To little or no fanfare, the latest brewery, and another to Hummelstown, opened on October 9th, 2020 (yesterday). They had posted on their Facebook page their permit and that they would be opening soon, but, to my surprise, I had seen no notice of their actual opening date.
Their last Facebook post was on September 28th, and with the above picture, it stated:
“A temporary permit was given to me to open my taproom this morning. Shooting for October 9th for the grand opening of Howling Henry’s Taproom. Check my website for more information.”
I had seen this notice and post and re-shared it on our Facebook page, but for some reason, the little notice of “shooting for October 9th” I overlooked. I unfortunately, despite having my day off was out of town with friends (we went to Wellsboro, PA for the PA Grand Canyon), so I was out of town and unable to attend the opening.
They are the second Hummelstown brewery to open this week. Rubber Soul Brewing Company opened on Monday, October 5th, 2020, along South Hanover Street (across from the Rita’s) in the former borough building.
Howling Henry’s has been around for a while in the Hummelstown area. They have been at the Mount Hope Renaissance Faire brewfest for several years (with their unique stand and jockey box of the doghouse). They have also been selling their bottles to the local shops and bars (JoJo’s Pizza Shop Restaurant on Main Street often carried their bottles in their cooler), and they distributed some kegs to local bars (Warwick Hotel would occasionally have them on tap). They’ve also been selling their bottles in the recent year or so at various farmer’s markets (the Hershey’s Chocolate Street Market primarily).
COVID-19 (the coronavirus) has certainly played an interesting issue in their opening this year, and has delayed much in the way of the taproom opening. Several other breweries opened amid the pandemic – Hemauer, Rubber Soul, Highway Manor, Cox’s Rally Point, etc. This is certainly an interesting time and a hard time for businesses to open, thrive, and grow their brands. There has been a lot of uncertainty, but it’s great to see Greg get to realize his dreams and open Howling Henry.
Howling Henry’s taproom is located at 35 East 2nd St in Hummelstown. This is located near the exit of Hummelstown (the underpass) heading towards South Hanover (where South Hanover street becomes Grandview leading out towards Route 39 and East Hanover / Hershey). It is across the street from M&S Auto (a used car shop and garage). It is about three blocks down from the square of Hummelstown (Main Street / South Hanover crossing).
This will become the second brewery / taproom in Hummelstown now (coincidentally both opening this week as well, going from 0 to 2 in five days flat!). The above map shows a walking path from Howling Henry’s to Rubber Soul. Making the town a nice tourist stop for craft beer enthusiasts now.
Howling Henry’s joins a growing community of breweries within five-fifteen minute driving distance from the Hummelstown area. Including:
- Troeg’s Independent Brewing (Hershey)
- Iron Hill Brewing (Hershey)
- Tattered Flag Distillery Lounge (Hershey)
- Tattered Flag (Middletown)
- Rubber Soul Brewing (Hummelstown)
- Howling Henry’s (Hummelstown)
- The Englewood (Hummelstown / Hershey)
- Boneshire Brew Works (Rutherford)
- Official BBQ – Pizza Boy (Rutherford)
- Newfangled Brew Works (Rutherford)
- The Millworks (Harrisburg)
- ZeroDay Brewing (Harrisburg)
- Appalachian Brewing Company (Harrisburg)
- The Vegetable Hunter (Harrisburg)
- Lancaster Brewing Company – Harrisburg Location (Harrisburg)
You can use the Brew Baron’s App to find more in the larger (Central PA) area. So as you can see from the above list, and the app, within just this small subset local area of Central PA there is many brewery choices. All good and well done establishments with wonderful beer offerings. You can see an older (and mostly outdated article I wrote about the breweries in the Hummelstown area here: Breweries On the Outskirts of Harrisburg 9.6.19).
Currently, on Untappd, Howling Henry’s is listed as a Nano Brewery, and recently updated their description page with the following: “Opening our taproom on October 9th at 6 PM. Howling Henry’s Brewery is crafting beer without rules, which causes our beers to be an nontraditional representations of their contemporaneity styles. Are you ready for a different take on traditional beer styles, then you should give Howling Henry’s a try? Our beers are not filtered, so we can offer as much flavor as possible. Tap room coming to Hummelstown soon; check my website out for details.” They have 11 Unique Beers listed, with a global average rating of 3.21 out of 3,825 ratings.
Their hours on their Facebook page for the taproom are listed as:
- MONDAY: CLOSED
- TUESDAY: CLOSED
- WEDNESDAY: 5:00PM – 10:00PM
- THURSDAY: 5:00PM – 10:00PM
- FRIDAY: 5:00PM – 10:00PM
- SATURDAY: 11:00AM – 6:00PM
- SUNDAY: CLOSED
They use the old Theo’s Attanasoff pizza warehouse to brew their beers in a corner of the building. The old Theo’s warehouse is located at the corner of Duke and 2nd Street in Hummelstown, and is now primarily used by Pnuma Outdoors. (You can see a map of the Howling Henry’s brewing location and taproom below). The brewing location is off limits to tourists though.
On their website you can read their backstory, which is:
My brewing story began after a department store wine kit was hauled off by the trashmen. Yes, a wine kit started my passion with brewing beer, and in time my business. I trashed the kit because I lacked knowledge in the process of wine-making, and more frighteningly, in how to clean and sanitize the equipment. The instructions emphasized sanitization, but the concern that I may get someone sick caused me to drop kick the kit into the waste can.
I then read a magazine article about home brewing. Who doesn’t like beer, right? This article made it clear that cleanliness is a very important part of the process, but as I read, I realized that I was overthinking it. I began to understand that all of debris needs to be removed from the brewing equipment, and then a sanitizer is added to the equipment to kill most of the bacteria, so that your pitched yeast has no competition when it infects your bitter wort. Simple! I am a simple guy, and I figured that I can do that.
I bought my first brewing kit: 5 gallon brew kettle, a 5 gallon carboy, and a 7 gallon food grade bucket. The recipe was a brown ale. It was good for a month or two, and then it started losing flavor. I came to realize that bottling introduces oxygen to the finished beer. Oxygen in finished beer after time will degrade that beer’s flavor.
After a year of making my own recipes my wife and I were seated at a local watering hole for lunch (the Wednesday before Thanksgiving). She said, “Why don’t you start a brewery?” To be honest it was in the back of my head, but I figured that thought would never become a conversion with my wife. So, I agreed with her, as a good husband would do. Although, at the time, neither of us really understood what we were getting ourselves into.
I started reading from a website devoted to the entire brewing process. With this knowledge, I began brewing beers around ingredients I knew a little brewery could access without to much hassle. Through this site I also learned of a movie made in the mid 90’s called ‘Frankenbrew’. This video showed me that one guy with some determination, out of the box thinking, and hard work could start a brewery without investors, a bank loan, or a truck load of cash. I then followed the movie’s suggestions on what to buy from the used dairy equipment market. This offset the price of starting a new brewery significantly, since I had already priced out a real brewery’s equipment prior to seeing the movie. I knew I could never come up with a million or so dollars myself, and I wanted this brewery to be mine. Yes, you read that correctly! I am the only owner, investor, employee, brewer, boss, maintenance guy, and janitor. I did it all with help from some wonderful family members and great friends when they had time to help. It is a wonderful feeling to know I only have me to answer to.
Years later, I had the stainless steel equipment needed. I found a space three blocks from my home. By this time, I realized that I needed a real brew kettle. Having well over 200 gallons of boiling wort would be very dangerous in anything less than a proven kettle, so I ordered and purchased a 10 bbl Bennett Forgeworks brew kettle. I then started getting the paperwork inked with both the Federal and State government agencies. Approvals took a lifetime, okay about 6 months (a lifetime for a guy with barely any budget).
Please check out the pictures of my equipment here (if you’re interested in seeing what my frankinbrew system looks like).Howling Henry’s Backstory.
So when in the Hummelstown area, be sure to check out the newest brewery – Howling Henry’s. Make sure you are in town during their hours (5PM-10PM on Wednesday through Friday and Saturday 11AM-6PM). The taproom is limited currently due to COVID restrictions, but its still a place to check out. Be sure to do so!
Be sure to check out our other articles on brewery openings:
- A Sneak Preview of Rubber Soul Brewing (Hummelstown)
- Midwest Coast Brewing Opens (Chicago)
- Grand Opening of Hemauer Brewing
- Rally Point – Cox Brewing Taproom Opens (Elizabethtown)
- Boneshire Brew Works to Open Second Taproom in Harrisburg (Harrisburg)
- Irv’s Pub Rebranded as Rotunda Brewing Pub (Hershey)
- Official BBQ (Pizza Boy Secondary Location) (Rutherford)
- Pilger Ruh Brewing Needs Your Help (Pottsville)
- Highway Manor Brewing Co. (Camp Hill)
- Grand Opening: Rubber Soul Brewing Company (Hummelstown)
- Tap Room Opening: Howling Henry’s Brewery (Hummelstown)
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Cheers everyone! Hopefully I’ll see you at Howling Henry’s. Its just a few blocks away and within walking distance, so I’ll be sure to be there a time or two. Cheers!