|Cox Brewing Company
276 Heisey Quarry Road | Elizabethtown, PA 17022
Founded by Tim Kreider and Nick Cox, veteran-owned brewery Cox Brewing Company recently joined the craft beer scene in Central Pennsylvania. The team is serving up American pride with a side of well-crafted brews.
The brewery and tasting room are located within a commercial complex that has been part of Kreider’s family for two decades. The former chicken house was rebuilt, divided up, and leased out to various businesses.
The Cox Brewing name comes from Nick’s last name. According to Kreider, there were too many things named Kreider, and CBC sounded more like a brewery, while KBC “sounded like a radio station.”
When asked what inspired them to open a brewery, Kreider answered, “Well, my dad told me the secret to happiness is find something you love and figure out a way to make money at it… I love beer!”
Cox works full time as a guard at Fort Indiantown Gap, while Kreider, a veteran himself, works at the brewery full time. The team brews, markets, and distributes the beer themselves, in addition to serving up free samples and filling growlers behind the bar during taproom hours.
After serving in the Air Force, Kreider worked at Bube’s Brewery in Mount Joy, PA about 10 years ago. While working there, he met some homebrewers and started brewing with them. After about 5 years of brewing, Kreider began to focus on specific styles, brewing them over and over, trying to perfect the recipes and striving for consistency.
The Cox Brewing logo includes a lion and an eagle. The lion comes from the Cox family crest, while the eagle represents Kreider. The shield is a symbol for their service to the country.
Cox Brewing Company received their licensing in April 2015. The brewery’s initial sales occurred in May, the first to the Elizabethtown VFW on Armed Forces Day, and the second to the American Legion in Mount Joy on Memorial Day. Currently Cox Brewing Company is distributing to about 10 local places, picking up new accounts almost every week.
To keep up with demand, they are brewing several times a week on the modest half barrel brewing system using the local well water. Cox and Kreider are already looking to upgrade to a barrel brewing system. The team also hopes to not only expand into the space next door, but also add a canning line in the future.
When you visit the tasting room, there are 5 beers on tap. The first 3 beers listed on the board are always on tap, while the bottom 2 beers rotate. The 5 beers on tap during our visit include…
- Liberty Lager – 4.3% ABV American Lager
- 82nd Amber Ale – 5.4% ABV American Amber
- CH-47 IPA – 5.2% ABV American IPA
- F-117 Stout – 5.5% ABV Dry Stout
- Rheems Rauch – 5.0% ABV German Smoked Lager
The 82nd Amber Ale is the brewery’s most popular and most distributed beer. The “good, middle of the road beer” is a crowd pleaser – not too hoppy, but enough interesting flavor to hook craft beer drinkers.
I especially enjoyed the Rheems Rauch. The smoked lager pleases rauchbier loves like myself, while not overwhelming the palates of those who may be new to the style. A portion of sales from the Rheems Rauch will go to the local volunteer fire company in Rheems.
Currently fermenting is an American Imperial Stout called SR-71, which will be ready to serve in about a month. The F-117 Stout is super delicious, so I can only imagine that SR-71 Imperial Stout will be uhh-mazing.
Most of the beer names have a military connection. A portion of the sales from those beers goes back to local veterans. Cox Brewing also uses dog tags to label the tap handles and growlers.
There are two American flags hanging proudly in the brewery space. Both flags flew in military aircraft during active service. One of the flags was flown over Iraq in an A-10 Warthog, while the other was flown in a C-130 over Afghanistan.
The tasting room at Cox Brewing Company is currently open Wednesday 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Friday 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, and Saturday noon to 3:00 PM.
Stop by to chat with Tim and Nick, enjoy some samples, and fill a growler to go. You will definitely feel proud to be an American while enjoying some tasty, well-made brews.