The idea of The Breaker Brewing Company resulted when long time friends, Chris Miller and Mark Lehman, decided it was time to take their interest and appreciation of fine craft beer to the next level. Their intrigue in the complexity of the brewing process coupled with their quest to make a quality product, led to their decision to start creating their own beer.
The adventure began in 2005, in a similar fashion as it is for many other home brewers. After several trips to the local home brew shop for basic supplies, countless hours of research, and a few rounds of recipe experimentation, they were hooked. The process began with utilizing five gallon home brew kits in the kitchen. Although this introduced them to the basic beer making steps and stages, they wanted to be more involved in the creation process…
While the equipment needed to produce five gallons of beer was readily available, having the goal of brewing on a two tier ½ bbl system involved a little more work from the ground up. After several months and countless trips to a local scrap yard, various ppurchases from the hardware store, and numerous hours of brainstorming sessions, the brewing system was created. The primary design served its purpose, but building and research also proved to act as valuable teaching lessons in the brewing process. With the new brewery, they could brew 12 gallons at a time. Several great recipes and fantastic brews resulted from the use of the initial homemade system. The original beer making hobby turned into a great desire and passion for creating small batch, hand crafted brews.
Mark and Chris then decided that they wanted to share this appreciation for great beer, by making the goal of bringing it to the local pubs and restaurants of Northeast Pennsylvania their main objective. The Breaker Brewing Company first began brewing and selling commercially in 2009 on a 1.5 BBL brewery system, which was created by going back to the drawing board, and determining what they needed to take the next step in making this new system.
About a year after selling commercially and with the increased demand for Breaker beer they decided the 1.5 BBL system was not big enough. They sold the nano brewing system to a now running brewery in DE called Argilla Brewing Co. A new brewhouse was fabricated producing 3 BBL’s at a time but now the space that the tiny brewery occupies is maxed out and the search for a new home began.
In the spring of 2011 BBC purchased the 2.5 acre property that was formally St Josephs Monastery & School in Wilkes-Barre Twp (George Town). Due to some zoning variance issues they didn’t begin working on the property until spring of 2012.
In April of 2013 BBC opened the doors of the old school house to the public with a tap and tasting room for growler fills and soon after in the spring of 2014 we obtained our brew pub license for pint and food sales. We offer a full dining menu with daily features form our kitchen. We keep 8 to 11 rotating taps flowing all the time and are always brewing up some new and exciting beers.
In early 2016 we finished our dining expansion of the old school house with second bar, tap system and seating for about 50 more. We also offer an outdoor beer patio which is nestled between the old church & school building…yes we are patio pet friendly 🙂
The latest BBC project is to renovate the old church to get it ready for our new 10 BBL brewing system. This project is well under way and should be ready late 2016 early 2017.
As to the origin of the name, “Breaker” Brewing Company, it is tied to a time in our not so distant past when the coal breaker was a common sight in the Wyoming Valley and surrounding areas. Mining anthracite coal brought prosperity, fame, and a rich heritage to our little corner of the map, so the name pays tribute to the hard working coal miners who also displayed great determination and strong work ethic to provide for their families, while completing a most dangerous job. It is with pride that the Breaker Brewing Company salutes the men and their families who helped bolster the region’s coal industry. For that, the association of coal mining and Northeast PA is an honor. The Breaker Brewing Company hopes to deliver on their promise to provide the region with a variety of brewings that will be appreciated by those who search for “great craft beers”. We thank you in advance for your support and interest.