Brewery Products Tour in York, PA

Brewery Products Tour in York, PA

Brewery Products is a beer wholesaler delivering Anheuser-Busch, Yuengling, and numerous local, regional and national craft brewers throughout York, Adams, Franklin and Fulton counties in Pennsylvania.

Brewery Products is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The company has been family owned since 1965 and employs over 60 employees, many of which begin at 3:00 AM filling orders!

Kegs

The family owned company opened its doors on June 17, 18 and 19, 2015 as part of the Made in America Tour sponsored by Visit York County, PA. Those in the craft beer industry, as well as the public were invited to a walking tour of the facility, samplings of products, displays of equipment for rent, and food.

The tour began in the lobby of the building where visitors were immediately handed a small bottle of Budweiser. The first leg of the tour was led by Vice President Wendy J. Keesee. Wendy proudly talked about her family’s history.

Wendy

Wendy’s grandfather, William “Barney” Conway, owned a gas station, Tommy’s Snack Bar, and later founded the Mister Softee brand with his brother James. Barney started Brewery Products in 1965 in a small facility, and moved to a larger location in April 1968. In March 1979 the company moved to its current modern location on N. Sherman Street in York, PA.

Barney passed away in March of 2002, and his son-in-law and Wendy’s father, John Keesee continued growing the business by adding additional brands as President. Wendy is very hands on as Vice President and has worked on technology upgrades, customer service, community involvement, and marketing.

Wendy’s son, Derek Siegel is the current Operations Manager, and he works to improve efficiencies, implement new technologies, and keep the company green. For example, in 2014 Brewery Products recycled 32,000 pounds of plastic into plastic decking.

The pride of being “family owned” was evident throughout the tour. In fact, the desk in Wendy’s office at Brewery Products is the barrel desk her father won for selling Budweiser.

The tour then entered the warehouse where a large Clydesdale and Budweiser beer display was set up for pictures, as well as a new Mack truck, which was decked out with the new employee designed Brewery Products logo.

Truck-1

Next, the tour went through the 65,000 square foot temperature controlled warehouse where 180,000 cases of beers from 110 different brands are carefully stored.

The first stop in the warehouse offered pretzel samples from Dimms Original Spice and Project 70 Pale Ale from Crystal Ball Brewing Company, both located in York, PA as we learned about the three-tier system of alcohol distribution in Pennsylvania.

Our friend JR Heaps from South County Brewing Company in Fawn Grove, PA was serving Sessions ESB at the next stop. JR shared that he will be distributing in Maryland soon, and he will be doing a collaboration beer with Spring House Brewing Company this fall.

JR

Speaking of Spring House, they are now brewing at their new facility in Lancaster, which is expected to produce 10,000 barrels of beer annually. The new brewpub in Lancaster will open in July. Spring House Brewing Company was serving samples of the new grapefruit pale ale, Lexicon Devil at the next stop on the tour.

We went on to sample Barn Dog Porter, a chocolate vanilla imperial porter from Wyndridge Farm and Exile, an English-style amber from Evolution Craft Brewing Company as we sampled pickles from Brother Floyd’s Righteous Pickles.

After that, Yuengling Brewery served up samples of Summer Wheat as they teased tour goers with posters advertising the new IPL coming this fall. Free hot dogs eased the pain, and some visitors snapped pictures of the Shock Top VW Beetle.

Tap-Handles

The tour finished up with a stop in the sales team offices, a peak where the promotional signs are made, displays of old advertising memorabilia, the conference room, and finally the bar where Shock Top Lemon Shandy and Goose Island IPA were both on tap. Visitors played a game of 99 Bottles of Beer to win beer swag before heading out.

In all, I really appreciated the tour of Brewery Products. We often experience how the beer is made and where it is served, but we don’t often get to experience the distribution side of the three-tier process. The Brewery Products facility is impressive, the beers were quite tasty, and the pride of family ownership is evident. Cheers to 50 years of Brewery Products!

Lamp

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