|Bucks County Brewery
31 Appletree Lane | Pipersville, PA 18947
Bucks County Brewery is located right next to Hewn Spirits in an industrial complex in Pipersville, PA. Approaching his one year anniversary, owner and brewer Andrew Knechel has been brewing for over 10 years. He says that he fell in love with the creativity and the process around brewing the first time he made a beer.
Knechel has malted his own grains, grown his own hops, and grown his own yeast. After completing a few internships at various brewpubs, including Harvest Moon Brewpub in New Brunswick, NJ, he figured out that brewing was what he really wanted to do.
Andrew also runs the IT department at Franklin Township High School in Somerset, NJ, but it’s evident that his first love is the brewery, working all aspects of the company. His wife also helps out in the tasting room, and he has an assistant brewer.
I arrived at Bucks County Brewery when they opened at 3PM on a Friday afternoon, and by 3:15PM the tasting room was filled with newcomers and regulars, chatting with Andrew and enjoying his newest creations. The atmosphere was welcoming, and I instantly felt like a regular.
The beers on tap during my visit included:
- Munich Autumn – 5.3% ABV light-bodied “Oktoberfest” ale, medium amber in color with a malt forward flavor, balanced with mild hops.
- Mulley’s Tavern Red – 7.6% ABV malt forward Traditional Irish Style Red Ale, pours a deep red color and a balance of hop flavor and malt sweetness.
- Pappy Smitty’s Dirty Sock – 7% ABV “prohibition” style lightning-in-a-bottle with a sweet-cidery taste made from “off the shelf” ingredients like in the days of prohibition.
- Crab-a-loupe – 5% ABV full-bodied, amber-orange English Ale fermented with additions of fresh crab apple and cantaloupe juice for two months.
- Red-Rye IPA – 8.6% ABV 80 IBU IPA that begins hoppy, but finishes with a complex mix of malt sweetness balanced against subtle hints of rye spiciness.
- Chocolate Cherry Porter – 7.6% ABV dark, roasty porter brewed with organic cocoa nibs and pureed maraschino cherries.
- Chocolate Orange Porter – 7.6% ABV dark, roasty porter brewed with organic cocoa nibs and fresh squeezed oranges.
Other beers to look for from Bucks County Brewery include Golden Nectar, a pale ale that celebrates the flavorful hops of the Northwest United States; Summer Solstice Ale, a light ale brewed with lemon zest and mild Caribbean spices; and Saison Du Lever Du Soleil, a delicate, dry Saison brewed with jalapeño and orange blossom honey.
Bucks County Brewery’s first anniversary is quickly approaching, and to celebrate Andrew brewed Smoked Butternut Squash Porter. This 10%-ish ABV imperial porter was brewed with a giant Argonaut butternut squash from Blooming Glen Farm in Perkasie. The squash was smoked over apple and pecan wood before being added to the beer. The porter will ferment in a 20-year-old rum barrel then transferred to a second rum barrel for aging. The beer will be released in 750mL bottles on January 30th.
This beer was originally brewed for the Yardley Beer Festival in May for the VIP session, and it was a big hit among the other professional brewers.
Andrew encouraged me to return in the warmer months when the brewery hosts Food Truck Fridays. The evenings include live music and a different, unique food truck cuisine each week including Egyptian, Greek, German, and Brazilian BBQ. Some events have drawn upwards of 300 to 400 people.
Knechel was surprised that the 8 taps in the tasting room are not enough. He is expanding the tasting room to seat about 15 to 20 people. He currently brews on a 6 barrel system, brewing 1 barrel batches for the tasting room, brewing twice a week. He looks to start distributing to local accounts soon.
Bucks County Brewery beers will soon be available in cans. Andrew will brew 12 bbl batches for canning, including an IPA, a Kölsch, and a beer they call Just Beer, a nice, clean beer that’s perfect for watching sports. They were hoping to release the cans for the Super Bowl, but perhaps it will be ready for the start of baseball season. Andrew will do a special label for the Super Bowl next year.
Knechel loves experimenting, having fun, and making unique beers. Around Thanksgiving he brewed Convivium, which means “the banquet”. The gruit was bittered with rosemary and parsley instead of hops and flavored with thyme, parsley, sage, and rosemary, then fermented with an abbey ale yeast giving peppery and clove notes. It tasted like stuffing in a bottle!
During your visit to Bucks County Brewery, be sure to check out the creations of distiller Sean Tracy at Hewn Spirits. Tracy also hosts Barn Hunters on the Great American Country television network where he finds old, broken-down barns and transforms them into dream homes.