09/10/2014  |  7 Fun Facts You Need to Know About Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

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You already know the beer is fresh, the menu inspired and the service top-notch. So we came up with a few things you might not know that are uniquely Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant. Whether you lift a pint in West Chester, nosh some nachos in Maple Shade or host an event in Wilmington, these trivia tidbits capture the Iron Hill essence at all 10 of our restaurants.

1. All about our architecture:

Yes, our restaurants are comfortable with a customer-friendly layout and cool design, but there’s a lot more to it. Iron Hill’s architecture follows core elements of the turn-of-the-century arts and crafts (or craftsman) movement. You’ll see a strong use of wood in well-proportioned forms such as our interior window walls plus the use of ordinary materials such as slate, copper, iron and galvanized steel. Back in the day, the craftsman style exemplified the movement away from the waning grand classical style. At Iron Hill, it underscores our handcrafted message.

2. Our bird logo takes flight:

You’ve seen it on our napkins, coasters and glasses and throughout the restaurant: our mysterious bird that has a storied past linked to our architecture. Some of the main developers of the arts and crafts movement, such as William Morris, were influenced by Japanese design. The Iron Hill bird icon was inspired by an existing Japanese motif (of unknown origin) and enhanced with hops and barley within its wings. The result is a unique, memorable and evocative symbol. And one easily translated into iron.

3. More on our murals:

The murals in our restaurants are the result of a collaboration with internationally acclaimed artist Jeff Schaller. It all started in 2002 when he was commissioned to impart his whimsical imagery to the walls of the Wilmington restaurant. We asked him to create art that underscores our brand message of delivering fresh, handcrafted and made-from-scratch products. The rest is history, and much more than murals. Jeff has been involved in a number of projects, including beer labels and t-shirts. Adapting images and ideas that suggest an atmosphere of fine food and exceptional beer, Jeff continues to create original, dynamic works that capture each restaurant’s local flavor.

4. A hill by any other name:

Our first restaurant was in Newark, and we wanted something that gave a nod to local lore but also translated to a growing company. President Kevin Finn did a little research and came across a list of names for roads in Delaware. Skimming through the list, he saw the name Iron Hill Road and thought it might be cool because it was local and had history. But he also sensed it would translate to areas outside of Delaware.

The actual Iron Hill is the little hill you can see traveling south on I-95 on the left just before you hit the Maryland tollbooths. It does have a place in history, and is actually the highest hill in Delaware—at a whopping elevation of 331 feet. It is said George Washington watched the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge from the hill since it was deforested at the time due to iron ore mining.

5. Iron Hill’s first brewer started as a homebrewer:

Both Kevin and his business partner, Mark Edelson, were award-winning homebrewers, and while both crafted the first beers served in the Newark flagship restaurant, it was Mark who became Iron Hill’s first official brewer. As the business took off, Kevin moved into the restaurant manager role and his brother, Brian, became Mark’s first assistant. Brian eventually became Newark’s head brewer after West Chester opened.

Mark won the first Iron Hill medal at the 1997 GABF, a gold for Lodestone Lager (a Munich Helles-style beer). Brian won his first medal, a gold for Maibock (in the Bock category) in 1999. Since 1997, we have won 39 medals at the GABF and 17 medals at the World Beer Cup and were named the “Large Brewpub of the Year” at the GABF in 1995 and the World Beer Cup Champion Brewery and Brewmaster “Small Brewpub” in 2012 and again in 2014.

6. Journey of a future restaurant owner:

Kevin hadn’t planned on owning restaurants. In fact, he went to school to study biomedical engineering, but a D in biology made him change course. He graduated from Boston University with a degree in manufacturing engineering, yet returned home to work for his family’s outdoor advertising business in Delaware. But like many young people, he spent much of his early years working in the restaurant business.

Kevin’s first formal job (outside of delivering papers, mowing lawns and painting neighbors’ houses) was at his neighborhood Burger King where he worked through much of high school. In Boston, he took jobs at bars and restaurants before moving to Killington, Vt., to “be a ski bum.” There, too, he worked in restaurants before finally moving to back Delaware. He adds, “And of course, I moonlighted in Delaware restaurants like Stanley’s, Kid Shelleen’s and the Stone Balloon over the years while I worked in our family business.”

When he looks back, it seems as if destiny had a hand: he’s spent most of his adult life working in the restaurant business. What started out as a way to earn a little extra money turned into something amazingly delicious and successful.

7. And Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant was born:

Like so much of Iron Hill’s story, it all started in Delaware during the time Kevin was working in the family business. While visiting college friends in Boston, he met his future wife, Susan.

At the time, she was living in Boston and he was living in Delaware, so they had a long distance relationship. Susan decided he needed a hobby to keep him busy while she wasn’t around, so she bought him a homebrewing kit. He started making beer at his house and eventually Mark joined in the brewing. As Kevin tells it, “We would usually brew on Sundays during the fall and winter, watching football, making beer and of course drinking beer. We eventually entered contests as homebrewers, and when we started winning awards we finally deciding to make a business of making beer. After a couple years Xavier Texido (owner of Harry’s restaurants, among others) introduced us to Kevin Davies, and the three of us formed a partnership and started looking for sites. After looking for a long while in Wilmington, we decided on our first site in Newark.”

Now you know how Iron Hill became the go-to spot in three states. Stop by your neighborhood Iron Hill and taste the results of fortuitous happenstance, admire the architecture and then impress fellow bar mates with your Iron Hill smarts about our logo, murals, name and founders. Feeling just a little bit cooler than everyone else? You should, savvy Iron Hill customer. You should.

With 10 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Content provided by Dish Works author Nina Malone.

09/05/2014  |  Pumpkin Beer Invades Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

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Although poor Charlie Brown’s bestie Linus was disappointed year after year when the Great Pumpkin failed to rise out of the pumpkin patch, the entire grown-up Peanuts gang will be giddy to learn that starting Friday, September 5, all things pumpkin are returning to Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant.

Taste buds from Delaware to Pennsylvania to New Jersey are already in full drool anticipating the Pumpkin Ale and Great Imperial Pumpkin Ale. Regional brewer Larry Horwitz teases there’s another great reason to say farewell to summer and hello to flavors that are uniquely fall.

“All 10 of our restaurants will get a wee bit of Vintage Pumpkin Ale, bottle only,” he explained. “It’s a limited run from 2013, and it’s aged really well. It will sell out, and fast. When it’s gone at your local Iron Hill, it’s gone.”

You can get your share of Pumpkin Ale, Great Imperial Pumpkin Ale and, if you’re nimble, Vintage Pumpkin Ale beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, September 5, at all locations except Maple Shade, N.J. Never fear, Garden State beer fans: Saturday, September 6, marks Maple Shade’s Welcome, Great Pumpkin party, one of several that will occur at Iron Hill restaurants in September and October. You can wet your whistle and grab up pumpkin goodness from 1–5 p.m.

There will be pumpkin-inspired dishes on the menu for all, and King of the Hill (KOTH) Rewards Club members may play to win prizes during a Wheel of Fortune-style game and enjoy a special,  secret pumpkin beer. Not yet a member? Join on the spot to snag exclusive benefits.

“This is a great event for the sheer amount of pumpkin beers on tap: 10 is a lot,” said Iron Hill Maple Shade Head Brewer Chris LaPierre. “Five are ours, and five are from breweries we admire. You can catch the Cartoon Christmas Trio playing seasonally appropriate Peanuts’ music and watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on TV all afternoon.”

Great Imperial Pumpkin Ale hails from Iron Hill Maple Shade, and it’s serious business. LaPierre and his brewers roasted 80 pounds of pumpkin per batch (versus 40 pounds per batch for Pumpkin Ale). That’s a commitment you can taste.

“Some people say you don’t actually need to put pumpkins in pumpkin ale and that you can get away with just using the spices. Those people have never smelled my restaurant when we’re roasting the pumpkins,” LaPierre added. “My goal was to try to capture the whole pumpkin pie, not just the spice. The molasses and dark malts give the flavors you’d get from the crust, and the whole Madagascar vanilla beans give the essence of the whipped cream on top.”

Horwitz is on board with that sentiment. He says it’s more than the alcohol strength that differentiates the ale from the imperial, calling out the latter’s maltier profile and slightly different spice character.

“Our beers are special because we’re dedicated to the process,” he said. “Our spice blends are custom-made, and that quality has a big impact. Plus, we use heirloom varietal malts.”

All across Iron Hill, brewers are using creativity to develop flavor profiles for all pumpkin lovers. Maple Shade’s September 6 party will tap Iron Hill’s Pumpkin Ale, Great Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Cinderella’s Carriage, Bourbon Imperial Pumpkin Ale and Bourbon Cindy, in addition to Manayunk Brewing Company’s Yunkin’ Punkin’, Weyerbacher Brewing Company’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Elysian Brewery’s Night Owl, Dogfish Head Brewery’s “Randalized” Punkin’ and Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery’s Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Biere De Garde.

Thirsty? Don’t live near Maple Shade? Iron Hill has you covered. Throughout the season, The Great Imperial Pumpkin Ale will be sold as a Bottled Reserve, Iron Hill’s line of cork-finished 750 ml bottles, for $19.50 at all locations.  Plus, here’s a smattering of upcoming Iron Hill pumpkin beer events:

  • Saturday, September 13, noon–6 p.m.: Iron Hill Wilmington will be Out of Our Gourds with a multi-tap event featuring five different styles of pumpkin beer: Pumpkin Ale, Charlie Pumpkin Brown Ale, Great Pumpkin Stout, Pumpkin Weiss and Ichabod Imperial Belgian Pumpkin Ale.

  • Friday, September 19, 5–7 p.m.: Iron Hill Voorhees will celebrate the rite of fall by paying tribute to Cinderella’s Carriage, a Belgian-style pumpkin ale spiced with cinnamon, clove, allspice and nutmeg.

  • Saturday, September 20, 1–5 p.m.: Iron Hill North Wales will host its Pumpkinfest party by pouring pints and tulips of Pumpkin Ale, Ichabod Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Pumpkin Weiss, Bourbon Pumpkin Ale, Great Imperial Pumpkin Ale and Pumpkin Spiced Porter.

  • Saturday, September 20, 1–5 p.m.: Iron Hill Phoenixville will welcome pumpkin lovers back with Welcome to Pumpkinville!, a multi-tap event featuring Great Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Pumpkin Ale, Cask Conditioned Pumpkin Ale, Vanilla Pumpkin Ale, Pumpkin Weiss and Great Pumpkin Stout.

Rounding out a delicious menu of events is the Gathering of the Gourds on Saturday, October 25, from 1–5 p.m. at West Chester. A whopping 16 beers will be available at the back-bar taps.

Iron Hill beers include Ichabod Imperial Belgian Pumpkin Ale, Blanche de Pumpkin, Charlie Pumpkin Brown Ale, Punktoberfest, Bruce Camp-Ale Vintage 2014, Bruce Camp Ale-Vintage 2013, Pumpkin Ale, Pumpkin Weisse, Pumpkin Porter, Imperial Pumpkin Ale and Dr. Funkenstein. Beers from friends of Iron Hill available that day are Cambridge Brewing Company’s Brett Sematary, Elysian Brewing Company’s Hansel and Gretel Ginger Pumpkin Pilsner, Elysian/Ninkasi Brewing Company’s Hopsquash IPA, Samuel Adams Brewing Company’s Fat Jack and Weyerbacher Brewing Company’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

“Everyone’s happy: we’ve got Belgian styles, brown ale, lager, bourbon barrel aged, ale, weisse, porter, sour, IPA—the whole works,” noted Iron Hill West Chester Head Brewer Andrew Johnston. “Oh, and let’s not forget I tap a giant jack-o-lantern full of Pumpkin Ale at 3 p.m. for all to enjoy, a jeroboam pouring of the Ichabod at 2 p.m. and the 2013 Bruce Camp-Ale at 4 p.m. Have your glasses ready!”

Naturally there will be KOTH member specials and possibly a bonus beer or two not currently on the list.

Wait—did someone say it’s too early for pumpkin beer? Naysayers, beware: it’s never too early for pumpkin beers to flow from the taps. Horwitz points out that Iron Hill is giving the people what they want: his customers demand it. And when thirsty crowds clamor, Iron Hill answers.

“We’ve responded by releasing pumpkin beers the first week of September and running them through October 31,” he explained. “Think about it: trends come and go, but pumpkin beer is an annual favorite. It’s the hook of flavors and aromas that trigger memories, especially around Thanksgiving. That’s a uniquely American holiday that transcends religion: it’s all about flavors, home and hearth.”

Get your taste of autumn at your favorite Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant: keep an eye on the updated events as they unfold.

With 10 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Content provided by Dish Works author Nina Malone.

08/20/2014  |  Iron Hill Owners Treat Staff to 2014 GABF Party at Dorney Park

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Many of you might have noticed on our website or through the signs on our restaurant doors that we were closed on Monday, Aug. 11. That is because the entire Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant team celebrated our annual GABF party, and I have to say it was one of our best ever!

This year, we took about 500 employees to Dorney Park in Allentown, Pa., for the day. The weather was perfect and everyone enjoyed themselves. As usual, we served Iron Hill beer in one of the pavilions (including one of my favorites, Mahalo, Apollo!). I got to ride a few roller coasters with the staff and overall it was a great success.

What is the GABF party? Well, businesses have an annual Christmas party, but as a restaurant, that is tough for us to do. Closing the restaurants in the middle of the holidays does not work for us because we are usually the ones hosting those parties. We created our annual party in the summer to allow our staff to celebrate everything that is Iron Hill and to give back to our employees.

The party started in 1997—less than a year after we opened. We were getting ready to attend our first Great American Beer Festival (GABF) and we wanted to get our staff involved in the excitement of the event. My partner Mark, who heads our brewery operations, and I had attended GABF a few years prior to the start of Iron Hill, and we felt that it was a great way to get our staff involved in the culture of craft brewing and immerse them in some of the best beers brewed in the world!

Back when we had only a few restaurants, each restaurant hosted its own party and at each party, we picked one employee to attend the GABF with the brewery staff. The employees received tickets based on their years of service, hours worked and whether they had helped work in the brewery in the previous year. We finally had to combine it into one big party because it became hard for each of us to attend all of the restaurants’ parties.

Over the years, the party has changed to reflect how we have changed. It really is a party for our non-salaried employees because they are in the front lines of everything we do and are so important to our overall success. The thing that I find so fulfilling is that many of our employees come up to thank me that night and the next few weeks for such a great time and for doing something so special for all of them.

This was the first year that we attended Dorney Park and the staff at the park did a wonderful job of taking care of us. All 10 of our restaurants had staff attend the event, about 50 from each store, for a total of about 500 employees. The staff was able to ride the rides and come back to the pavilion for lunch and, of course, Iron Hill beers! The day was gorgeous and we snapped lots of photos of the staff enjoying themselves.

But the highlight of the night is always the GABF drawings. One non-salaried employee from each restaurant is offered a free trip to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver this fall. Everyone gathers together and one of my partners or I pull out a name from each restaurant. As the winners come up, we ask them if they are going to the GABF. It is always great to see the excitement of the employees as they realize that they are getting a free trip to Denver to attend the GABF!

In the future, I am going to blog about our Brewie award (which was awarded to Iron Hill Newark, Del., this year) as well as what happens at the GABF. But today, with this blog, it is about Iron Hill’s employees. I really can’t tell you how proud I am having such a wonderful staff. It truly is one of the most rewarding things I do, creating a company where employees can be appreciated. I believe this translates directly into great customer service. I hope you agree!

With 10 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey (make a reservation here), we specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Blog by Kevin Finn, President & CEO of Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant.

08/13/2014  |  Chestnut Hill’s Jared Cannon Crowned Iron Hill Iron Chef

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Once a year, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant’s head chefs line up to be crowned the annual Iron Chef. The contest, which hosts regionalized preliminary cook-offs and one seriously competitive finale, allows our company-wide chefs to skirt out-of-bounds and illustrate their remarkable talents through original recipes and preparations.

Of course, to keep things interesting, we elevated the in-house battle by throwing challenges, like secret ingredients and timed rounds, into mix. But, after a trio of impressive showcases featuring all of our 10 head chefs, only 3 deserving competitors moved on to the final championship.

The Competing Chefs

With the pressure on, three head chefs, Chestnut Hill’s Jared Cannon, North WalesMichelle Wilson and West Chester’s Anthony Young, stepped up to the chopping block on Tuesday, July 29, in hopes of being named 2014’s Iron Chef. The final challenge? To prepare three unique courses, two appetizers and an entree, all of which must make use of fresh peaches.

Round One

The very first competing dish always sets the pace for the competition ahead, and the high caliber of chef Jared’s prosciutto-wrapped grilled peaches, accented with queso fresco and date jam, piqued our palates, leaving us eager to see what was ahead.

Chef Anthony’s crispy and crunchy, peach- and pork-pumped empanadas, dancing in a pool of chive oil and peach gastrique, were equally as intriguing, a dish we wish we were biting into all summer long.

Then chef Michelle threw us for a loop with her creative spin on corn fritters, producing a feathery rendition punched with hunks of peach and accented with toasted pistachios and a flaky filo crown.

As if judging couldn’t be more a challenge, we moved onto our second wave of intriguing dishes.

Round Two

With no peach preparation like the last, we were soon mesmerized by chef Jared’s vertical peach salad, as constructed on a foundation of grilled slices that sandwiched a generous chunk of pepper-accented goat cheese. Accompaniments of almond emulsion, honey vinaigrette and balsamic drizzle enhanced the overall experience, sending our taste buds through an enticing roller coaster of summer flavors and textures.

We were captivated by chef Michelle’s pork and peach pot stickers, which appeared eye-catchingly plated and possessed attractive accessories like a soy-ginger glaze and fried basil.

A perfect preparation of arancini appeared center-stage on chef Anthony’s second dish, neighboring a duo of seared scallops, charred peaches and a peach puree with chive oil. There wasn’t a judge in sight who rushed through this wholesome and decadent dish.

Round Three

The third and final round may have been the most stressful for the judges, given the challenging task of comparing a remarkable inventory of well-curated, competitive plates.

Chef Michelle presented her final dish first, a soul-warming, refreshing execution of seared scallops cozy with gnocchi. Here, the starring mollusk was laced with a peach glaze and the air-light, pillowy pasta was infused with mint. But it gets better. A delicate peach brown butter was stealing the show on the entree, as was her mad scientist touch of IPA caviar gracing the scallops. The bitterness of the gelatinous beer mellowed the sweetness of the multi-levels of peach, creating an overall terrifically balanced composition.

Soon, chef Jared unleashed his tender, flavor-packed roasted pork, glazed with a punchy peach curry and layered atop a smoked peach chutney. The complementary, profound flavors kept the entree magnetizing, while the whimsical touches of petite peach balls and oven-dried peach chips allowed the entree to provide an overall convivial experience.

As the very last competing dish met our acquaintance, we couldn’t have been more pleased that chef Anthony chose to throw a cooly medium New York strip on the competitive pedestal. A sweetly spiked peach demi-glace puddle graced it underneath, joining a crowd that was double the peach pleasure—a blue cheese-stuffed halved peach and a charred peach-topped frisee salad.

After battling through the appetizing affair of judging nine competing Iron Chef dishes, we rallied—with score sheets—to narrow down the overall champion of 2014’s cook-off. With each chef deserving of a blue ribbon for overall showmanship, recipes, presentation and fine-tuned culinary skill sets, it was daunting task to crown the best in show.

And the Winner Is …

Congratulations to chef Jared Cannon, who distinguished himself as the premier competitor of 2014’s Iron Hill Iron Chef battle. The chef, who you can catch daily at our Chestnut Hill location, smoothly showcased his remarkable talents in creating thought-provoking, intensely flavorful dishes, repeatedly pushing us into culinary oblivion through each and every bite.

Bravo chef, your honor is well deserved!

With 10 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey (make a reservation here), we specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Content provided by Dish Works author Amy Strauss. Photography credited to Brian Penn Photography.

08/07/2014  |  10 IPAs to Drink on National IPA Day

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Forget your troubles, c’mon get hoppy with us on National IPA Day!

Saturday, August 9, we’re inviting you to all 10 Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant locations to sample creative and delicious IPAs from each of our head brewers. Yep, that’s right: All 10 beers will be available at every Iron Hill location throughout the day.

“One of the most exciting things about working at Iron Hill is seeing the inventive work of our talented head brewers as they experiment with different styles of beer,” says Director of Brewing Operations Mark Edelson. “For National IPA Day, we’re proud to feature a special IPA from each of them, side by side, for all of our guests to enjoy.”

So what’s on the IPA Day lineup? Glad you asked:

 

  • Goldfinger IPA from Iron Hill Newark, brewed specifically for the occasion with balanced hop bitterness, aggressive citrus hop flavor, medium body and golden color
  • Another IPA from Iron Hill West Chester, an aggressively hopped West Coast-style IPA with a bouquet of pineapple, tangerine and pine aromas and flavors backed by subtle, honey-like malt aromatics

  • I.ron P.ale A.le from Iron Hill Media, a deep gold American IPA with flavors of citrus, pine and resin balanced by a toasty malt backbone

  • Yippee-KI-P-A from Iron Hill Wilmington, another American IPA brewed specifically for National IPA Day, with huge American hop flavor and aromas of citrus and pine

  • Hopzilla from Iron Hill North Wales, a medium-bodied American IPA with full malt flavor, pronounced bitterness and remarkable hop flavor and aroma

  • Big Trellis IPA from Iron Hill Phoenixville, an American IPA with overwhelming citrus hop presence balancing full malty flavor and powerful bitterness

  • Hop Stinger from Iron Hill Lancaster, a golden American IPA loaded with citrusy hops for flavor and aroma, brewed with 60 pounds of local honey for added complexity and flavor

  • Martha Furnace from Iron Hill Maple Shade, a West Coast-style IPA that is intensely hopped for firm bitterness and bursts of tropical citrus character

  • Hop Addict from Iron Hill Chestnut Hill, a true West Coast-style IPA brewed with lots of Cascade, Centennial, Amarillo and Citra hops, which impart flavors and aromas of citrus and tropical fruits

  • Some Like It Hoppy from Iron Hill Voorhees, an American-style IPA showcasing quintessential American hops Cascade, Centennial, Columbus and Chinook; grapefruit, pineapple and pine enhance a light caramel malt profile

IPAs will be offered individually on a pay-as-you-go basis or as a delicious sampler for $15, including 4 oz. pours of each of the 10 IPAs. For full National IPA Day details, click here.

Be social! Share the day with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtags #IHIPADAY and #NationalIPADay.

With 10 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey (make a reservation here), we specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

08/01/2014  |  A Commitment to Community: Celebrate 10th Anniversary Iron Hill Twilight Criterium with Us

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Family fun from start to finish: that’s what you’ll find Saturday, Aug. 2, in downtown West Chester, a day packed with trials, trikes and races during the Iron Hill Twilight Race Series presented by the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce.

What started as the Iron Hill Twilight Criterium a decade ago has grown to a full day of activities, with something for everyone. From kids to amateurs to pros, a community festival to a block party to the inaugural Twilight Trike Challenge, this has become an annual favorite.

“We had the idea to do the race,” said Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant President Kevin Finn. “We approached the Chamber, and they embraced it and made it happen. The West Chester Cycling Club started 10 years ago, and they also have been instrumental in the Criterium’s success because of the number of volunteers from the club.”

Iron Hill has been the title sponsor from the start, working closely with the Chamber, which mounts the day-long event to bring awareness to its members, West Chester and downtown.

“We look at trying to break the mold of what a chamber of commerce can be, and that’s more than networking and business exchanging,” explained Chamber President Mark Yoder. “This is a way to drive business to our members’ doorsteps. Our ultimate goal is to make our businesses more successful. People love the Criterium; tens of thousands flood the streets for a day of fun and great racing.”

One of Iron Hill’s core values is giving back. Since the start, Kevin and co-founder Mark Edelson have been involved with the Jaycees in Delaware and have expanded that commitment to service to wherever there’s an Iron Hill—and that includes the entire Iron Hill family.

“In the spirit of our mission to give back to the communities we serve, we encourage employees to volunteer, on us,” Kevin added. “Managers may volunteer and participate in non-profit or charity events a half-day each quarter, and our employees can earn up to 24 hours of paid time off each calendar year for doing the same. Of course, many go above and beyond on their own time, a testament to the quality of character of our Iron Hill family.”

Mark Yoder tips his hat to the Iron Hill crew, as well. He adds, “We’re very lucky to have this type of involved, engaged sponsor who believes in not only events but also what this one can do for the town, and how it benefits the greater West Chester area.”

The Iron Hill Twilight Criterium is the ninth race of 10 in the prestigious USA CRITS Championship Series, making it one of the last opportunities for riders to protect or improve their standings before the final invitational. The action begins and ends in front of Iron Hill, at the intersection of Gay and High Streets.

“To me, personally, it’s really satisfying because I live in town and own a business in town,” Kevin said. “It’s amazing to do something this exciting and big for the town, and to see how much people enjoy the day. We really appreciate all the other sponsors, too, who make it possible.”

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s available on Saturday, Aug. 2; learn more and get the full details online.

  • 8 a.m.–3:45 p.m.: Rothman Institute Amateur Trials at Bayard Rustin High School

  • 4 p.m.: Kinetic Physical Therapy Community Festival, Meet WHYY’s “You Bet Your Garden” host Mike McGrath, Market Street Block Party and the West Chester Dental Arts Kids’ Race

  • 4:45 p.m.: Twilight Trike Challenge Presented by Tolsdorf Oil Express

  • 5:45 p.m.: Rothman Institute Amateur Men’s Criterium

  • 6:45 p.m.: Avanté Salon Pro Women’s Criterium

  • 7:45 p.m.: Iron Hill Twilight Criterium

With 10 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Content provided by Dish Works author Nina Malone.

07/23/2014  |  Employee Spotlight: Iron Hill West Chester’s DeAnn Yerkes

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Great food and fresh beer at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant? That’s a no-brainer. And so is amazing service. Each month, we’ll introduce you to a superstar who works hard to make sure your experience is as satisfying as your meal. This month, we’re spotlighting DeAnn Yerkes, a server at our West Chester location.

How long have you been at Iron Hill?

I’ve been with the company two years.

How did you come to work at Iron Hill?

We moved from Newark, Delaware, to West Chester in January 2012 to eliminate my husband’s hour-long work commute and to give my son the opportunity to go to school in a better school district. When my best friend came to visit, she made me walk with her to every restaurant in town to get a job application, and Iron Hill was one of the restaurants that called me to come in for an interview.

Why Iron Hill versus other restaurants and/or breweries?

My decision to take the job at Iron Hill over the other restaurants in the area came from my knowledge of its success in Newark. I also did a little background research through online articles and customer reviews. I found Iron Hill had a positive connection with the local community. I liked the idea of the company being involved with local charities such as Home of the Sparrow (supporting homeless and low-income women and children) and the Souperbowl (benefiting the Chester County Food Bank) and that the company provides the opportunity for organizations to raise money by participating in our Give 20 fundraiser, where Iron Hill donates 20 percent of each dining check to the organization. I also learned Iron Hill had won local and international awards for its beer and has been recognized with The News Journal Top Workplaces award three years in a row.

What’s your favorite part about working at Iron Hill?

The culture of teamwork that is always present, even as we have staff come and go. A busy restaurant is a stressful environment, but everyone is able to be friendly and work together to get the job done every single day. I’m proud to be a part of that kind of work environment. We’re able to rely on each other during each shift to make sure our customers have a great experience every time they visit. I also love how the company continues to keep us educated about our ever-changing food and beer, which allows us to communicate so well with our customers.

What’s your must-have menu item?

Portabella Mushroom Sandwich with mesclun salad or sweet potato fries as my side.

What Iron Hill beer are you drinking right now?

Right now? HoneyDoWit (Belgian witbier brewed with orange blossom honey). I have too many favorites: Fe10 (favorite whenever it comes on tap because of its complex Belgian quad flavors), Mahalo Apollo! (favorite summer wheat ale), jpa (favorite IPA for a great cause: Pints for Prostates), Funkadelphia (favorite sour beer) and Kaldi Kreme (favorite coffee stout).

Tell us a little about you.

I grew up in Newark, Delaware, near the University of Delaware’s main campus. I’ve been married 16 years to Matt, and we have one son, Matthew Jr., now a senior in high school. Our other “baby” is our 5-year-old cat, Free.

What’s on heavy rotation on your music list?

My favorite band: Sevendust.

What movie could you watch over and over again?

The Fountain.

When you’re not making the Iron Hill experience amazing for customers, what do you like to do?

I enjoy seeing live music, locally and at festivals. I also like writing poetry and reading. I’m always reading something new to challenge my view of the world and change my outlook on life.

With 10 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Content provided by Dish Works author Nina Malone.

07/22/2014  |  8 Not-to-Miss Beer Releases & Dinners to Attend with Iron Hill

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With a full calendar of events rounding out July and August, we are all about making this your most delicious, thirst-quenching summer ever. Read on for all the details, and be sure to save your spot where reservations are required!

Beer Releases

Bavarian IPA Release: Iron Hill Newark, July 24

Raise a glass to the lazy, hazy days of summer with this unfiltered Bavarian wheat beer brewed with American hops. It’s light, it’s effervescent and it’s just the right dose of tanginess and distinct yeast character accented by a generous amount of American hops. King of the Hill (KOTH) Rewards Club members, join us for exclusive raffles during the event!

Batch #500 Beer Release: Iron Hill Maple Shade, July 26

Celebrate Iron Hill Maple Shade’s five-year anniversary with the release of its 500th batch of beer (that’s quite a milestone!). Head Brewer Chris LaPierre will also be putting all of his Pine Barren IPAs—Dancing Bandit IPA, Butcher’s Forge IPA and Carranza IPA—on tap in conjunction with the release. KOTH members, be sure to try your luck on Iron Hill’s Wheel of Fortune.

Golden Ram Lager Release: Iron Hill West Chester, August 22

School’s back in session! In honor of West Chester University, we’ve brewed up a clean, crisp and refreshing classic American Pilsner with sweet, grainy aromatics and flavors from the use of flaked maize—all balanced by the subtle use of American and Noble hops. KOTH members can dig in to blueberry cheesecake small bites during the event.

Beer Dinners

Bistro Beer Dinner: Iron Hill Voorhees, August 5

Ooh la la … Partake of a touch of French bistro cuisine, skipping the wine and going straight for the good stuff (and by that we mean the beer, of course). Indulge in five delicious courses, each paired with a unique Iron Hill beer selection—c’est magnifique! $65; reservations required. Call (856) 545-9009 to secure your spot.

Di Bruno Bros. Beer and Cheese Dinner: Iron Hill Chestnut Hill, August 19

Iron Hill Chestnut Hill is partnering with Di Bruno Bros. to bring Philly’s premier cheesemongers to the ‘burbs for an event that will showcase beer’s versatility with cheese as well as the amazing ways that cheese and beer can be paired. $45; reservations required. Call (215) 948-5600 to snag your seat.

End of Summer Beer Dinner: Iron Hill Wilmington, August 20

Is it over already? Join us on Iron Hill Wilmington’s patio as we say goodbye to summer with a Brewmaster’s Beer Dinner. Make the most of these last days of the season with five courses and five beers, including Grilled Fig Tartlet paired with Bumblebee Hefewiezen and Chile Dusted Prawns paired with Saison. $75; reservations required. Call (302) 472-2739 to save your seat.

Caribbean Beer Dinner: Iron Hill Maple Shade, August 26

A taste of the islands can be yours at this five-course beer dinner inspired by cuisine from the Caribbean. Conch Ceviche, Red Snapper Criollo, Bajan Spiced Pork Tenderloin and more—each perfectly paired with one of our signature beers … Just close your eyes and imagine yourself in your own tropical retreat! $65; reservations required. Call (856) 273–0300 to secure your spot.

Seafood Beer Dinner Lite: Iron Hill North Wales, August 27

Seafood and summer, just perfect together. Iron Hill North Wales is honoring the bounty from the sea at this four-course seafood and beer pairing featuring Ahi Tuna Sliders, Smoked Scallop & Potato Pierogie, Cheesy Bacon Shrimp “Poppers” and (of course!) dessert. Each course meets its match alongside the perfect beer. $40; reservations required. Call (267) 708-2000 to reserve your seat.

So, what’s your fancy? Join us for one, join us for all eight. After all, summer comes around just once a year!

With 10 locations in in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey (make a reservation here), we specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Content provided by Dish Works author Michele Kornegay.

07/14/2014  |  Grill & Chill with Iron Hill

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Step away from the grill!

From Friday, July 11, through Sunday, July 27, let us do the cooking with our Grill and Chill Summer Steak Menu. Six juicy steak selections are the perfect match for our first-ever canned beer, Mahalo, Apollo!, which is making its debut in all 10 Iron Hill locations on July 11.

“Grilling steaks outdoors always sounds great in theory, but it usually ends up being a ton of work. Getting the coals to the right temperature, searing the meat without overcooking it and coming up with sides to go with it all take time and effort,” says Assistant Director of Culinary Operations Dan Bethard. “With our Grill and Chill menu, guests can enjoy perfectly grilled steaks, with none of the set up or cleanup, and chill with a can of Mahalo, Apollo!”

The Grill and Chill Summer Steak Menu includes:

  • Carne Asada, lime- and green chile-marinated flank steak with tomato rice, stewed black beans, guacamole, pico de gallo and flour tortillas

  • Char-Grilled Ribeye Steak, with smoked cheddar smashed potatoes, creamed corn and poblanos, chile-dusted onion rings and avocado butter

  • Hickory Smoked Beef Brisket, with creamy bacon slaw, jalapeño cornbread and Kansas City-style BBQ sauce

  • Steak and Potatoes, a 12-oz. New York strip steak with wedge-cut fries, local tomato salad and chimichurri sauce

  • Black Pepper Seared Filet Mignon, with sweet potato mash, garlicky kale sauté with bacon and blackberry demi-glace

  • Surf and Turf, black pepper seared filet mignon and sautéed jumbo shrimp with smashed Yukon gold potatoes, roasted asparagus spears and blackberry demi-glace.

All of these hearty summertime favorites (available weekdays for dinner and Saturday and Sunday all day long) have been created by Iron Hill’s culinary team to complement Mahalo, Apollo! for the perfect warm weather meal. Mahalo, Apollo!—a golden, complex and refreshing summer wheat beer spiced with lemongrass and Grains of Paradise fermented with Belgian yeast—will be available exclusively in 16-oz. cans (priced at $6.25) starting July 11 and ending July 27, in limited quantities, at all 10 Iron Hill locations. The beer will also be sold in four-packs available for takeout (priced at $16.75).

“Cans are an environmentally friendly packaging option that are also ideal for summer sipping: lightweight, easy to carry and fun,” says Director of Brewing Operations Mark Edelson. “Nothing says ‘summer’ quite like the sound of a can’s top being popped, and we’re thrilled to expand our beer offerings with our canned debut.”

Kick back and chill out! And be sure to share your experiences eating and drinking on social media using the hashtags #grillandchill and #mahaloapollo.

With 10 locations in in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey (make a reservation here), we specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly beer releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Content provided by Dish Works author Michele Kornegay.

07/08/2014  |  Celebrate Blobfest 2014 with Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

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With Chester County as the backdrop to the 1958 campy horror flick, The Blob, a film themed around a man-eating red alien “blob” invasion, it’s a no-brainer that locals annually celebrate the region’s silver screen success.

With the big-time Blob celebrations hitting Phoenixville this year on July 11–13, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant couldn’t miss out on the fun-filled festivities either! Below, discover the many ways you can celebrate Blobfest 2014 with our Phoenixville team.

Blob-Themed Beer Release

Brewers Tim Stumpf and Nadine Banks have whipped up a cheeky film-themed beer release exclusive to Blob festivities, which hits the taps on Saturday, July 12 at noon. Our signature Cherry Blob beer is crafted with a base of our award-winning tripel that hosts the addition of tart, Michigan Montmorency cherries. It’s tart, it’s bright red, and it’s 9.3% ABV. Beware of this ruby, dangerously delicious release!

Exclusive TV Dinner

Head chef Tim Andrews is having fun in the kitchen with this fun-filled food feature. He’s created an elevated, ’50s-inspired feast constructed with a Kobe Salisbury steak rocking your dinner plate, accented with morel mushroom gravy. Killer side dishes of fried risotto balls, beer-glazed carrots and an unforgettable peach cobbler will complete this whimsical experience. Have fun with this family-appropriate dish for just $20.95.

Blob Tasting Menu

In honor of the sci-fi flick, Andrews also launches a special Blob-inspired tasting, which features a three-course, beer-paired feast for just $40. Curious what’s on the menu?

  • Course 1: Fried mac & cheese blobs with sweet and spicy tomato sauce; paired with Vienna Red Lager

  • Course 2: Char-grilled pork porterhouse with bacon fat roasted fingerling potatoes, grilled asparagus and red cherry blob sauce; paired with Cherry Blob

  • Course 3: Red velvet bread pudding with marshmallow blobs; paired with Abbey Dubbel

More Blobfest Festivities

The Colonial Theatre will screen The Blob throughout Blobfest weekend, with additional, equally campy films being screened in conjunction with the film festival. A Blobfest street fair will also hit downtown Phoenixville on Saturday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m., so come ready for all the fun with tin foil hats on!

Find Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant of Phoenixville at 130 Bridge St. To reserve your Blobfest table, click here or call (610) 983-9333.

Content provided by Dish Works author Amy Strauss.