13 Henry C. Frick St. | Mt. Pleasant, PA 15666
It is fitting that Helltown Brewing is located at the end of a dead end street in Mt. Pleasant, PA. During the late 1700s, this area was a bustling crossroads on the route between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia known for whiskey production and distribution. Bootlegging and lawlessness spread, and the community became known as “Helltown.”
The recognizable devil’s tail logo was attached to the Dead End sign at Henry C. Frick Street, assuring that we were headed in the right direction. Originally an auto garage, the brewery sits at the end of the road.
The brewery opened in August 2011 by a small group of homebrewers. But it wasn’t brewing that originally brought friends Shawn and Dan together. They became friends through a mutual love for mountain biking. Eight years of homebrewing followed before deciding to take a weekend hobby to the next level.
Brewer Shawn works as a manager for an IT group for a pharmaceutical company during the day, but his passion for brewing becomes evident as he talks about the brewery and introduces me to the crew.
Dan, “the everything” as Shawn calls him, was the first full time employee of the brewery, hired about 3 months after the brewery opened its doors. His job includes, well, pretty much everything. Sara, the personality of the brewery, greets people at the door and serves up samples of the delicious brews.
The beers I tried during my visited included…
- Mischievous Brown Ale – 5.5% ABV
- Rapture IPA – 7% ABV
- Reaper’s Harvest Rye IPA – 7% ABV
- Idle Hands Double IPA – 8% ABV
- Hop Frenzy IPA – 5.5% ABV
Sara shared with me that Shawn enjoys brewing IPAs, and after sampling a few I understood why. The Reaper’s Harvest Rye IPA was my favorite, and I filled a growler of the delicious goodness to take home. We’ll be tasting that beer on a future episode of Beer Busters Podcast!
The 15 barrel brew system came from Arctic Brewing Company in Colorado Springs. There are 30 barrel fermenters and several barrels. An imperial stout will be going into sherry barrels and possibly a barleywine in the future.
Shawn showed me the barrels in the back, which have been holding a wonderfully sour brew since September 2013. For the Kriek, which was available for sale in bottles to go, cherries were added while the beer was in stainless. Other beers that have been bottled at Helltown in the past include a Belgian Saison, Belgian Pale Ale, and the First Anniversary Stout.
Helltown brews are starting to find their way to eastern Pennsylvania, occasionally on tap at some local beer bars. Past events featuring Helltown beers have occurred at Hunger and Thirst and Highland Pizzeria, both in Lancaster, PA.
For our Philly friends, plans are in the works for Helltown to hold an event at 320 Market Cafe in Swarthmore as well as more events in the Philly area. Be sure to keep an eye on Helltown’s Facebook page for more information on upcoming events.
Whether you find yourself in “Helltown” or notice a Helltown brew on tap at your local bar, be sure to give their tasty brews a try.