent. I also had 2 potato pancakes that were very good. The bartender informed that the kitchen had recently changed the recipe for them. In his opinion the new ones were much improved over the old recipe.

I also asked for a dark but the bartender warned me that I should try it before I had a full pint. I tasted it and chose to get another kaiser instead. The dark was thin and not as dark as I remembered it, kinda like and altbier but not bitter enough. According to the bartender, this was the first of the beers brewed at lion brewery. Before he was laid off, the brewer had told the bartender that lion was brewing all of penns beers with their house yeast. Their house yeast is also used to brew pabst and colt 45. That would explain the thinness of the dark I tasted, like the yeast had over-attenuated the beer. Different yeast = beer not the same. I also learned that lion was only going to be brewing penn pilsner (not the same as kaiser pils), penn gold and penn dark. No more ultra fresh weizen!!!

All speculation about the formulation of the lion brewed penn beers aside, the quality of the dark I had was not up to snuff. I can think of 2 possibilities that lead to this beer being served. First, the new owners decided to cut corners on the beers being brewed at lion. Second, an unsuccessful attempt was made to make the lion brewed penn beers as close as possible to the original. Instead of dumping the inferior beer the owners decided to release it. Neither scenario bodes well for the direction penn is headed.