The brewing industry of Harrisburg, PA goes back to the eighteenth century, and at one time it was the source for much of the region’s beer. That all came to an end with Prohibition, which destroyed most of the area’s breweries. In 1951, the city’s last surviving brewer, Graupner’s Brewery, finally closed its doors and went out of business. Forty-six thirsty years passed without a brewery, until Appalachian Brewing Company opened in 1997.
The Appalachian Brewing Company (ABC) is located within an historic building dating to about 1915. Over the years, the three-story brick and heavy timber building has seen use as a home for Auchenbach Printing Company, the Depression-era Works Project Administration, airplane part manufacturing, and building material and auto parts storage. Unfortunately a major fire in 1993 devastated the building, but it was given a new lease on life just two years later when ABC began restoration of the structure to house their new brewery. The whole inside was sandblasted, miles of old and degraded plumbing and wiring were replaced, and all wood and steel structural beams and flooring were reconditioned. The result was a beautiful rebirth for the building, and a rebirth of the brewing industry of Harrisburg.
Appalachian’s first batch of beer rolled out in February of 1997, and was a quick success. At 50,000 square feet, ABC is one of the country’s largest microbreweries, and features the second-floor Abbey Bar, where you can stop in to have a pint of any of their excellent microbrews, or any of fifty impressive Belgian beers in bottles and on draught. ABC also owns two other brewpub locations: one in Gettysburg, at the crest of Seminary Ridge, and another in Camp Hill, on the west bank of the Susquehanna River.
For more information about the brewery, brewpubs and/or scheduled tours, call (717) 221-1080.