NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP >> From the number of people who came out on Friday night, the family-owned Newtown Brewing Company appears to be an instant hit.
Located in the heart of the Newtown Business Commons on Penns Trail, the community’s first brewpub is being welcomed with open arms and plenty of excitement.
Speaking to BucksLocalNews.com just moments before opening their doors, owners Gregg and Sara Bonstein of Upper Makefield said they are eager to bring their top quality home brews to their community.
“Our goal is to create a warm and welcoming environment where everyone can enjoy top quality craft beer brewed right here in Newtown,” said Gregg.
Operating under the slogan, “Quality craft. Quality beer,” the taproom will feature a rotating selection of 10 beers and one cider. In addition, they will be selling a selection of wines from Crossing Vineyards in Washington Crossing.
“We will have 30 or 40 different styles that we will rotate throughout the year, including some seasonal selections. We’ll be keeping it fresh,” said Gregg. “We’ll also have new releases every couple of weeks.”
Beer styles include light lagers, dark lagers, Belgian/wheat beers, American/Session IPAs, New England juicy hazy IPAs, stouts, and experimental and seasonal selections.
Selections on opening night included Boho Pils, a rich pale lager using Bohemian Pilsner malts; California Common, an American West Coast original brewed as steam beer in the gold rush era; and Lemon Basil Saison with fresh basil leaves lending a vibrant pepperiness that blends perfect with the saison yeast.
Other selections included Sir Charles Ichabod Pumpkin Spice Cider; Chocolate Coffee Breakfast Stout (nitro); Mosaic Double IPA; New England IPA; Hefeweizen; and Session IPA.
Gregg, a chemical engineer by trade, and Sara, who brings a background in business to the new venture, said it was their dream to open the business in their own hometown.
For the past 10 years, when not working as a quality control manager for a chemical company in King of Prussia, Gregg has perfected his brewing skills learning all he could about the craft.
“Opportunity came and I ended up leaving my job and pursuing this a little more,” said Gregg. “I worked professionally at a couple breweries, including Triumph Brewery in New Hope and Blue Point in Harleysville. And then we had a discussion about doing something on our own.”
That’s when the idea of the Newtown Brewing Company was born.
“With his craft beer background and my business background, it was the perfect match,” said Sara, with Gregg handling the operations side and Sara taking care of the business end.
Half of the 5,000 square foot space is a public taproom with a bar, big screen TVs and tables and chairs. The other half is dedicated to manufacturing and warehousing with giant silver vats lining the walls.
“We have all of our brewing tanks here. We do all the brewing on site,” said Gregg. “Behind the taps, we have a walk-in cooler that has more tanks. So we’re actually serving the beer right out of the tanks so you get the beer fresh right from the tanks.
The taproom, with its high exposed ceiling and softer lighting, is designed specifically to accommodate large numbers of people and special events.
“We’re trying to make it a fun, local community taproom so we’ll have events, live music, trivia nights, open mic, movie nights - stuff for the kids and for the adults,” he said.
According to Gregg, the taproom has no kitchen, so patrons will need to bring their own food.
“We will be selling some snacks, but people can do take out or delivery. If you want to bring a pizza, you can do that,” he said. “We will also have food trucks that will park out back. And we will be rotating them from time to time.”
The community buzz about the opening has been off the charts, said Sara. “The community wanted and needed something like this. And we’re excited to finally be able to meet that need today.”
Following a ceremonial ribbon cutting organized by the Newtown Business Association (NBA), the couple officially opened the doors to their new business on Friday, Oct. 18.
Gerry Couch, who organized the ribbon cutting for the NBA, was joined at the event by NBA President Bill Sheffer and former NBA President Beverly Dimler.
“There’s obviously a demand for a beer on a Friday night,” said Couch marveling at the crowd. “It’s nice to see a young couple jump right in and invest in a local business. And they chose Newtown to do it in,” he said.
“I tried a glass of beer - and I’m not a beer drinker - but it tasted pretty good to me,” added Couch. “I think they’ll be successful.”
“This is awesome,” said Newtown Township Supervisor Kyle Davis, who also participated in the ribbon cutting. “Newtown needed a brewery. The space is great. The Bonstein’s are wonderful people. I think they’re going to do very well.”
“It’s a lot bigger than I thought from the outside,” added Newtown Township Supervisor John Mack. “I think it’s going to be really good for the people who work in the Commons area. And maybe it will be the start of a new trend to bring more food into the area for the many people who work here. I think they will do very well.”
Several local politicians also stopped by to wish the Bonstein’s well with their new venture.
“It’s a great space and I think it’s a terrific idea to let people bring food in and have a space to eat, try out the selection of craft beer, wine and cider and have a good time with friends and family,” said State Senator Steve Santarsiero. “In my district, we now have a number of different brewpubs and they are all terrific, making a great product. It’s great to have this new addition in Newtown.”
“The high exposed ceilings, the flooring, the large, airy space is conducive to relaxing and enjoying yourself,” noted State Rep. Perry Warren. “This is bringing another night out and entertainment option to Newtown. I think it will resonate well with residents. It’s another unique and imaginative business opening up here in Newtown.”
The Newtown Brewing Company is located at 103 Penns Trail in Newtown 18940. For more information, visit NewtownBrewingCo.com. Hours are 4 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, 3 to 11 p.m. on Friday, 12 to 11 p.m. on Saturday and 12 to 9 p.m. on Sunday. The Brewing Company is closed on Monday and Tuesday.