We will meet in Lancaster's historic Penn Square and proceed on an exploratory experience of our city and it's' rich, and often forgotten, brewing history. You will experience the interwoven and fascinating connections of 19th century German Brewers to the history of Lancaster. Often described as the Munich of the U.S., Lancaster at times produced as much as 20% of the nation's beer. Through intriguing stories and insights you will learn how industry, architecture, arts, and culture enjoy a rich and symbiotic relationship with Lager Beer. You’ll visit catacombs and resurrected breweries, the unlikely industrial site that drove German immigration, the original saloon of one of the most prominent breweries of the time, and the literal end of the line for prohibition trickery – all with compelling tales that tie past to present. And just to make it interesting, we will be sampling original recipe's of our heritage breweries along the way!
I have lived in this historic community for 47 years, attending high school and college here, and running multiple entrepreneurial ventures. I studied local history extensively both in school and after, and have a lifelong curiosity for exploring it as a way of understanding and informing the present. I would consider myself a well qualified, amateur local historian. I am also no slouch as a beer aficionado. Over time, I have cultivated many local contacts that give me unusual access to fascinating historical brewery venues with links from the past to the present.
Water will be provided and two separate tastings at taproom stops are included in the price.
Lancaster's historic downtown. Site of former Conestoga Steam Cotton Mills. 19th century factory Catacombs at Sprenger Excelsior Brewery - restricted access. Rieker Bottle Works - on the site of the former Reiker Brewery - restored historic building. 2nd Gear Taproom - Brewmaster is direct descendant of Rieker brewer. Wacker Brewing Company - re-established brewer dating from 1850's
This is a walking experience with multiple stops and the opportunity to rest. Guests should be able to walk 2.5 miles at a leisurely pace. If special accommodations are needed, please ask.
Explore living history of breweries