|Breaker Brewing Company
787 East Northampton Street | Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
Breaker Brewing Company is a brewery and brewpub located in the former St. Joseph’s school in Wilkes-Barre Township, PA, right in the heart of Northeast Pennsylvania’s coal region. The brewery was founded by long time friends Chris Miller and Mark Lehman.
The name “Breaker” Brewing Company pays tribute to the hard working coal miners and a time when the coal breaker was a common site in Northeast PA. In fact, the brewpub is decorated with mining artifacts and pictures. The mining of anthracite coal brought fame and prosperity to the Wilkes-Barre Township area.
The brewing adventure began in 2005 when Chris and Mark began homebrewing. At first they were brewing 5 gallon batches, later graduating to a ½-barrel system, built by Chris and Mark themselves. At the time, they were distributing their beer out of Mr. Miller’s Plains Twp. garage.
In 2009, the pair decided to open Breaker Brewing Company and begin selling beer commercially. The original system was a 1.5-barrel system, which they sold to Argilla Brewing Company in Delaware a year later. Christ and Mark fabricated a 3-barrel system and began searching for a space.
During the spring of 2011, they purchased the former St. Joseph’s Monastery and School in Wilkes-Barre Township and began working on the property a year later. The doors of Breaker Brewing Company opened to the public in April 2013 for tastings and growler fills.
The brewery obtained a brewpub license in the spring of 2014, allowing them to sell flights, pints, and food. There are always eight to nine rotating taps available.
Currently, beers at Breaker Brewing Company are available in 5, 13, and 16 oz. pours, as well as 32 and 64 oz. growlers to go. Occasionally, some beers are available in 22 oz. bottles. During our visit, the following beers were on tap:
- Lunch Pail Ale – 5.5% ABV hop forward pale ale with Columbus, Cascade and Nugget hops
- Quiet Canary Coconut Saison – 6% ABV Coconut Saison
- Banana Nut Bread Ale – 5.5% ABV Amber Ale brewed with organic bananas and hazelnuts
- Mosaic Hop IPA – 6% ABV West Coast IPA with Mosaic hops
- 2 Hour Delay – 8% ABV Double IPA brewed with West Coast hops
- Abandon Mine Barley Wine – 11% ABV Barley Wine brewed with vanilla beans
- Black Mariah – 7% ABV Belgian Dark Ale with Dutch cocoa
- Chocolate Mint Ale – 5% ABV Ale brewed with Dutch cocoa and mint
- 3 Day Sour IPA – 6% ABV Soured IPA with Apollo, Amarillo, and Citra hops
In addition, a firkin of Black Mariah with strawberries was available for Valentine’s Day weekend. Craft sodas by Reading Draft were available, including Red Birch Beer, Root Beer, Orange Cream, Vanilla Cream, Lemon Up, Cola, and Diet Cola.
Beers that are currently fermenting include Galaxy Hop IPA, Olde King Coal Stout, Light Headed IPA, Phoebe Snow / White IPA, and 5 Whistle Wheat. On deck to be brewed is 16 Ton Double IPA.
A small menu of pub food is available at the brewpub, which includes snacks, salads, and paninis. Start with Bruschetta or Hummus, then try Antipasto Plate or Pub Salad. Enjoy The Bliss, a panini grilled cheese made with smoked Cooper Sharp, smoked Gouda, American cheese, and garlic herb butter. The Huber is made with Pennsylvania Lebanon Baloney with smoked Cooper Sharp and cranberry horseradish sauce.
The pair plans to expand the dining area in 2015, adding an additional bar and an outdoor beer garden. The 3-barrel brew system will be moved to the old church, and an upgraded 10 to 15-barrel system will be installed.
If you find yourself in Northeast Pennsylvania, Breaker Brewing Company can’t be missed.