Monday, May 20, 2013

Brewhouse arrives for Iron Hill Voorhees

IH West Chester brewer Larry Horwitz operates the lift.

This is a story about anticipation.

For Garden State beer lovers, especially those in South Jersey, word that the brewing equipment arrived for a widely followed brewery chain, whose newest location was announced a year ago, must feel a little like a fast-approaching favored holiday, or a big concert everyone's talking about.

So it goes for the next Iron Hill brewpub location. 

Voorhees brewer Kevin Walter moves tank. 
Trucks laden with the tri-state restaurant-brewery company's equipment rolled into the Voorhees Town Center shopping complex Monday and offloaded a collection of serving tanks and fermenters, the brewhouse, and combination mash tun and hot liquor tank. 

Over the course of several hours, from early afternoon to early evening, the equipment was raised on a forklift and eased into a corner unit of the retail complex, Iron Hill's 10th location – and only second in New Jersey. (The others are spread among Pennsylvania and Delaware.)

There's still quite a lot left to do in the buildout, but plans call for an August opening (pushed back a bit from an earlier announced opening of July). 

For the beer geeks, the equipment included 10 serving tanks, six 10-barrel fermenters, the mash tun, kettle, a 22-barrel fermenter, and related brewhouse gear that chills wort to fermenting temperature or regulates tank temperatures. 

The brew kettle
Mash tun/hot liquor tank
An array of serving tanks
All of this is the long way of saying that Iron Hill Voorhees is a little closer to being one of the next craft breweries to come online in New Jersey. 

Like Iron Hill Maple Shade, which opened in 2009 as the company's entry into the Garden State, the Voorhees brewery will feature from the outset a flight of house beers – Ironbound Ale, Pig Iron Porter, a Vienna-style lager, a light beer that doesn't taste like a light beer, and a Belgian-style ale. 

After that, it's a matter of the imagination of head brewer Kevin Walter, most recently of Iron Hill's Lancaster, Pa., location. That, and what followers of the brewpub may suggest: Iron Hill's brewers are quite responsive to their customer base. 

August … For folks who know Iron Hill, it probably can't come soon enough. 

Sorting out the tun lid and fittings
Hoisting a fermenter
Positioning a fermenter

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