Steel City Coffeehouse owners Laura Vernola-Simpson and Ed Simpson are bringing a fresh perspective to the growing list of breweries in downtown Phoenixville. The duo purchased Steel City just over two years ago and will soon be debuting a nano brewery in the exisiting café, which will complement its live entertainment. “We are also looking forward to offering home brewing workshops and private dinners in the near future,” says Vernola-Simpson.
The addition of the in-house artisanal brewing operation will allow Steel City to pair its already diverse menu and eclectic music scene with easy-drinking beers. “We are working with some of the most talented beer geeks around,” jokes Vernola-Simpson.
Head Brewer Seth Clearwater, an award-winning brewer and Phoenixville resident, is planning a steady rotation of beers inspired by the pubs of England and beer halls of Germany, some of which incorporate Hobo Ed’s Artisan locally-roasted coffees, served at Steel City. “We’re not going to be a ‘beer bar,’” Clearwater says. “This is still a café, coffeehouse and listening room, but it’s going to pour some of the best beer you’ll find anywhere in the Philadelphia area.”
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Consulting with brewing operations expertise will be Josh Weikert, a two-time Eastern Pennsylvania Homebrewer of the Year. “I’m unbelievably excited for what we’ll produce,” Weikert says. “Our intention is not to compete with the existing beer scene—it’s already fantastic. What we are setting out to do is bring a personal, approachable craft beer experience that you probably won’t find in a dedicated brewery. We’re offering a unique gateway for soon-to-be-beer-lovers and beer geeks alike.”
Small batch testing and tasting will begin with a small focus group this month, with three taps available to the general public before the end of the year. Look for a signature coffee stout brewed with Hobo Ed’s Artisan Coffee. Limited beer growlers will be available. Steel City also plans to offer its iconic cold brew coffee in growlers in the coming weeks.
203 Bridge St., Phoenixville.