Hop’in Around: UBW 2.0

By on March 20, 2019

Bottled beers are a new addition at Union Barrel Works in Reamstown. Among them is newcomer Problem Child, a New England Style IPA heavily hopped with Mosaic, Citra, and El Dorado varieties.

It’s been almost a year since Grant and Chasy Fronheiser purchased Union Barrel Works in Reamstown from founders Tom and Amy Rupp. I met up with Grant at the collaboration brewing of Resilience IPA back in November 2018, but I needed to get in and check out what was going on at one of the area’s longest operating and least known microbreweries, located at 6 N. Reamstown Road.

Those who do know and love UBW, which opened its doors in the 2007 in the former and restored Lesher’s Department Store, can rest assured; the tried and true brews created by the former owners are staying. Staples like Uncle Fester (traditional Oktoberfest Märzen), Wobbly Bob Doppelbock (dark, Dunkle-style lager), and Hopknockers IPA (probably the maltiest IPA around) are not going anywhere. Grant, who will serve as brewmaster, has been busy creating seasonal selections to fill the taps at the bar. The newest brews on tap are Peanut Butter Kolsch,* Watermelon Wit, and Mint Chip Stout. The Candy Cane Stout was “really popular” during the holidays, said Chasy.

One of the most popular new editions is the Problem Child IPA. This New England style IPA is heavily hopped with Mosaic, Citra, and El Dorado varieties. I got a six pack of Problem Child and handed out a few to some friends.

“I would say it’s definitely a good warm-weather beer,” said my friend Kat, who found Problem Child’s citrus nature refreshing.

Problem Child pours a nice and expected cloudy body with an effervescent head. It is not over-hopped. This type of beer is a great new addition to UBW, which over the years has become known for its love of all things malty.

The biggest change at UBW is the addition of bottled beer. A selection of UBW beers — Wobbly Bob, Uncle Fester, Round Boy Stout (a rich brew with hints of coffee and chocolate), Kolsch (in its traditional form), Union Pale Ale (a pale ale with a hop punch), and Honey Mai Bock (a big brew at 9.5 percent ABV) — can be purchased to-go only from the brewery. They are thinking about getting a lineup out to retailers, but that is a work in progress. The Fronheisers recently hired service industry veteran Lori Myers as a bartender and beer rep. She will be overseeing the brewery’s growth outside of Reamstown.

“I love it here. The more I am here, the more I learn about the brewing process,” said Myers, who joined the team in December. “We’ve been busy. The sales have been up. We’ve been running specials and word of mouth is helping.”

Some more info: There’s also a new, highly interactive, mobile-friendly website for those who want the brewery at their fingertips. UBW still fills growlers. There’s no plan to get a Crowler machine. There are new additions to the food menu, too.

Cheers and thanks for reading!

* I did not try this beer. Somebody please get in and have a pint and let me know what you think!

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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