Brewery Visit: Collusion Tap Works
Let’s be honest. Not all beer is crafted equal. Not all brewery experiences are well executed. And, not all breweries are opening up with their A-game. But we’re here to tell you that Collusion Tap Works located at 105 S Howard Street in York PA, is the real deal. They’ve completely wowed us right out of the gate with their beers, taproom and friendly staff.
There’s a whopping 24 craft beer options to pick from when you belly up to the bar. But have no fear non-beer drinkers. Wines by Allegro are available for on premise consumption. An ocassional cider, mead or craft soda made at Collusion may appear from time to time on the tap list. Personally, we like it all! We’re equal opportunity drinkers.
New beers will be released every week. The goal is to keep a constantly rotating production schedule. Collusion is NOT about dedicating the taps to a bunch of flagship beers (year round selections). Creativity and Quality are king. Twelve fermenters in the brewhouse and their barrel aging and sour blending program allows them the luxury of changing things up fairly easily. So when you visit, if there’s something you fall in love with, you should definitely get a growler or crowler can to go so you can continue to savor the delicious brew.
We popped in to join up with the local Susquehanna Girl’s Pint Out chapter to say hello to some friends and enjoy a few brews in the process. Here’s what we tried:
- Animorphus 2.0 DIPA
(NE style IPA that is beyond crushable. Our favorite of the night.)
- Animorphus 3.0 DIPA
(A more pine forward version but still crushable.)
- Vivid River Saision
(Tart saison bursting with funk and citrus. Smooth mouthfeel. Another favorite of ours.)
- Fuzzy Scrumpit IPA
(Nice IPA brewed with white peaches and guava. Thankfully NOT malty or overly fruity.)
- Woracle Saison
(Aged on hibiscus. Slightly tart with earthy notes.)
The kitchen at Collusion Tap Works is now open as of February 2017. Things like sandwiches, soups, salads and appetizers. View Menu (scroll down on the homepage)
An Interview with Jared Barnes
(Brewer & Co-Owner)
- How Does it Feel to Have Your Own Place?
- I was born and raised in York, and after traveling around so much to other states and countries, it still feels great. Having worked at so many other breweries for so many other people, its nice to finally be able to do it for myself.
- Why ‘Collusion’ for Your Name?
- We chose collusion because all the other names we originally wanted to go with were taken. We went through a bunch of brewery names with our trademark lawyer, and we were shot down with every option. I saw the word Collusion written on a piece of paper at my father’s house [Jared’s father is co-owner along with his uncle], and we basically chose the name of the brewery right then and there. I think ‘Collusion’ also fits with our style. We do a lot of collaborations and behind the scenes brewing with others in order to benefit everyone in the area with better beers all around.
- What Did You Select York, PA for Collusion Tap Works?
- I was born and raised in York. After traveling around so much to other states and countries, it still felt like home. I have a lot of friends and family still in the area, so it was a very natural transition back to downtown.
Did You Know?
Jared brewed for Southern Tier Brewing Company, Darwin Brewing Company, Mispillion River Brewing and Wyndridge Farms prior to opening Collusion Tap Works.
- You Have a Vast Lineup of Brews. Lots of Variety. Why So Many Beers On Tap at Once?
- We chose to go with so many taps because people love variety. Having 24 different beers on at once allows us to have something for everyone. Because we put on 2 to 3 new beers every week, almost every time you come there will be something new for you to try. We purposely set up the brewery to allow for a constant rotating schedule between our 12 fermenters and oak barrels to keep things fresh all the time.
- What’s the Long-term Vision for Collusion?
- For growth, I am personally comfortable with the size that we are. Potentially add a little canning line to alleviate all of the fills on our crowler machine behind the bar. But those cans would be kept local to central PA. I have worked at breweries smaller than ours and larger than 200,000 barrels a year. I definitely prefer keeping it small.
We might sign on with a distributor to get our reach a little further. One drawback, though, is then we have no direct control over the quality of our beer – how it is stored or how it is transported. Because of that, I would like to keep our self-distribution model as long as possible. The only downside is that we are almost maxed out already after only 2 months! So my plans to stay small might not work out. If there is a demand, I feel obligated to meet it.