There’s a new kid on the block to help quench our craft beer thirst: Moo-Duck Brewery. I’ve been spreading the word of the brewery’s imminent opening ever since I first sampled their Honey Basil Blonde Ale earlier this year at a beer pairing dinner hosted by The Black Gryphon. Moo-Duck opened their doors for the first time on November 1 to an eager crowd of imbibers. We do love to support our local breweries here in Central PA!
Located at 79 S. Wilson Avenue in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, it’s just a quick walk from the train station making it a convenient stop for folks commuting from Harrisburg, Lancaster and even Philadelphia. So you can reduce your carbon footprint as you travel to Moo-Duck to get your drink on.
LESS IS MORE
As you step inside the taproom, you may notice that the owners, Mike and Kristen Brubaker, have taken a minimal, industrial approach to their decor and furnishings. That’s because they both have environmental education backgrounds and make use of their knowledge in everything they do at the brewery. A lot of what you see was created by the owners. For instance, the tables and chairs were salvaged and revamped. The bar top is a dark, stained concrete that they poured themselves. The walls of the building are cinder block left untouched from the past life of the building. Everything in this place has a story.. even the beers. When you visit, be sure to read the story of each of the beers located at the “Today’s Lineup” board when you walk in.
Mike and Kristen take great care in giving back to local charities and community organizations. They do this with a charity brew which is currently the Hoppy Toad IPA. For every pint purchased, fifty cents will be given to the Tri-County Conewago Creek Association (TCCA). The Conewago Creek is one of the sources that supplies water to the brewery. Preserving the watershed that feeds the creek is vital to the livelihood of Moo-Duck. It’s that “everything’s connected” mindset that the brewery owners embrace.
NOTE: Every three months a new charity is selected. Currently, Moo-Duck has a waiting list of charities that are participating in this program.
The snack menu consists of items made either with local ingredients or by local vendors.
All offerings are unfiltered, all natural and unpasteurized. When I visited, there were six beers on tap consisting of four flagships and two seasonal. The selection covers a variety of styles to accommodate everyone’s various preferences in taste. Beers can be purchased in pints, growlers or flights.
I got a personal tour of the brewing area to check out the equipment and setup. Every beer is brewed in small batches using as many local ingredients as possible – from roasted pumpkins to sweet orange blossom honey and fresh basil. A single tier 1.5 barrel system is used to brew approximately 1-2 batches every week when Mike and Kristen have a day off from their full-time jobs. Because the brewery is only open a couple days during the week, this system is sufficient for keeping up with demand. But there is room for future growth as demand increases.
The spent grains remaining after brewing are given to dairy cows of a local farm: Jubilee Dairy near Middletown, PA. The cheese made on the farm is then used in the cheese and fruit tray on Moo-Duck’s snack menu. See what I mean about the “everything’s connected” theme? This brewery truly lives it!
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