Brewed right, brewed local

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First Posted: 9/7/2014

Susquehanna Brewing Company, located in Pittston, Pennsylvania, proudly displays their slogan “People Beer by Beer People” on each and every one of their bottles and all merchandise. If you are one of the many whom have tried their beers, you know this statement to be correct.

The brewery, which opened its doors in 2012, has been proudly making delicious beers that are loved by craft beer novices and craft beer aficionados alike. Instead of focusing on over the top gimmick driven beers the brewery has been creating highly sessionable and easy drinking beers that can be enjoyed by all.

SBC began in 2012 only making two beers, but now produces five year round beers which include: Goldencold Lager a smooth lager brewed in the German tradition, 6th Generation Stock Ale a nod to the classic stock ale style, Pils Noir a black pilsner, Hopfive IPA a well-balanced refreshing IPA, and their newest So-Wheat a Bavarian styled Hefeweizen. The brewery also has a growing number of seasonals as well including their very popular Oktoberfest and Pumpkin Ale, which are the current fall seasonal beers.

The craft beer industry has certainly been undertaking a renaissance in the recent decade and has given rise to a much touted “blood bath” in the near future among the many craft breweries that have opened their doors, but SBC Vice President Fred Maier sees it differently.

“In the overall beer market, craft beer is still such a small segment,” Maier said. “The way I see it, a rising tide raises all ships.” This belief is visible with their willingness to work with other breweries throughout the area and overarching Northeast U.S region.

However, the true secret weapon that SBC possesses is head brewer Guy Hagner. Hagner has a rich brewing pedigree and has spent the better part of three decades directly involved in the brewing process for a number of breweries. Upon his arrival at the brewery his impact was felt with his attention to consistency and a mind for recipe formulation.

“Guy is just great,” Maier said. “I can just come up with an idea for a beer and he can basically formulate the recipe in his head.” This was evident when Fred decided that the brewery should brew a Hefeweizen and after discussing it with Hagner, the recipe was formulated almost immediately in Hagner’s head and So Wheat was born and sales have been booming.

The brewery has been expanding into other markets as well outside of the immediate NEPA territory. SBC beers are now available in Philadelphia, the State College area, and also in New Jersey, and all areas in between as well. So not only is the brewery spreading good beers but also spreading the word about the great craft beer scene in NEPA.

While the growing fad in many modern day industries has been to “buy local” just because something is local does not necessarily mean it is good or should be purchased. Fear not though faithful NEPA-ites, you can buy SBC beers and rest assured that while you are buying local beer, you are also buying good beer.

As the NEPA craft beer scene continues to develop with new breweries, craft bars, and craft beer events popping up, it is great to know that breweries such as Susquehanna Brewing Company are a firm staple in the scene. The beers are great for all newcomers and the most jaded of craft beer drinkers. People beer for beer people is a great motto to build a brewery on, especially with so many great beer people right here in NEPA. Cheers to SBC!