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Grand reopening for Lancaster Brewing Co. (Weekly Specialty Beer Report).

With a new bottling line, new ownership and a healthy infusion of capital, Lancaster Brewing Co. is hoping to reestablish Lancaster, PA, as a brewing center and propel the Lancaster line of beers into the hearts and bellies of beer drinkers throughout the Northeast US.

The company was founded as the Lancaster Malt Brewing Co. in 1995, but was hobbled by undercapitalization and a balky bottling line.

New owners Irene Keares and Jim Weber hope to succeed where their predecessors failed.

"The license transfer and all the paperwork took well over a year," says company President Irene Keares, "but it really turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it gave us the opportunity to turn things around before we actually took over."

Mrs. Keares' brings with her an impressive restaurant resume. Along with Jim Weber, President and Owner of Weber Advertising and Marketing and now also Vice-President of Lancaster Brewing Co., the new team will try to meld Mrs. Keares considerable restaurant experience and Weber's marketing savvy.

"I love beer, I love marketing," says co-owner and ad man Weber. "Marketing beer is as good as it gets. For me this is a dream come true."

Master Brewer Christian Heim has been with the brewery since it opened in 1995 and is largely responsible for the reputation its beers have built throughout the mid-Atlantic region, The beers are served at Camden Yards in Baltimore and are currently available at more than 60 restaurants and bars in Lancaster County, Harrisburg, Gettysburg and York.

"The product has always been popular," says Heim. "People have always loved our beer; it was just a matter of keeping it out there for public consumption."

A new bottling line, purchased earlier this year, should solve that problem. The previous bottling line was old and ineffective. "It just didn't get the job done," Heim says flatly. "Combine that with an undercapitalized company and you have a great beer that no one could find. We aren't going to have that problem. Our beers will be out there prominently."

Lancaster Brewing Company's three flagship beers: Amish 4 Grain, Milk Stout and Gold Star Pilsner will be available at beer distributors beginning Sept. 15. There are also four very popular seasonal beers available: Strawberry Wheat, Octoberfest, Winter Warmer and Springbock.
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 19, 2002
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