Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Craft brewery set to open near train station

NOTE: Edited on March 21 to correct information about the license information Brubaker needs.

We hear a common refrain about businesses in Elizabethtown that it is home to an abundance of pizza shops and hair salons.

Soon, it will be home to its own craft brewery.

Local hopheads, you read that right.

E-town resident Mike Brubaker will open Moo-Duck Brewery this fall, pending approvals for a federal brewery number and brewery and brewpub license from the state. It will be located at 79 S. Wilson Ave., right across from the Elizabethtown Train Station.

To say that I am excited is an understatement. First, I am a fan of craft beer and trying different kinds of brews.

Second, and more important, new businesses in the area of the train station are a positive sign of economic development. And that means the vision that Borough Council had 10 years ago for that side of town is becoming a reality. 

"The train station location offered us a building that had the best balance between being functional for brewing and front of house for tasting," Brubaker told me in an email. "Plus we felt that it was in the up and coming part of town and we would have a built in customer base with the train commuters."

Brubaker grew up  in Ephrata and was a naturalist and director of education for a nonprofit environmental center in the Poconos where he met his wife, Kristen. In 2007, they moved back to Lancaster County to be closer to my family and bought a home in E-town. He's been brewing his own beer for a little over five years. 

"It started out as a fun hobby, but quickly grew into more," he told me in an email. "I got hooked on the process and it became a creative outlet that I could share with others."

The process of opening the brewery began about a year ago in looking for a possible location after doing research and business planning "way before that." He and his wife, who on the brewery website is described as "bartending and food safety coordinator," knew from the start they wanted the business to be located in E-town. 

"We felt there was a need we could fill here and felt E-town was ready for such a business," he said. "We want to be a place the community can be proud of and plan on partnering with other local businesses."

Moo-Duck will have a tasting room with six beers on tap to start, with two more available if the need arises. Brubaker said there also will be "charity beer" on on tap at all times, with 50 cents from each beer served donated to a local non-profit.

As for the beer itself, the website says Moo-Duck "handcrafts our beer in small batches, creating the freshest beer possible. We use the highest quality ingredients and buy locally whenever possible." From the list of beers, you can tell there's a creativity with HONEY! Basil Blonde, a "nice, light, refreshing blonde ale ... further enhanced by the addition of honey and fresh basil leaves." Mistopheles Chocolate Stout starts "with a nice roasted, dark caramel, and dark chocolate stout base and then further enhance the chocolate flavor by aging the beer over cocoa nibs."

By the way, the Mistopholes won the best beverage award at the recent Taste of Western Lancaster County.


  1. This is fantastic news ....will definitely be stopping in a to do some serious sampling. Best wishes for a very successful business venture.

  2. I hope this is successful. I heard that Appalachian Brewery tried to get in near the Masonic Village and it was met with resistance from "local" residents. So, I hope this takes off and is successful for the owners. Definitely need some new places in town.

    1. That's the first I've heard about AB trying to do anything there. Maybe that happened before I moved to Elizabethtown. That whole section of town was rezoned to allow a mixture of uses, so any resistance in the past 8 or 9 years would have been on moral grounds.


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