11/03/2014  |  Iron Hill Ardmore Preview: Story Behind the Location’s Jeff Schaller Mural

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A happy woman raising a mug, a friendly face pointing to “Beer on Draught,” an iron—of course—but, wait: is that a classic car front and center in the new mural set to grace Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Ardmore? You betcha, and there’s a great story to go with the artwork.

Whether it’s local lore or local flavor, you’ll find a hint to it in our murals, designed by internationally acclaimed artist Jeff Schaller. You’ve no doubt spied the following in our eye-catching art while enjoying a beer at our restaurants:

Next up: Ardmore, set to open later this year on the property that used to be home to the Autocar factory. Born in Pittsburgh in 1898 as the Pittsburgh Motor Vehicle Company, it was cranking out horseless carriages that evolved into cars, trucks and tractors.

Production moved to Ardmore in 1900, and for many years was Lower Merion’s major employer. The factory and its workers have a storied past, including converting its operations during World War II to support the war effort. The property survived significant fire damage in 1954, the same year White Motor Corporation bought the company. White was acquired by Volvo Trucks in 1980, and then sold to GVW Group in 2001, yet three models of Autocar trucks still are being manufactured.

“Finding that spot in Ardmore was serendipitous,” said Iron Hill President Kevin Finn. “We’ve been looking at Ardmore for a while, and it’s a great site with good parking across the street. We heard about Autocar, did some research and it was a natural for Jeff to incorporate it into the mural.”

How Jeff became the artist to create the visual centerpiece for our restaurants is a bit of kismet, too. During an art show in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square, Jeff met an architect who mentioned Iron Hill was looking for something “new and jazzy” to grace the walls. That lead to a chance meeting with Iron Hill’s Brand Manager Susan Finn, and the rest was almost history.

“I pretty much hounded Sue until she called me back,” Jeff laughed. “And then it just took off. I used the existing murals with showing the landscapes as a backdrop and started working in the local angle. As an artist, it made sense to come up with a formula to weave into the brand.”

This whimsical imagery takes Jeff a month or two to create. He works in a mix of acrylic and—for the iron, for example—silkscreen plus acrylic. All that’s transported to the soon-to-be restaurant near the end of construction. Jeff installs each mural personally.

“Everyone at Iron Hill is so easy to work with,” Jeff added. “I appreciate that we hand-craft a mural for each restaurant. It underscores the brand message of delivering fresh, handcrafted and made-from-scratch products.”

Our customers will begin to see Jeff’s unique style incorporated more into the brand. It already graces beer labels and t-shirts, and soon you’ll see his original designs illustrated on the kid’s menu and on the cover of our new menus.

“It’s great to have Jeff as part of our brand,” Kevin said. “We love having a local artist tied into what we do. It’s important to us to keep it local. And Jeff’s become a friend, too.”

See how this creative collaboration began, and make sure to keep an eye out for Ardmore’s grand opening. Meanwhile, visit an Iron Hill near you and check out Jeff’s work on our walls.

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.

10/22/2014  |  All Hail Pumpkin Beer—Gathering of the Gourds Returns to Iron Hill

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In our humble opinion, you can never have enough pumpkin beer. If you agree, then you definitely want to clear your calendar on Saturday, October 25, and head to Iron Hill West Chester’s Gathering of the Gourds multi-tap event.

Here at Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant we take both pumpkin and beer very seriously. So on this most wonderful day we’ll be celebrating the holiest of squashes with 18 pumpkin beers on tap, 11 from Iron Hill Brewery and 7 from guest breweries. Check out the lineup:

Iron Hill Brewery beers:

  • Ichabod Imperial Pumpkin Ale

  • Blanche De Pumpkin

  • Charlie Pumpkin Brown Ale

  • Pumpkin Ale

  • Bruce Camp-Ale

  • Dr. Funkenstein

  • Imperial Pumpkin Ale

  • Pumpkin Weiss

  • Pumpkin Porter

  • Punktoberfest

  • Bruce Camp-Ale Vintage 2013

Guest brewery beers:

  • Hansel and Gretel Pumpkin Pilsner (Elysian Brewing Company)

  • Fat Jack (Sam Adams Brewing Company)

  • Pumking (Southern Tier Brewing Company)

  • Brett Sematary (Cambridge Brewing Company)

  • Hopsquash IPA (Elysian/Ninkasi Brewing Company)

  • Imperial Pumpkin Ale (Weyerbacher Brewing Company)

  • Pumpkin Ale (Schlafly Brewing Company)

Ready for your share of pumpkin love? These 18 special beers will be tapped starting at noon.  Two beer flights (both featuring a mix of Iron Hill and guest brewery beers) will be available, each with nine samples. Also on the schedule for the day: a pumpkin firkin will be tapped at 3 p.m., and giant jeroboam bottles of Ichabod and Bruce-Camp Ale will be poured at 2 and 4 p.m. Since it’s almost Halloween, costumes are encouraged too!

You know we wouldn’t let you go hungry, either. Throughout the day we’ll be serving a pumpkin- and squash-inspired featured menu to pair perfectly with the day’s tap list. King of the Hill members, be sure to enter our raffle drawing for a pumpkin-themed basket filled with 2013 and 2014 Imperial Pumpkin Ale, pumpkin glasses and other goodies.

Join us for the ultimate party in honor of fall’s finest fruit. We’ll be looking for you on Saturday, October 25! While you’re here, Tweet with us, follow along on Facebook, or tag us on Instagram with the hashtag #GatheringOfTheGourds.

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.

10/15/2014  |  Drink Up the Season: Top Fall Beers to Try with Iron Hill

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‘Tis the season! No, not THAT season—we’re talking about fall beer season here at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant. As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, we’ve brewed a delicious lineup that’s just perfect for keeping you warm on these blustery autumn days. Head to the locations listed below to get your fill. But be sure to act fast: once these seasonal beers are tapped, they won’t last long.

North Wales

On Tap October 25: Bruce-Camp Ale (ABV 9.5%), our Ichabod Imperial Pumpkin Ale—an amber, Belgian style pumpkin ale spiced with cinnamon, clove, allspice and nutmeg—aged in bourbon barrels.

On Tap November 14: Pearway to Heaven (ABV 5.9%), a dry and effervescent Saison brewed with real pear for a deep, golden color and refreshing fruit flavor.

Also On Tap November 14: Blame the Dog (ABV: 9.2%), a Belgian strong ale brewed with orange blossom honey and chamomile. Amber in color with a floral and herbal aroma.

Lancaster

On Tap October 24: Diplomat Dunkel (ABV 5.4%), named after the F&M mascot, “The Diplomat”; a German dark lager with a pronounced roasted malt aroma and flavor. Finishes crisp and clean.

Voorhees

On Tap October 24: Undead Black IPA (ABV 6.6%), lightly roasty and toasty with moderate bitterness and enough American hop character to bring back the dead!

Phoenixville

On Tap November 1: Hopocalpyse (ABV 7.9%), a full-bodied red ale brewed with specially selected grains for a sweet, caramel-like maltiness. Next, we add enough hops to live up to the name and create an intense bitterness and citrusy aroma.

In addition to tapping an incredible list of seasonal beers, we’ve got a full schedule of events to keep you busy this fall. Join us at the following locations for events that are a little bit spooky—maybe with a trick or two—but most definitely tasty:

Media

October 18: Brewhouse of Horrors, an eight-beer multi-tap extravaganza chock full of pumpkin beers; starts at 1 p.m.

Newark

October 25: Hallowed Pumpkin Hill, featuring three guest breweries, eight pumpkin beers and one crazy pumpkin pie-eating contest; the fun begins at 1 p.m.

West Chester

October 25: Gathering of the Gourds, with (count them!) 18 pumpkin beers on tap, a pumpkin and squash inspired menu, pumpkin jeroboam pours and a pumpkin firkin; come at noon in your most creative Halloween costume!

Lancaster

November 1: No Tricks Just Treats, a fun-filled family event with games, treats and activities for the kids; show us your Halloween best starting at noon. 8 select pumpkin beers will be on tap.

*On tap dates subject to change.

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.

10/06/2014  |  Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant Nabs 3 Medals at 2014 Great American Beer Festival

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We’re back from the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) with some wonderful news: Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant snagged three medals at the 2014 event!

The annual tasting and competition, which takes place in Denver, Colo., boasts the largest collection of U.S. beer at any event of its kind. Founded in 1982 and growing every year since, GABF brings together brewers, their beers and the public for three days of camaraderie, lots and lots of tasting and some mighty fierce competition. GABF is so fantastic, in fact, that it’s landed on the list of “1,000 Places in the USA and Canada to See Before You Die.” With a reputation like that, you know we had a good time while we were there.

We won’t keep you in suspense any longer. The GABF 2014 Iron Hill winners are …

Iron Hill Media’s Bob (“The Medal Machine”) Barrar, with two medals: silver for Rye of Tiger in the Rye Beer Category and bronze for Burton IPA in English-style IPA Category

Iron Hill Voorhees’ Senior Head Brewer Kevin Walter and Lead Brewer Andrew “Ruby” Rubenstein, with a silver medal for Bedotter in the Belgian Style Tripel Category

Congratulations to the winners, to our Iron Hill family of brewers and to all who competed. We’ll be back for more next year, September 24-26, 2015. We’d love to see you all there, too, so save the date!

 

09/23/2014  |  Oktoberfest 2014 Kicks Off at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

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Prost! It’s time to celebrate Oktoberfest at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant. Starting on Thursday, September 25, all 10 of our locations will band together in honor of the holiday by tapping our exclusive Oktoberfest. Leave the lederhosen at home (unless that’s your thing) and join us in a toast to our annual German-style event.

Lucky for you, we have two traditional German beers for you to get into the Oktoberfest spirit: Our Oktoberfest, a traditional German festival beer, is medium-bodied with a wonderfully sweet, malty and bready aroma and a firm malt flavor, balanced with mild bitterness and a clean, dry finish. Iron Hill fan-favorite Vienna Red Lager, a European amber lager, is medium-bodied with a delicate malt aroma, slight sweetness and a clean, crisp finish.

A special German-infused food menu, available from September 25–October 12 while supplies last, will elevate the traditional experience at our locations. Featured entrees include:

  • Schlachtplatte (pictured above), a grilled butcher’s plate with knockwurst, bratwurst, smoked pork loin, roasted fingerling potatoes, sauerkraut and a stone ground mustard sauce

  • Hackbraten (pictured below), German-style meatloaf with smashed Yukon gold potatoes, beer-braised red cabbage and hunter sauce

  • Sauerbraten pot roast, red wine marinated and served with beer-braised red cabbage, spaetzle and gingersnap gravy

  • Huhner schnitzel, pan-fried chicken cutlets with haricots verts and almonds, buttered noodles and lemon-herb sauce

For an appetizer, warm up with Black Forest meatballs, Bavarian white bean and sausage soup, potato croquettes and more Bavarian-inspired bites. And whatever you do, be sure to save room for Grandma’s apple golden raisin bread pudding for dessert!

Take your Oktoberfest celebration to the next level and join Iron Hill Lancaster at its Prost Oktoberfest Celebration on Saturday, September 27, starting at noon. In addition to our Oktoberfest Beer Release and Bavarian fare, enjoy these beers on tap at the upcoming Lancaster event: Maibock, Weizenbock, Helles, Hefeweizen and Rauchtoberfest. King of the Hill Rewards Club members: come early at 11 a.m. for the release of all beers, exclusively for you!

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.

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

Category: Uncategorized  |  Posted by: thetowndish  |  Add Comment

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.