Beer Radar: Mainstay & Shangy’s re-do, 2 newbies in Jersey & more

Mainstay Independent, the brewery that opened in October in the former location of Yards Brewing in Fishtown, is closing already. Well, not completely. Its taproom is closing shutting down temporarily while the location is renovated as part of the larger Craft Hall development. You can say goodbye at a brunch featuring two of the food hall’s Lost Bread Co. and City Creek BBQ on Jan. 26. Tix $30…  Phoenixville (Chesco) will soon get its seventh brewery: Steel City Coffeehouse will open on Jan. 30…

I stopped by Shangy’s- The Beer Authority, the big craft beer distributor in Emmaus (Lehigh Valley), last weekend and found they’re in the middle of a big renovation. Owner Nima Hadian tells me that, among other things, they’re installing a 40-tap crowler/growler bar… Curious about the beers coming out of Lehigh Valley’s many breweries? The Morning Call’s Craig Larimer named his top beers of 2018, and it’s very good cross-section of the region’s best. Among the notables: Saucony Creek Stonefly IPA, a superb pale ale that is unfortunately often overlooked by hop heads. Another of his faves, Bangor Slate Baltic Porter, the GABF winner from Two Rivers, gets its re-release today at the Easton brewery…

Round Guys Underground (Lansdale, Montco) is going all-in this year for Philly Loves Bowie Week, which runs from today through Jan. 13. It’ll screen “Labyrinth,” the Bowie fantasy flick, with commentary by drag queen Annie Christ, on Thursday (1/17). Tix $10. And it’s releasing five separate beers dedicated to the Thin White Duke.  Among the brews: Never Get Old on draft and in cans. Look for it and the others Bowie brews at Round Guys’ locations and bars around town, including Bowie Central at Doobies (22nd and Lombard streets)… Roy-PItz Barrel House is joining the fun, too, with a party before neighboring Union Transfer’s A Night of Stardust show. Look for Glitter Beer, naturally..

The holidays saw several remarkable beer-soaked charity fund-raisers, including that amazing Resilience Butte County roll-out by Sierra Nevada. Meanwhile, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant announced it had raised more than $30,000 from sales of its Triple Chocolate Hill dessert, for CureSearch for Children’s Cancer. That was part of more than 60 Gs it raised for local charities in 2018. Meanwhile, the sale of Friends Giving IPA, a “potluck collaboration” from Double Nickel, Urban Village, Cape May and Tonewood breweries (with a big boost from Dietz & Watson meats), raised more than $75,000 to assist area families in need.

Jersey Report

The Jersey Shore is kinda dead this time of the year, but that didn’t stop two – yes, two! – breweries from opening. Gusto Brewing Co. (motto: “Keep It Small + Keep it Weird”) opened with a tiny 1-barrel brewhouse in North Cape May. And yesterday, Coho Brewing opened in Cape May Court House… King’s Road in Haddonfield, N.J., will move 30 feet down the street to a larger location…

PJW Restaurant Group, the folks behind the Pour House and P.J. Whelihan’s Pub, among others, just launched a new restaurant concept: Central Taco & Tequila. The first one opened in Westmont (Camden County) at 350 Haddon Ave.

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