Planning a day trip to northern Pennsylvania? Or maybe you’re headed to Knoebels Grove Amusement Park and Campground. If so, you need to make a stop at Covered Bridge Brewhaus.
Although Eric Kuijpers (owner and brewer) has been brewing beer for many years, this location in downtown Shamokin has only been open for seven months. The decision to expand came after Pennsylvania changed the brewery regulations in 2015 allowing a brewery to have 2 satellite taprooms in addition to the main place it brews beer.
Not to mention that Eric’s previous taproom in his garage was busting at the seams with folks thirsty for his brews. I’m not just talking about a homebrew garage set up. It is a large detached building that was approved for brew sales complete with a 4 bbl brewing system, walk in cooler to store tons of kegs, a proper bar, merch for sale, etc. In fact, the beers that flow at his new Shamokin taproom are still brewed at his home location which is slated to get additional equipment so capacity can increase to 8 barrels.
When you visit the taproom, expect to feel right at home. It’s a small, cozy space. Just enough to hold 20 people. “I enjoy interacting with the many different people that stop in to drink quality beer,” says Eric. And, that’s totally Eric. He loves to talk about beer. And, he loves to get your thoughts on the beer, on the new taproom, or just talk about life in general. He’s “good people.”
- Is a native of Holland
- He brewed for River Horse Brewing Company for 2 years.
- Besides being a brewer, he also manages the Kurt Weiss Greenhouse in Marion Heights and Strong.
- He built his entire brewery in his detached garage. Everything from the cooler to the brewing equipment set up.
- Eric purchased his taps on Ebay from someone in Holland and had his dad bring it over to be installed in the brewery.
- I first met Eric at the Meeting of the Malts conference back in 2014. At the time, he was just in the branding process and I got a sneak peek at the Covered Bridge logo. I gave it a thumbs up. 🙂
With the motto “Quality before Quantity,” you won’t find 20 different beers on tap. And, it’s only on occasion that new recipes are thrown into the mix. What you will find on tap is a handful of perfected brews. You can taste the small batch freshness. Here are my tasting notes from the brews that were on tap during my visit:
- Sunset Coconut Porter (4.5% ABV)
toasted coconut, almonds, smooth sweet chocolate
This is their top selling beer and rightfully so. It is by far the best Coconut Porter I have ever tried. I liken it to a Mounds candy bar. Yum!
- Strubarb Wit
sweet strawberries balanced by tart rhubarbNot at all a “fruity beer” – think wheat beer with a touch of fruit tartness. This was my favorite of the day. It’s not often that I go for a Wit beer.
- Dim Wizzy
citrus, banana, peppercorn, coriander, funky goodness
- Gingerbread Coffee Stout
sweet, tart, light pumpkin spice, rich coffeeIt was perfectly balanced between rich coffee and pumpkin spice.
UPDATE (Aug 2016): There are now more options on tap: 10 beers, 1 cider + kombucha. Stay tuned for a beer/kombucha hybrid with a local kombucha maker. Can’t wait to see, I mean taste, this!
FUN FACT: Covered Bridge Brewhaus is a part of the newly formed River Rat Brew Trail that includes: Berwick Brewing, Marley’s Brewery and Grille, Old Forge Brewing Company, Three Beards Brewing, Bull Run Taphouse, Marzoni’s Brick Over and Brewing Co. as well as and Rusty Rail Brewing Company.
HOURS OF OPERATION
- Thursdays from 5:00-8:30pm
- Every first Saturday of the month
- The taproom is available for private events, parties, birthdays, etc. during the days the taproom is closed to the public. The space can hold 20-35 people.
- Google Map them here!
PRO TIP: If you get hungry while visiting the taproom, grab some pizza or takeout from any local restaurant and bring it in with you.
WHERE ELSE CAN YOU FIND THE BEERS?
Besides at the taproom, Covered Bridge Brewhaus beer is sold at Ghezzi’s, Mattucci’s, 2nd Floor Pizza, Route 61 Roadhouse, Wayside Inn Sports Bar, Pine Barn Inn and Maine Fire Company.
(Follow Me On: Twitter & Untappd: @dzyngrl | Instagram: @dzyngrl14)