Brewery Visit: Ever Grain Brewing Co.
Planning a beercation to Southern Pennsylvania – specifically near the state capitol of Harrisburg? Live in or near Camp Hill, PA and love good, quality craft beer? Looking for a day trip to a great brewery that you’ve never visited before? Well, you should check out Ever Grain Brewing Company that recently opened in September 2016.
Us local craft beer enthusiasts had been anxiously awaiting their opening for quite awhile – about a year and a half. That’s when Derek and I first heard the buzz about plans for a brewery opening up in our area. We learned that the 20 hectoliter brewing system had been purchased from Pizza Boy Brewing Co at Al’s of Hampden. And, that the location was going to be on the Carlisle Pike. But that’s all we knew. So many details were super secret. So we just had to wait. And, wait. I’m not a very patient person and 18 months seemed like an eternity! It was quite satisfying wrapping my hand around a fresh, juicy IPA as my first taste of Ever Grain Brewing Co.
The minute Derek and I walked in the door, we both looked at each other and said almost in unison, “Looks like a mini Tröegs.” Mostly because the stainless brewing equipment is positioned behind the bar and completely exposed to the tasting room just like at Tröegs. That brewhouse design makes it feel like you’re part of the brewery itself as you sip your beer. There’s a great energy about the place.
Very much an industrial look as the stainless steel fermenters tower toward the ceiling 2 stories up balanced with rustic elements like whisky barrels, wood plank feature wall, community-style high top tables and wooden picnic-style tables. Strings of white lights drape across the ceiling of the seating area. Some elements of the former business still remain, like the concrete floors and garage rollup doors which are tastefully painted in fun, bright colors.
Derek and I both remember when the space used to be owned by Sun Motor Cars – where I bought my first Mercedes Benz. I joked that if we tried to look hard enough, we could probably find an oil drip or two on the floor from when I got my oil changed there – the taproom is where the garage was located. I much prefer visiting the building as a brewery than as a vehicle dealership and repair center. Well, I should say our wallet was quite happier with the smaller tab total at the end of the day. Ha!
Prefer to sit belly up to the bar? This taproom has a huge bar that seats 30.
There’s a big selection of beer styles to choose from. The day we visited there were 11 different brews on tap ranging from IPAs, Stouts, a Pale Ale, a Hefeweizen, a Pilsner, a Helles, a Porter, a Winter Warmer and Saison. Phew! That’s a lot.
Beers We Drank
- Autumn Bell Porter – notes of coffee, caramel, hickory and light touch of smoke.
- Hellyes (pronounced: Hell YES!!!) – notes of toasty bread that finishes with a light, pleasant sweetness.
- Joose Juicy – Northeast Style IPA that lives up to its name so juicy and crushable.
- Saison de Fromm – a classic saison with notes of banana, peppercorn and clove with just a touch of tart.
- Surf Breaker IPA – West Coast style IPA with piney bitterness
- The Udder One Milk Stout – a silky smooth, imperial chocolate, milk stout. Every sip was rich and delicious with very noticeable dark chocolate notes.
Not sure what to order? Consider doing a “flight of beers” (aka “sampler”) so you can taste a variety of brews. Pick as many as you like. They’ll serve the small goblets to you on a beer tray for easy carrying back to your table.
Brewer Bruce Tanner (formerly of Tröegs) has some serious skills. His approach: “Brew Beers I Like to Drink.” Sounds like a good plan to us! We really do love Joose Juicy New England Style IPA. It’s an easy drinker.
Look for these new beers tapping early 2017: Snow Daze (winter IPA) and the return of Doose Juicy, (Double IPA).
We spied a variety of barrels racked behind the bar. Can’t wait to taste the goodies they will deliver.
We were pleased that generous pours were the standard and for a reasonable price. More brew for the money. We like the sound of that!
Pro-Tip: View What’s on Tap before your visit so you’re familiar with your options. Then when you arrive, get right in line at the bar to order your selections. Otherwise, you’ll stand at the bar staring up at the beer menu on the chalkboard like a deer in the headlights trying to figure out what they have, what you might like, etc. Perusing the tap list ahead of time also allows you to check what people are saying about the beers on Untappd, Beer Advocate and Rate Beer.
To-Go Beer Options
Growler and Crowler (32 oz cans) fills available for take out. You can either bring your own growler or buy one at the bar.
Games & TVs
Half of the taproom is wide open space where folks can play cornhole and ping pong. This area will be beyond super fun in the spring-time when the big garage doors are open with the cool breeze blowing and sunshine steaming in.
There’s also a giant-sized Connect 4 game that can be taken to the seating area to play with friends.
There are also large TVs in the taproom to keep you entertained. Great for college and pro football season.
We should note that the taproom is kid-friendly. High chairs are available for the little ones and the picnic-style benches work well for bigger kids.
It’s a bustling place – especially on the weekends. Make sure your kiddos are okay with the large crowd and noise.
Yes! There is quality food available for purchase – so nice when visiting a brewery. We like when we go to a place that has great beer, a fun environment AND great food. The whole package makes it a positive experience. A place where we could hang out for hours.
Ordering food is a little different. As you walk in the brewery, the food ordering window is to the left. Look for the Red Sky Cafe sign.
How it works:
- Look over the menu posted on the wall and daily features on the chalkboard.
- Order at the restaurant window. Soft drinks are available for purchase as well.
- Pay for your food at the window (you can not order or pay for beers here)
- Grab your seat in the brewery taproom.
- Your order will be served to you in the taproom by Red Sky Cafe waitstaff.
I’m more of a seafood person. Derek loves burgers. We both adore cheese. So this menu works for us. Lots of options. View Full Menu
We recently attended a Beer Pairing Dinner and it was fantastic. The Shrimp & Grits is seriously good. Mac n’ Cheese – yummy! Everything is super fresh. Many of the ingredients are locally sourced. Seafood is delivered from North Carolina where the original Red Sky Cafe is located in the Outer Banks.
NOTE: If you had food at Ever Grain Brewing before to Nov 7, 2016, if was NOT Red Sky Cafe. Prior to that date, a completely different restaurant filled that space: Our Kitchen Table.
Special Events & Activities
- Beer Pairing Dinners – They are held almost monthly. Follow Red Sky Cafe on Facebook to see when they are scheduled. We plan to attend the next one coming up on January 18, 2017 (Wed).
- Yoga – FREE sessions every Sunday and Tuesday, 10am – 11am. Bring your yoga mat!
- Seasonal Holiday Parties – Follow Ever Grain Brewing on Facebook to stay informed on what’s going on like Halloween costume contest, Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest, etc.