|Crooked Eye Brewery
13 E Montgomery Ave Ste 2 | Hatboro, PA 19040
Crooked Eye Brewery opened this year in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, adding to the growing beer scene of Montgomery County. The entrance to the tasting room is along the side of the building. There is a small parking lot, and the eye-catching signage assures Crooked Eye is the cure for “what ales you”.
As I entered the tasting room, country music was playing the in the background. I was immediately greeted by one of the owners, Paul Mulherin, who was located behind the gorgeous wooden bar. I later learned that the owners themselves made the bar, along with everything else in the space.
Paul owns Crooked Eye Brewery, along with his brother-in-law Paul Hogan and son Jeff Mulherin. The trio purchased the building on East Montgomery Avenue back in June 2013 and opened the doors after securing their license this past February.
Brewer Jeff Mulherin brings 9 years of homebrewing experience to the table, starting back in college. He brewed 5 gallon batches for the first 5 or 6 years in his apartment, then graduated to a 30 gallon system in his father Paul’s garage.
Currently Jeff brews three times a week on a 2.5 barrel system, built by Paul who works as a tool and die maker. Paul says they are having a hard time keeping up with demand, so they are already working up to a 7 barrel brewing system.
Jeff still works his full time job as a respiratory therapist at a local hospital, but the goal is for him to be brewing full time next year. Jeff’s brother Matt also wants to join the Crooked Eye team. He is currently washing and filling kegs to help out. One of the assistant brewers, Andrew, is taking brewing classes online to increase the brewing knowledge of the team.
Crooked Eye recently took over the second half of the building, which will eventually become the brewery. The current brewing space and tasting room will become a pub, which will feature smoked BBQ. Paul also hopes to hold raw nights featuring oysters and sushi once a month.
Another assistant brewer, Jeff Lyens, will run the pub’s kitchen once it is up and running. Jeff Mulherin and Jeff Lyens both collaborate on the beer recipes at Crooked Eye. Many of the recipes were adjusted homebrew recipes.
Currently visitors can enjoy free samples of the Crooked Eye brews on tap and purchase 32- or 64-ounce glass growlers to go. They will begin selling pints on site as of January 1, 2015. I enjoyed samples of six brews during my visit.
- White Tail Ale – a 3.8% ABV Belgian white
- Regimental 80 Scottish Ale – a 4.7% ABV malt-forward session beer
- Crooked IPA – 6.5% ABV west coast IPA brewed with Centennial hops
- Austin’s Pumpkin Porter – 7.0% ABV porter
- Black Eye Stout – 7.5% ABV double chocolate oatmeal stout
- Boro Blonde – 5.6% ABV blonde ale
I especially enjoyed Austin’s Pumpkin Porter with its roasted malt flavor and creamy mouthfeel. Black Eye Stout was another favorite of mine. The stout, which has 80 pounds of cocoa nibs added during secondary fermentation, is like dessert in a glass. Paul also told me about Hazy Eye Double IPA, which is brewed with 7 varieties of hops. Look for that to be on tap mid-November.
The bottom line is, there is something for everyone here. In addition to the beers I sampled, there was also a brown ale and an English special bitter. Accidental Pale Ale, the session ale, was also on tap. There is currently a batch of brown ale that has been hanging out in a Wild Turkey Bourbon barrel for the past two months.
Right now Jeff is brewing ales, but he looks to start brewing lagers in the future. They also want to brew a nostalgic beer from Philadelphia’s brewing past. They are currently trying to get ahold of a recipe and hope to release the beer during Hatboro’s Classic Car Show.
In addition to the pub expansion, Crooked Eye also plans to start a homebrew club next year, which will meet at the brewery. They are also looking into acquiring a Crowler machine, allowing visitors to purchase 32-ounce cans to go!
The tasting room at Crooked Eye is open Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 5 to 8PM, Saturday 12 to 6PM, and Sunday 11AM to 4PM. Stop by for a few samples, and be sure to pick up a growler or T-shirt to go. The Crooked Eye family, whether it’s one of the Pauls or Jeffs, will welcome you with a smile, and you are sure to enjoy the tasty brews!