Breaking on through

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First Posted: 7/7/2013

What started in 2005 as a homebrewing obsession between close friends has turned into a brewery making much sought after beers in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Chris Miller and Mark Lehman began homebrewing after a night of drinking and discussing good beer and the need for more of it in their lives. The homebrewing idea quickly became their passion.

“We were brewing every weekend together,” said Miller. “The great thing is that we had no shortage of testers for our beers as we perfected our recipes.”

These test batches eventually led to the recipes that Breaker uses for its beers today.

After a few years, and many glasses of beer, the homebrewing hobby became a commercial business in 2009 when the friends legally began Breaker Brewing Company and started selling beers to local pubs. The group soon gained a great reputation for quality local beers.

“We began with four core beers: Anthracite Ale, Old King Coal Stout, Malty Maguire, and Goldies Blonde Ale,” Lehman said.

These beers are still produced, along with many more year-round beers such as Lunch Pail Ale (see review on this page) and 5 Whistle Wheat. There is also a great selection of seasonal beers, such as Potbelly Pumpkin Ale for the fall season and Belsnickler Ale for around Christmastime.

Breaker Brewing continued to grow and eventually started bottling many of its beers as well, though the brewery still mainly focuses on draft beer.

“Bottling is a very time-consuming process,” Lehman said. “We are getting new bottling equipment soon to have more bottles available.”

For now though, fans can visit the brewery at the new Breaker Brewing tasting room in Wilkes-Barre.

After years spent brewing in their garage, the guys of Breaker Brewing moved to a new location around two months ago and also opened a beautiful tasting room that enables visitors to come and taste the beers right at the brewery with the opportunity to get a growler of beer filled as well. This is also a great place to get some one-off batches of beer being created, such as Watermelon 5 Whistle Wheat, Lemongrass Ale, and many more ideas that will be unleashed to the public.

The future of Breaker Brewing is looking great, with many plans to improve upon the tasting room by adding an outside beer garden area and pouring more beer. Miller said that “by the end of the summer we should have our pub license.” What exactly does that mean?

Instead of a quick visit to the tasting room to sample the beer, visitors will be able to go to the tasting room and sit down for a pint or two.