History and Tradition at Black Cap Brewing

History and Tradition at Black Cap Brewing
Black Cap Brewing Company
5 West High Street | Red Lion, PA 17356
(443) 418-9473
www.blackcapbrew.com

Black Cap Brewing Company is located at the corner of North Main and West High Streets in the heart of Red Lion, PA. The brewpub is located in a 3400 square foot brick building that was home to the U.S. Postal Service from 1935 to 1981.

The post office was located at the historic railroad station and general store owned and operated by Catherine Meyer, known as the “Mother of Red Lion.” Black Cap Brewing Company’s brewpub is located where Catherine built her house, and the brewery is named after an English tavern.

The post office has since moved up the street, and the building was home to a furniture store, a karate studio, and then a Susquehanna Bank branch (the vaults are still there!). After that the building sat empty for eight years before becoming Black Cap Brewing Company.

Exterior-1

Co-owners Greg Bentley and Jim Waller have a combined 25 years of homebrewing experience and shared a dream of owning a brewery. The pair met through the local homebrew club and have a shared passion for bringing fresh, handcrafted beer to the community.

The 3-barrel brewhouse supplies beer for the brewpub only. There are typically eight beers on tap, with new beers coming out each month. During my visit, Jim talked passionately about exposing beer drinkers to new styles, especially Belgian beers. He told a story about a Miller Lite drinker that enjoyed their Wit and ended up leaving with a growler of their winter Saison.

Cool birthday gifts

System

The brewery has been open for four months, and the pair are brewing once or twice a week as needed. They love hoppy beers and Belgians, but enjoy brewing new and different styles. Many of the beers are homebrew recipes.

One of their newer beers, Red Pants IPA was named in honor of a group of people known as “Red Pants” that helped Greg and Jim get going with the business. They wanted to made a red beer that wasn’t obvious like a red ale, so they came up with this red/copper colored IPA.

Beer

Black Cap is not currently distributing. If you want to try their beers, they are only available at the brewpub. Here are the beers that were on tap during our visit:

  • Cream Ale – 5.5% ABV crisp, clean, refreshing ale with a dry finish similar to classic American lagers. Pale straw in color and filled with the flavor and aroma of Pilsen malt and German Noble hops.
  • Red Pants IPA – 6.3% ABV hoppy and bitter American red ale. The red/copper colored IPA showcases a rich malt character and a satisfying dose of hop flavor and aroma.
  • Wyatt’s Witbier – 4.7% ABV refreshing traditional Belgian wheat beer with creamy mouthfeel, light sweetness, and notes of coriander, sweet orange peel and chamomile.
  • Hop Scramble IPA – 6.4% ABV hoppy and bitter golden colored American pale ale brewed with Cascade, Chinook, Columbus and Nugget hops.
  • General Gates Porter – 5.6% ABV malty dark ale with a complex roasty character. Brewed with additions of smoked malt and molasses.
  • Rye Saison – 6.3% ABV golden colored Belgian ale with a dry finish featuring a moderate addition of malted rye and peppery, earthy notes.
  • Double Scramble IIPA – 8% ABV hoppy, bitter Double IPA brewed with Cascade, Chinook, Columbus and Nugget hops.
  • Ginger Saison – 6.5% ABV golden colored Belgian ale brewed with fresh ginger root.

Five-ounce samples of any beer are available for $1.50 each. Pints are $5, and growlers can be filled to go. A line-up of six wines from Allegro Wines in Brogue, PA are also available by the glass.

Interior

You won’t find a peanut butter porter or a habanero IPA here. While Greg and Jim enjoy exploring new styles and different beers all the time, they stick to traditional beer styles. They chuckled as they shared that the Ginger Saison is about as crazy as they get.

The food menu features starters like the Pub Cheese Dip Basket and Gourmet Cheese Plate. The current soup was Maryland Crab Soup, which Rich enjoyed very much. There were several paninis on the menu including Ham and Cheese, Turkey and Cheese, Veggie and Cheese, Rachel, Cuban, and Spicy Italian.

The desserts are prepared by Red Brick Bakery, located just up the street in Red Lion. The dessert options are always changing. During our visit, the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake and Raspberry Swirl Cupcake were the stars.

If you visit, free brewery tours are offered every Saturday at 4 PM. The tour includes information about how Black Cap got started, how beer is made, and how the brewery connects with the history of Red Lion. One attendee will also receive a free Black Cap logo pint glass.

The pub is open Thursdays from 4 to 9 PM and Fridays and Saturdays from 3 to 10 PM. There is a parking lot at the brewery, accessible from both West High Street and North Main Street.

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