Hop’in Around: Beer in suburbia

By on July 10, 2019

 

Suburban Brewing Company is not really located in a suburban setting, at least not how I think of suburbia. Tucked away in what looks like a former furniture showroom (from the outside) in the small borough of Honey Brook, the “downtown” location beckons for foot traffic a few miles from the Lancaster County line. The micro-brewery’s location at 2536 Conestoga Ave., Honey Brook, could make it Chester County’s best kept brewing secret.

Operating a single bbl system, Suburban defines “small-batch” and offers up to 12 beers on draft. Because of their limited production growler fills are also limited and the use of 32-ounce vessels is encouraged. But, there’s no need to run out the door. Chill out, put on an album (yes, vinyl), and relax. Or, grab a beer and a buddy and hit one of the classic video games like Pac-Man, challenge someone to air hockey, or go for replay on the Star Wars pinball game. And it’s cool to bring the (well behaved) kids. The place is mellow, spacious, and offers stuff for creative minds to do  —  like Sharpie-up the interior picnic tables (this is encouraged).

There’s a food truck parked out back, but I’ve never seen it operating. Ordering in from one of Honey Brook’s eateries is permitted and the bartender has a stack of menus.

This flight from Suburban Brewing Company in Honey Brook features samples of (left to right) Maybe So Maybe Not, Lucy, Frizzle Fry, and Flat Lander IPA

As usual, I digress. So, onto the beer.

As expected, the small nature of the brewery helps brewer/co-owner Corey Ross (along with Eric Yost) display exceptional attention to quality through some mild creativity. Copy Cat Kolsch does not stray far from the classic style and the recently released Lucy is everything you would expect from an Americanized Blonde Ale (featuring Amarillo and Equinox hops).

During our visit, the standout beer was the Flat Lander IPA, which clocks in at 7.6 percent ABV (just .4 percent lower than their DIPA, Day Job), is flavored by Simcoe and Centennial hops; and was just tapped. I tasted Maybe So Maybe Not, which might be homage to Phish’s “Stash” and a good descriptor of this beer; it’s called a saison and has a great, influential flavor of yeast. It’s got some good citrus notes. And as good as this beer tastes, it equally lacks components found in most other saisons  —  farmhouse funk and heavy/unnatural carbonation  —  making it much more approachable to the masses unfamiliar with the Belgian style.

For visitors less interested in beer, the bartender was whipping up a homemade batch of coffee liquor during my visit and more than a few folks were partaking in the cocktail menu, which features a “build your own mule” section. PA spirits come from Faber Distilling Co. (Quakertown), Brandywine Branch Distillers (Elverson), and Manatawny Still Works (Pottstown).

The vibe this place gives off is “here starts a good time.” It seems like a great place to kick off the weekend. Take a venture out to Suburban; you may end up asking “Was it for this my life I sought?” Cheers and thanks for reading!

Michael C. Upton is a freelance writer specializing in arts and leisure. He welcomes comments at somepromcu@gmail.com and facebook.com/SomebodiesProductions.

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