At one time in the early 19th century, seven percent of all beer produced in the U.S. originated in Lancaster County, PA. While the county’s brewing tradition began with innkeepers brewing in back rooms, by the end of the 18th century the scale had increased dramatically with an influx of English and Scottish immigrants. During the 1840s a new wave of German immigrants brought their own ancient brewing traditions to the region, adding German style lager beers to the existing British ale repertoire. It was during this era that The Daily Intelligencer, the city’s local newspaper, nicknamed Lancaster the “Munich of the United States.” Then in 1919, Prohibition came along and largely destroyed the region’s brewing industry, although several Lancaster brewers did, in fact, continue brewing, some even openly – at least until Federal police showed up and started to crack down. Brewing did resume after Prohibition was repealed, but the damage was done and by 1956 all the region’s breweries had folded.
Almost four decades passed without a brewery in Lancaster, until the Lancaster Malt Brewing Company was founded by brewmaster Christian Heim and business partner John Frantz in 1995. Ownership (and the name) changed in 2002, although Heim and Frantz stayed with the brewery. In late 2009, Heim and Frantz left the company and Bill Moore came into the position of brewmaster, bringing with him over twenty years of brewing experience at such illustrious brewers as Stoudt’s and Sly Fox.
For more information about the brewery and their restaurant give ‘em a ring at (717) 391-6258, or visit www.lancasterbrewing.com