“People appreciate seeing partnerships,” said Wade Leedy, co-owner of Fourscore Beer Co., Gettysburg, along with his brother Drew.
The brewing brothers have tapped into numerous creative partnerships since launching the brewpub last summer, including collabs with Maryland-based brewers—cleverly called the Mason Dixon Series, established through head brewer Ben Little. Partnerships with area growers include a limited release Apple Fritter Donut Stop Believin’, an apple cider donut milkshake beer brewed in collaboration with Adams County farm market Hollabaugh Bros.
Indeed partnerships are hopping at three of central Pennsylvania’s newer hot spots for beers and cheers: Fourscore, plus Liquid Noise Brewing Co., Marysville, and Hook & Flask Still Works, Carlisle.
The Leedy brothers aren’t new to Gettysburg’s restaurant scene—their grandfather opened Tommy’s Pizza, a Gettysburg institution, in 1973. The brothers continue to own and operate Tommy’s, located a block from Fourscore.
A nod to the immortal initial word of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, Fourscore features a full brewpub menu created by Chef Zak Smith and a draft menu of 14 beers—10 rotating and four fixtures.
“Gettys Brau is an everyday beer—an easy-drinking gateway beer,” said Drew. “The Fix [involving another partnership] is a brown ale with an intense coffee aroma, from [Gettysburg roaster] Ragged Edge Coffee.”
Menu standouts include hand-breaded fried mozzarella, catfish tacos and plenty of partnerships—Cumberland County’s Eleven Oaks Farms’ Wagyu hot dogs, Adams County’s Rettland Farms’ Bratwurst, and a Fourscore Burger blending Lancaster County’s Stone Ridge Manor beef with Rettland’s sausage.
To what do they attribute their success?
“Consumers are more knowledgeable and demanding better products,” Drew said. “Being here in Gettysburg, we add something to the Civil War experience, and we just plan to build on our success, making good food and good beer.”
Shawn Wirick has high hopes that Liquid Noise Brewing Co. strikes the right chord with area beer lovers.
“I want people to come to the Harrisburg area to visit Tröegs—and now Liquid Noise,” said Wirick, one of four partners in the Perry County brewery, which opened in January.
A professional musician who was once signed by RCA, Wirick composed his brewery’s business plan with music in mind. His guiding mantra, “Craft like a rock star” is emblazoned on the brewery’s walls, which regularly reverberate with the sounds of local and regional bands.
He calls partners Brad Moyer and Brian Keeney “the best brewers I’ve ever met.”
And the fourth partner? He’s known her since high school.
“We went to Susquenita together, live in Duncannon, and all three of our kids work here,” said wife Michelle Wirick.
Creative collabs are mashed into the menu, including Baphomets Rain—a stout smoothly infused with Harrisburg’s Elementary Coffee, which is fitting considering that Moyer built Elementary’s nitro coffee system.
“Our inspiration comes from everything—food, wine, cocktails, the bakery,” said Moyer.
Mint-Ten Tarantino is a watermelon mint sour; the Pulpmania Guavarero is a New England-style IPA with a twist—fresh guava pulp and a kick from habanero peppers.
The creative beer lineup blends harmoniously with the food menu thanks to Chef Mike Bates, formerly of Camp Hill’s Cornerstone Coffeehouse. On the night we visited, he was debuting a pineapple prosciutto pizza. The popular blackberry and herbed ricotta pizza combines sweet and savory flavors—a red raspberry, blueberry and black raspberry compote, with spirals of ricotta and pesto.
Moyer and Keeney, founding members of Harrisburg’s homebrewers’ club, The Sons of Alchemy, said their goal at Liquid Noise is to consistently offer malty and hoppy beers, sour ciders, and alternative “funky beers.”
They may even make a little noise in Harrisburg—they’re brewing up some surprise suds for Shady McGrady’s Irish Pub.
Mark Farrell and Devin Flickinger of Boiling Springs met 15 years ago on the frontlines for Monroe Township Fire Co.
Farrell, intrigued by the rise of craft distilleries, learned that Flickinger was a long-time homebrewer and winemaker. The craft beverage market was heating up in Carlisle, and they decided to strike while the iron was hot.
Flickinger swapped roles, from the fire company’s assistant chief to staff medic, to become Hook & Flask’s chief distiller. Farrell’s daughter Maddie, a hospitality major at Temple during the planning process, was primed to become front of house manager.
Last summer, when Hook & Flask Still Works opened its doors—including a firehouse-style garage door that rolls up in warm weather—it became the first distillery in Carlisle since Prohibition.
“We wanted to differentiate ourselves, so we latched onto the fire theme, which is near and dear to us,” said Farrell. “We were fortunate to find this building, which somewhat resembled a firehouse.”
Remodeler Creative Building Concepts of Carlisle oriented the kitchen, firehouse-style, in the building’s center. Memorabilia includes an antique wooden fire ladder affixed to the restaurant’s ceiling; the distillery’s modified roof accommodates a 19-foot vodka column.
The first spirits in production are Flashover Moonshine, an apple pie moonshine crafted with Adams County’s Big Hill Cider, and 100-percent corn-based Halligan Hearts Vodka. All grains are grown in Pennsylvania; most are sourced locally from Cumberland County.
Mutual Aid Whiskey is made in partnership with a Virginia distillery, just as neighboring fire companies provide “mutual aid.”
Spirits on the backburner, in production, are barreled rye whiskey and “Firedog Gin.”
Hook & Flask’s menu features three pages of craft cocktails concocted with Flickinger’s house-made simple syrups, local craft beers and wines, sliders, wings and a firehouse staple—chili served in bright red bowls.
“It’s been a good first six months,” said Farrell. “The town’s been very receptive, and Market Cross Pub & Brewery half a block away couldn’t be a better friend to us.”
For more information, see: Fourscore Beer Co., 603 S. Washington St., Gettysburg, fourscorebeer.com; Liquid Noise Brewing Co., 600 S. State Rd., Marysville, liquidnoisebrewing.com; and Hook & Flask Still Works, 137 N. Hanover St., Carlisle, hookandflaskstillworks.com.