Traditional German-Style Brews Await at Gunpowder Falls Brewing

by Jennifer Waldera on Nov 10, 2015 in Beer

Always enthusiastic about trying new brews, we’ve been excited to see a slew of newcomers popping up at recent local beer festivals. However, we were particularly intrigued by one - Gunpowder Falls Brewing - that resides just over the Maryland line in tiny New Freedom, PA.

In fact, before Gunpowder Falls started showing up at the likes of Das Best Oktoberfest and Baltimore Beer Week events, we ran across them during a Sunday afternoon Google search of “breweries near me” while looking for a proper place to get our Sunday Funday on. A cursory glance at the details of the spot sealed the deal. They had us at Reinheitsgebot, and Gunpowder Falls would be the afternoon’s destination. 

A food law that boasts being the longest in history to remain in existence, Reinheitsgebot is a German purity code enacted in 1516 that allows only water, hops, malt (and eventually yeast) to be used in the production of beer. While brewing according to the code does not necessarily guarantee a higher quality end product, the adherence to Reinheitsgebot is a potential indicator of the presence of a skilled brewmaster at the helm of a brewery. In this case, that assumption was accurate.
 
Seated in the cozy tasting room with obvious regulars swilling beer and cooking sausages on the charcoal grill just outside the door, it took only a few minutes and a couple of sips to realize that we were in familiar company. While we hadn’t had the pleasure of personally meeting brewmaster Martin Virga previously, we were well acquainted with his beer from his time at Ellicott Mills Brewing company in the early 2000’s.
 
Trained in Munich, where he received his brewmaster certificate at Doemens Academy, Virga fine-tuned his skills in Germany before returning to the US and helping to open Capitol City Brewing Company. From there, he moved on to Ellicott Mills, in which he had a stake in ownership until 2004. There, his style of brewing drew loyal legions to the cozy brewpub in Ellicott City’s quaint historic district.
 
On our visit, only the Dunkel and Pilsner (fortunately, two of our favorites from Virga’s previous lineup at Ellicott Mills) were available, though there are four other varieties brewed onsite as well - Export Hell, Marzen, Schwarzbier, and Helles. Balanced and mild, the golden colored Pilsner (5% ABV) is clean and crisp. The lightly hopped Dunkel (5% ABV) is a smooth session beer that, while sporting a darker hue and warmer aroma, maintains the drinkability of a lighter beer.
 
Obviously, the attraction to the brewery is the beer itself, but the small spot boasts a hearty dose of character that will bring beer enthusiasts back as well. Jovial regulars and the amusingly snarky-at-times staff, as well as Martin himself, make the tasting room feel more like a buddy’s home bar. Walls are bedecked with flags and random decor, slow cookers are filled with the makings of beef tacos and pulled pork for purchase, and cigars are for sale to enjoy outside as well.
 
While we’d heartily recommend the quick ride up I-83 to spend an afternoon at Gunpowder Fall Brewing, it is possible to find some of their brews occasionally on tap at Canton Crossing Wine and Spirits, and at the Wine Source in Hampden. The brewery is open on Fridays from 4–8 PM and on Saturdays and Sundays from 1–7 PM.
 
Gunpowder Falls Brewing, 15556 Elm Dr., New Freedom, PA; 717-759-0330

Photos via Gunpowder Falls Brewing

Tags: Beer
Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
'World's Most Expensive' Vodka Bottle Stolen, Later Found Empty

'World's Most Expensive' Vodka Bottle Stolen, Later Found Empty

The bar world was shaken last week when a bottle of vodka, reportedly the most expensive in the world at $1.3 million, was stolen from Cafe 33, a bar ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jan 9, 2018
Hangover-Free Cannabis Wine Now Being Sold in California

Hangover-Free Cannabis Wine Now Being Sold in California

Rebel Coast Winery was ready for California's change in legislation, as their marijuana-infused sauvignon blanc hit the shelves as the clock struck mi...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jan 3, 2018
A New Study Shows that Wine Glasses Are Getting Bigger and Bigger

A New Study Shows that Wine Glasses Are Getting Bigger and Bigger

Good news for winos: a new study from the University of Cambridge says that the size of a standard wine glass is a full seven times larger than it was...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jan 3, 2018
SPONSORED
Visit Drink Baltimore on Your Phone
Hero Kiwis Built an Island in New Zealand For a New Year's Eve Party

Hero Kiwis Built an Island in New Zealand For a New Year's Eve Party

A group of New Zealanders in the town of Tairua on the Coromandel peninsula rang in the New Year in the best w...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jan 3, 2018
Head to These 2018 Winter Festivals & Events in Baltimore

Head to These 2018 Winter Festivals & Events in Baltimore

Winter brings all of the regular events that inspire imbibing - Superbowl, St. Patrick's Day, and, well, Valentine's Day. But there are plenty of othe...read more ›

by Jennifer Waldera Jan 3, 2018
Where to Ring in 2018 in Baltimore

Where to Ring in 2018 in Baltimore

From hotels to Power Plant to the Inner Harbor, there is no shortage of enormous NYE celebrations around Baltimore....read more ›

by Jennifer Waldera Dec 27, 2017
Behind the Bar: Jimmy Russell, Master Distiller of Wild Turkey for Over 63 Years

Behind the Bar: Jimmy Russell, Master Distiller of Wild Turkey for Over 63 Years

In this installment of Behind the Bar, The Drink Nation had the unique opportunity to chat with Jimmy Russell,...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Dec 20, 2017
These Baltimore Bars are Open on Christmas Day

These Baltimore Bars are Open on Christmas Day

Most bars around town will be open at some point (one of Charm City's most charming qualities, right?) but here are a few to rely on....read more ›

by Jennifer Waldera Dec 19, 2017
Warm Up With These Hot Drinks This Winter in Baltimore

Warm Up With These Hot Drinks This Winter in Baltimore

Cider, coffee, eggnog, and even butter have never had better boozy accompaniments than they've found in these Baltimore beverages that will help you g...read more ›

by Jennifer Waldera Dec 12, 2017
Bud Light Goes Medieval Over Minneapolis Brewery's 'Dilly Dilly' Beer

Bud Light Goes Medieval Over Minneapolis Brewery's 'Dilly Dilly' Beer

A town crier dressed in Medieval garb showed up at Modist Brewery in Minneapolis to deliver a very unconventio...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Dec 12, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close