Moo-Duck Brewery seems to have figured out how to make Harrisburg Beer Week pay off.
“This is our biggest turnout we’ve had yet,” said Mike Brubaker, who owns the brewery near Elizabethtown’s train station with his wife, Kristen.
In previous years, Moo-Duck would just release a new beer during Beer Week. This year, the taproom opened on Wednesday, April 26 — a day of the week when it is normally closed — and served beers made by guest brewers especially for the occasion. A big crowd turned out and most of the kegs were sold out by the end of the night.
“I think it was the idea of being able to try unique beer that one night only,” Brubaker said. Many of the guest brewers brought friends and family along to try their beers. The guest brewers were employees of the brewery and regular customers who showed an interest.
It worked well, so Brubaker said he plans to do it again next year.
“That’s going to be our new Harrisburg Beer Week tradition — collaboration night,” Brubaker said.
Meanwhile, Funk Brewing in Elizabethtown’s central business district did a different ckind of collaboration. Funk’s head brewer in Elizabethtown, Ryan Mock, talked with Tim Kreider, the head brewer at Cox Brewing in Rheems. They decided to make the same style of beer and serve both their own version and the other brewery’s version to customers. They picked wheat beer as a play on words, Funk owner Jon “Norm” Norman said; they called it “Harrisburg Beer Wheat” because it sounds similar to Harrisburg Beer Week.
“It was a lot of fun,” Norman said.
And Norman said he does not see other breweries in town as a threat.
“There’s a lot of good places to eat and drink in Elizabethtown, but there’s not enough for the population,” Norman said.