In the run up to opening Iron Hill’s ninth location in Chestnut Hill earlier this week, Head Brewer Paul Rutherford’s top priorities were to work out any possible kinks in the brewery’s brand new brewing systems, and making enough the restaurant chain’s five flagship beers to meet the demands of thirsty masses anxiously awaiting the brewpub’s debut. Now with it open and firing on all pistons, Rutherford can turn his attention to crafting his own specialty brews to compliment the brewery and restaurant’s lineup. “Up until now, I’ve been mostly focused on making beers that would be ready for the opening,” Rutherford tells Grub Street. “Now that I have some more time on my hands, you’re going to see a greater diversity of beers styles.”
For the opening, Iron Hill had its house beers — Light Lager, Ironbound Pale Ale, Pig Iron Porter, Raspberry Wheat and Vienna Red — on tap, as well as a Belgian Pale Ale and Kamikaze IPA, a golden ale with a bold hop character produced by dry-hopping with Sorachi Ace hops.
Prior to taking the helm of the Chestnut Hill location, Rutherford headed the brewing side of things at Iron Hill’s restaurant in Lancaster, where he says he always tried to keep some sort of a hoppy beer — like an India Pale Ale or other aggressively hopped ale — on tap at all times. Next week he plans to replace the Kamikaze IPA with Big Red Wibby, an imperial amber ale brewed with copious amounts of Cascade, Amarillo and Centennial hops. Other brews he currently has in the tanks include a Dortmunder Export style lager, a Russian imperial stout, and Costanza, a rye amber beer aged on caraway seeds, and, obviously, named after the Seinfeld character. Going forward he expects to have Oompa Loompa, a chocolate stout, ready for Valentines Day, and plans to brew a coffee porter with beans procured from local roaster Chestnut Hill Co.