Craft beer connoisseurs should find plenty on tap this Labor Day weekend at the scheduled grand opening of Mellow Mink Brewing in Hampden Township.
The 75-seat taproom and brewery at 4830 Carlisle Pike in Hampden Centre is set to offer a wide variety of in-house microbrews with a special focus on sour and farmhouse beers. The taproom opens for service at 4 p.m. Friday.
“We’re looking to create a best-in-class craft beer experience. Our three important components are quality beer, enjoyable atmosphere and customer service,” said Matt Miller, who co-owns the business with his spouse, Cole Taylor.
Customers can select from a selection of brews kept on tap on a rotating basis. Current taps listed on the brewery’s website include Horse Divorce, “a wild farmhouse table saison,” Hop Moon, ”a dry-hopped golden sour ale,” Superfruit Tapestry, “a blonde sour ale with raspberries and passion fruit,” and Calibration Ale, “a hoppy American red ale.”
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Although Mellow Mink has no kitchen, customers are welcome to order in or bring their own food, Miller said. A variety of bagged snacks also will be available in the taproom. The business is considering adding a kitchen later.
Miller, a self-proclaimed sour beer enthusiast, has maintained a blog site, sourbeerblog.com, since 2014. Although he started home-brewing in 2009, it was the success of his blog and resulting connections that inspired him to go into the brewing business with Taylor, he said.
“We thought it was the right time personally, plus, there’s a vibrant, growing craft beer culture there,” said Miller, who lives in Perry County. Until now, the pair only featured their brews at area festivals.
Taylor’s job is “creating a classy and comfortable atmosphere” that customers “will absolutely love to visit,” according to the business’ website. He is also noted as an entrepreneur and house photographer. Until recently, he also worked as a dental assistant, while Miller recently resigned as pharmacist at a drugstore chain.
Carlisle brewers and tourism officials agree there’s still room for growth in the borough’s blossoming microbrewery scene.
Miller said there’s a small, yet common element of biology and organic chemistry between filling prescriptions and creating lively variations of beer. Overall, though, he appears most excited about crafting fine brews.
“I like it. It’s a challenge,” Miller said. “It’s science and an art beyond creating great beer. I love the culture and camaraderie that comes with sharing and enjoying it.”