Update: Tattered Flag is now open 5-8:30 p.m. Thursdays; 4-9 p.m. Fridays; and 12-9 p.m. Saturdays. Also currently serving cocktails using local spirits from Midstate Distillery and Spirits of Gettysburg.
I first met Pat — one of the four partners at Tattered Flag Brewery and Still Works — during the inaugural Harrisburg Beer Week. Naturally, I was excited about his news to open the first brewery and distillery combo in Pennsylvania, and at the time, he didn’t even know where yet. He and I have kept in touch — and I’ve met the rest of the crew — and I’m pleased to make the formal announcement of Tattered Flag’s public opening, tomorrow, Saturday, July 9 from noon to 8 p.m.
After planning for two years the nerves have gone away, and all that remains for the brewers and owners of Tattered Flag Brewery and Still Works is the anticipation and excitement to finally open the doors to their community this weekend.
The four partners, two brewers and head chef are not the only ones who can barely contain their excitement. For weeks, they’ve been hearing about people treating their opening like a Star Wars premier with a line forming early in the morning. No lightsabers, but maybe a brew paddle or two. (<– Intern Jimi humor)
Although the whole building will not be open for another month the first floor taproom will give craft beer fans just a taste of what’s to come in the not so distant future.
What you need to know
At opening, only the first floor will be open. Capacity is 109 people.
For about the first month, Tattered Flag will only be open on Friday evenings from 4-9 p.m.* and Saturdays from noon to 8 p.m.. They’ll open with a solid number of beers, but in limited quantities. By the end of next week, however, they should begin brewing on their 10 bbl system, which will ramp up production in time for the second floor opening in late August. At that point, they plan to be open Wednesday through Sunday but do expect that demand will likely push them to a seven day a week schedule at some point.
*Updated 7/20/16! Now also open Friday evenings!
Opening beers include:
The Still Works side of things (look at that gorgeous still) isn’t up yet, but in a few weeks they’ll begin offering a white rye whiskey and a vodka. However, much is planned for the future. The good news is, Pennsylvania’s reformed liquor law now allows Tattered Flag to sell both items at the same place, so you don’t have to worry about ordering your liquor at a specially licensed portion of the brewpub, which you would have had to do previously.
Food is available. Chef Larry Nauman, formerly of Irv’s Pub in Hershey, is running the kitchen and will start with a limited menu, including starters like bbq nachos, local smoked sausage and cheese plate, pickled wild shrimp with grilled watermelon and cucumber; a daily chef’s soup and a handful of salads; plus hearty sandwiches from grilled cheese to an updated reuben. If this is the starter menu, I can’t wait for the full thing.
Tattered Flag offers a multi-tiered mug club program. Choose from Standard or Elite membership and score merch, invitations to special events, discounts on food, and more.
Merchandise, including hats, hoodies and t-shirts, will be available for sale.
“As a veteran owned and operated business, the focus is simple – to give back to the communities around us while providing a one-of-a-kind experience.”
Tattered Flag will be the second brewery to open in Middletown and the first to open up in town. The space is a brewery-perfect spot with an old history, plenty of room for the necessary equipment as well as room to expand.
After searching for spots throughout the area they finally decided on the old Elks Lodge on Union Street. The look, feel and size of the building make it look like it was always meant to house a brewhouse and distillery. Further, the completion coincided with a major facelift of downtown Middletown, including granite sidewalks and streetscape enhancements.
Word is, Middletown also will soon be renovating their train station (which is within walking distance!), so I’m already prepping those “Brewery Trip by Train” itineraries for you. Stay tuned.
From the street, you can peer down into the brewhouse where fermenters are stacked two rows high and the 10 bbl system will allow the brewery to produce a high amount of beer early on. You’ll also be able to spy the brewing process from a cutaway on the first floor that looks down into the brewery.
Tattered Flag also has its own mini canning line, which will almost make them able to do custom canning orders — but in the meantime, it’ll get their brews on store shelves or to go from the brewpub.
The second floor, which should be finished by the end of August, will feature a large dining area with a sizable bar and an open kitchen, plus a Penn State-themed game room and private event space. Tattered Flag will launch a full food menu upon its completion (see below for what it’ll look like).
Tattered Flag’s owners had some brewing experience, but they knew if they wanted to make their dream a reality, they needed guys who knew what they were doing. Their search landed them on two local brewers who come from different backgrounds.
Brewers Tony Schneider and Dave Morrow both started as homebrewers. Tony went on to brew professionally at Appalachian Brewing Company and Battlefield Brew Works, while Dave honed his craft to become one of the most renowned homebrewers in our area.
Not only did the partners allow the brewers time to perfect their craft, they also sent them on trips to the brewing capitals of our nation to gain experience some of the best. Both guys have been to Vermont, California and Colorado to learn and apprentice with top breweries.
Until their 10-barrel brewhouse is completely installed, which should be shortly (like end of next week), they will brew around the clock on a one-barrel system to keep the beer flowing in the taproom.
Once they are able to transition to the larger system they will use the one-barrel system for small batch specialties, plus offer a “brew your own” experience for customers who want to create their own beer. And hey, if it’s good enough, it might even end up on tap upstairs.
Tony and Dave do not seem to be afraid to experiment. With beers like Manghost (Mango and ghost pepper IPA), Hibiscus Gose plus classics like TMI IPA and their new Brexit English Pale Ale will appeal to a wide variety of craft beer drinkers.
Tattered Flag will feature six Flagship beers, a couple seasonals and a growing and rotating selection of specialty brews.
Jimi and I have sampled a few — and you may have, too — like their TMI IPA at the Beer Tasting at the Mansion event this past spring. Or maybe you were lucky enough to score some of that Manghost at Harrisburg Beer Week’s Little Big Beer Fest — or any of the other brewfests Tattered Flag participated in recently (some of which scored them some early awards!).
Dave shares a penchant for spicy beers (along with me and Jimi), and I’m excited to see what else they come up with (like that Black IPA with peppers he mentioned — Want.).
Flights will be available — 4 5-oz pours. Price TBD.
Both brewers serve as associate/assistant distillers to Pat Devlin, who will be head distiller. The still is in! And so are the barrels.
Like the beer, they’ll eventually offer flagships, seasonals and specialty liquors and liqueurs, including a gin and amaros <– I am super excited about this.
Flights will be available.
Upon opening of the second floor, Chef Nauman will launch his full menu.
Snack & Starters will include items like IPA Fries, Vodka Steamed Mussels, Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip and Crispy Pig Wings.
Try sandwiches like the Union Street Burger, Fancy Burger, Portabella Melt and more.
For Supper, choose from Bucatini Pasta, Fish & Chips, Crispy Skin Salmon, Flat Iron Steak or Chicken Schnitzel.
And, one can’t forget dessert, especially when it looks like this: “Cookies & Beer,” which will feature either real beer or a root beer float alongside peanut butter cookies (omg mouth watering), Brewery Brownie Sundae or Summer Berry Shortcake.
Stay tuned for more information, as well as details on a Happy Hour with SaraBozich.com for Feel Your Boobies we have planned for Aug. 10 at Tattered Flag Brewery & Still Works.
*Intern Jimi contributed to this story.