On Saturday, November 7th, 2015, Moo-Duck Brewery in Elizabethtown, PA celebrated their one year anniversary with a day of fun, food, live music and some special beer releases. The event ran from noon to 9pm at the brewery located at 79 S. Wilson Ave. just across from the E-town Amtrack Station.
Moo-Duck was founded by husband and wife team Mike and Kristen Brubaker. Mike serves as brewer, having made the journey of many new craft brewers from award-winning home brew to commercial production.
The unusual name of the brewery came from Mike’s All-Star Bird Watching Team when he worked at the Pocono Environmental Education Center. Suggested by a Russian team mate when the team needed a name to enter The World Series of Birding, the name stuck and seemed a natural choice for the brewery.
Speaking of Russia, the beer-of-honor on the day was King Slava’a Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout. Clocking in at 10.5% ABV and fairly fresh out of the barrel, the stout was a delicious and very boozy sipper that grew more complex as it warmed. It’s a beer that will obviously age very well and attendees could find out for themselves by purchasing one of a limited run of around 50 bottles at the bargain price of $15. The bottles were a hot item, only 14 remained when we were there around 3:00.
Also released at the anniversary celebration was The Great 38 Pale Ale, made with experimental hops. A no nonsense pale ale that showcased the unique somewhat tropical, somewhat piney experimental variety with a stand out orange zest character, the 38 was definitely special.
Other beers available on tap were:
- Mistopheles – 6.3% ABV Chocolate Stout
- Hoppy Toad – 6% ABV IPA
- Purple Carp – 4.8% ABV Irish Read Ale
- Honey! Basil – 5% ABV Blonde Ale
- Senescence – 7.5& ABV Red IPA
- Big Bru – 9.5% ABV Double IPA
- 409 – 5.5% ABV Amber Ale
Three live music acts provided tunes for the event. First up was Mark DeRose, playing feel good rootsy blue-eyed soul and classic rock. The next act was alt country from K. Edwards, a member of a couple area bands who was flying solo for the day. Edwards was on while we were there and I thoroughly enjoyed his toe-tapping mix of covers and original songs. Capping off the line up was the Pennsylvania beer event staple band, Two Pints Shy.
Though the beer is the focus at Moo-Duck, they also provide a menu of tasty eats, including their award winning chili, sausage sandwiches, chips, nachos, hot dogs and more. A favorite at our table was the pretzel, meat and cheese dish with meats from Groff Meats just around the block from the Brewery, cheese from Jubilee Heritage Cheese in Middletown and local pretzels. And, of course, the delicous, delicious cupcakes.
It was awesome to see Moo-Duck turn one and celebrate the milestone with the support of the community that has made them their go to local watering hole. While Mike was keen to take time out to bask in the achievement and mingle with the happy guests, Kristen was a buzz of activity, shuttling food back and fourth and moving breathlessly in and out of the kitchen. The pride and commitment to their work plain to see. These are some great people making some awesome beer in a welcoming and warm place to kick back with a pint, a plate and good company.
Cheers to Moo-Duck and I hope they’ve set aside some of the King Slava to break out on their second anniversary next year!