20 November 2011

Lion Brewery – Hook & Ladder Ember Amber

imageI don’t know much about this specific beer, but it looks like our very own Lion Brewery will be contract brewing Hook & Ladder Brewing’s Ember Amber Ale. No real details yet so stay tuned.

24 October 2011

Liebotschaner CANS & Stegmaier IPA !

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We were the first to show off the Liebotschaner Cream Ale release from Lion back in July (here’s the bottle label)…so it’s fun to see the 16oz CAN label for Liebotschaner.  Looks like we’ll see this GABF winning brew in 12oz bottles & 16oz cans.  We also brought you 12oz Stegmaier cans back in April (Here’s the label), so it was also exciting to see Stegmaier IPA in 16oz bottles approved today!  Can’t wait to try them both in person!

19 September 2011

WILK Friday BeerBuzz–16 Sept 2011 (Stegmaier Pumpkin Ale w/Leo Orlandini)

WILKFridayBeerbuzz3I’ll admit it was hard to postpone last weeks Friday BeerBuzz, but given the magnitude of the flooding in our area, it was an easy decision.  With so many friends and neighbors in harm’s way, it was the right thing to do. 

To make up for last week I thought we’d do a special show today.  I’m always happy when I can feature a local beer, from our local brewery and welcome the master brewer himself into the studio to sample it with us….and today we made that happen.  Joining us to sample the new Stegmaier Pumpkin Ale was our very own Lion Brewery master brewer Leo Orlandini.  Leo has been with us before to feature Oktoberfest, and we’ve also had a great time featuring Stegmaier Summer Stock & Holiday Warmer, but it was especially exciting today to feature a brand new beer in the Stegmaier lineup.

imagePumpkin Ale was added to the latest lineup of Stegmaier Seasonal beers, and for me it also carries the distinction of being the first Stegmaier brew to carry the new label design that I’ve held in my hand.  Recently the Lion Brewery did an overhaul on all of their Stegmaier labels, so I can honestly say it was fun to see one in person, and I think they look great.

FridayBeerBuzzLeoOrlandini16Sept 2011Pumpkin Ale is a 5.5% fall beer, and it has a great subtle combination of pumpkin & spiced flavor.  I like the balance Leo found in this brew between the distinct fall flavors you’d expect in a traditional fall beer and the subtle flavors that make it very drinkable.  Not too much pumpkin, not too much fall spices, and just the right amount of flavor and body to carry you into cooler temperatures.

Thank you

to Leo Orlandini from Lion Brewery, Nancy, John, Joe, and Bosco for yet another fun Friday. 

The Friday BeerBuzz…bringing good beers and good people together

As always you can check out the video on-line at the WILK Friday BeerBuzz page by clicking HERE.

17 August 2011

Lion Brewery–FIX 1864 Special Lager

Here’s your first look at a new contract brew from our friends at Lion Brewery called FIX 1864 Special lager…”Traditional Beer of Greece (yes Greece) Since 1864 – "The Beer that Became a Legend.  Fix the national beer of Greece, is now brewed under a special license by one of North America’s most honored regional brewers….FIX U.S.A., Wilkes-Barre, PA”

04 August 2011

Lion Brewery Stegmaier Winter Warmer

We’ve been bringing you all of the new Lion Brewery Simagetegmaier Labels (clicky here)…and today we have the new Winter Warmer label.  Looks like it will remain at 7.8% ABV and be packaged in 12oz bottles.

03 August 2011

Stegmaier Brewing River Regatta - 1970

Thank you to Stashu Milski for sending another great photo.  Today we have a photo from the first annual river regatta sponsored by Stegmaier Brewing, Sunday May 3rd 1970….Under the direction of the Business Administration Club of Kings College. Start West Pittston PA. End Nesbitt Park Kingston,PA.

OK buzzers….who can put some names on some faces in this photo???

31 July 2011

Lion Brewery–Stegmaier Gold Medal NEW

Here’s the new packaging for Lion Brewery’s Stegmaier Gold imageMedal 12oz bottle.  This is another in the line of new packaging we brought you already

(IPA and Amber HERE, pumpkin HERE and even Liebotschaner HERE)…and today the tradition continues for this 4.3% brew.

24 July 2011

Lion Brewery–LIEBOTSCHANER Cream Ale!

I reported it back in 2009 and since that time you have asked (and asked…and asked…and asked….) and Lion Brewery appears to have finally answered.   I’m excited to show off the NEW packaging for the new Lion Brewery Liebotschaner Cream Ale.  This 12oz bottle label carries the same shape as the updated Stegmaier line of brews, a “product of American brewing” tagline and the 1994-95 and 1995-96 GABF Gold medals (American Lager / Cream Ale category).  Lion was also nice enough to include the 5% ABV, 12.5 O.G and even 14 IBU descriptors as well.  Welcome back Liebotschaner!!

22 June 2011

Stegmaier–Pale Ale New Label

We’ve been showing off the new Packaging for the Lion Brewery Stegmaier packaging…Here, Here and even Here.  And today we have the new 12oz bottle package for Stegmaier Pale Ale (4.3% ABV).

12 June 2011

Stegmaier Pumpkin Ale…and Many More…

imageLooks like today’s approval may confirm the upcoming fall release of Stegmaier Pumpkin Ale from our friends at Lion Brewery.  We showed off the Bottle packaging back in May, so today’s keg packaging confirms we’re likely to see a seasonal release.  It’s also worth noting that Stegmaier also received keg approval today for Summer Stock, Oktoberfest, Porter, Winter Warmer, Pale Ale, IPA, Belgian White, Gold and Amber Lager.

25 May 2011

Lion Brewery Stegmaier–NEW Pumpkin Ale !


I’m excited to be the first to show you the new packaging for Lion Brewery Stegmaier Pumpkin Ale (ale brewed with pumpkin and spices)…the first new brew to come out of the Stegmaier line in over a year.  We’ve been showing you the new Stegmaier packaging, but this is an actual new beer.  Looks like it will be packaged in 12oz bottles and come in at 5.5% ABV.

21 May 2011

Lion Brewery–Stegmaier Oktoberfest 2011

here’s your first look at the new Lion Brewery Stegmaier Oktoberfest packaging for 2011.  I brought you the IPA & Amber and White Ale…so why not show off the new Stegmaier Brewing Oktoberfest packaging.  Yep it’s still a 12oz bottle and 6.1% ABV (with a pretzel)…and here’s the neck label too.

19 May 2011

Stegmaier–White Ale New Packaging


We brought you the new packaging for Stegmaier IPA and Amber from Lion Brewery…so today it’s exciting to see the new/retro packaging for Stegmaier White Ale.  This package follows the same theme as the previous releases (except for the refreshing orange image) and like the others will be a 12oz bottle package (5% ABV).  This should also squelch any rumors that White Ale was being dropped from the lineup.

05 May 2011

Lion Brewery–Stegmaier NEW Packaging IPA and Amber Lager

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We were the first to show off the new can design for Stegmaier IPA…and at first I concluded it was only a radical change in the packaging that would be used on the specialty cans.  Today we see approvals for 12oz bottles for Stegmaier IPA and Stegmaier Amber Lager.  This new design uses a wood plank backing with the traditional and historical Stegmaier Brewing Company initials logo (SBC) with the tagline “Brewed in the Honorable Tradition of Charles Stegmaier.”  Since the Lion Brewery recently re-designed all of it’s Stegmaier Packaging this was initially a surprise, however I can say there was some dissatisfaction at how recognizable the former packaging was.  At 6.7% ABV for the IPA and 5.2% ABV for the Amber Lager, these appear to be the same recipes for these brews.

21 April 2011

Lion Brewery–Stegmaier IPA NEW CAN Packaging

With all of the new packaging Lion Brewery just completed for their Stegmaier Line (Summer Stock, IPA, Pale Ale, Oktoberfest, Winter Warmer…) it was a huge surprise to see this new label approval for Stegmaier IPA with radically different can packaging.  This 12oz label carries the tag “Brewed in the honorable tradition of Charles Stegmaier” and the original Stegmaier initials logo.  “When the Lion acquired the Stegmaier family of brews in 1974, we vowed to continue the rich brewing tradition started by Charles Stegmaier.  Each of our lagers and ales are brewed in small batches with the finest hops and malts available to guarantee the highest quality and freshness.  These original recipes were especially created to deliver a fuller flavor than ordinary beers.  This a proud brewing history dating back to 1905, you can taste the difference that a century of brewing experience can make!” 

15 March 2011

Lion Brewery - Lionshead IPA?

imageHere’s an interesting and confusing packaging approval from this morning.  This is the keg packaging for something called Lionshead IPA.  The ABV certainly matches up to their regular Stegmaier IPA so I’m not sure what the Lionshead designation is doing on the packaging, but stay tuned for further details.

15 February 2011

Lion Brewery Hiring Brewing Manager!

LionBreweryLogoJOB TITLE: Brewing Manager
Regional Brewery in Northeastern Pennsylvania is searching for a Brewing Manager. Salary is commensurate with experience. A competitive benefit package is included.

•Individual will report directly to the Director of Brewing Operations.
•Responsible for managing a 500,000 barrel per year operation, producing alcoholic and non-alcoholic malt products, as well as brewed soft drinks and non-brewed soft drinks.
•Manage a team of 4 brewing supervisors, in addition to a staff of 22 union brew house personnel.
•Responsible for consistently producing the highest quality products in the most efficient manner possible.
•This position is not a hands-on position. This individual will not be brewing.
•Responsible for reducing losses and increasing throughput.
•Responsible for overseeing all TTB paperwork.
•Strong attention to detail with a high level of organization working in a fast paced environment.
•Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
•Experience in Microsoft Office with some knowledge of spreadsheets and database management.
•Knowledge of GMPs (Good Manufacturing Practices) and quality assurance requirements.
College degree preferred.
High School Diploma / GED required.
To apply for this position, or for more detail on the role, please email: info@lionbrewery.com.

07 February 2011

Lion Brewery–70 New Employees $15M Expansion

From the Citizens Voice:

WILKES-BARRE - Inside the Lion Brewery, workers bustle around new equipment that has created more than 70 jobs over the last 18 months.

The Lion Brewery, one of the oldest breweries in Pennsylvania, has undergone a $15 million expansion and now has a new can production line and an automated racking system, which cleans and fills half-kegs of beer.

Cliff Risell, president and CEO of the Lion Brewery, Brewmaster Leo Orlandini and Tom Farina, senior vice president of sales and marketing, recently led a tour of the new equipment at the 106-year-old brewery on North Pennsylvania Avenue. The state, Luzerne County and the City of Wilkes-Barre assisted with funding the $15 million expansion, Risell said.

The state-of-the-art racking system cleans and fills 40 to 60 half-kegs of beer an hour. The new line produces about 800 16-ounce cans a minute and about 1,100 12-ounce cans a minute and packages them.

"We felt there was a large opportunity to get into the can business," Risell said. "A lot of our customers were asking for cans. We also needed to upgrade our racking system."

Risell and a group of investors purchased the Lion Brewery in November 2007. Together, they have facilitated the brewery's growth without sacrificing any of its work force, which consists of about 175 people. They have focused on restoring the roar of Lionshead and Stegmaier beer brands. They also pack for a number of customers, including other beer brands and soda.

"We thought it was a great opportunity for this area of the country, Northeastern Pennsylvania, to expand and to run a business and obviously, make a decent business return," Risell said. "That was the worst of times when the economy went south, but we stuck it out and we weathered the storm for the last couple years and we made a strategic decision that we were going to invest in our business."

When Risell and investors purchased the Lion Brewery in 2007, it had two bottle lines. Since then, the investment in new equipment has grown business by about 20 percent, Risell said.

"We've added a significant number of large customers on a national basis. Our business has grown quite well," Risell said. "At the same time, we've been able to maintain our profitability and we've also added jobs."

The 70 to 75 jobs added thanks to the investments have included supervisors, managers, brewers, bottlers, mechanics, forklift operators and quality control staff.

"Since Cliff took over, it has been magnificent what they're doing," said union President Clarence Gallagher. "They're hiring people. Before, they were laying off people."

The Lion Brewery is the only remaining brewery in Luzerne County and the second largest in the state after Yuengling.

Farina has assisted in the growth by expanding territory where brewery sells its products to 17 states. In 2007, its brands were sold only in Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and New York. Working with Scranton-based distributor LT Verrastro President Pat Verrastro, Farina also has assisted in expanding the Lion Brewery's brands to more bars and restaurants throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania as well.

The Lion Brewery got into the craft brewing business about a year ago and decided to revamp its Stegmaier brand, keeping the traditional Gold Medal label that has been around since 1857.

"We're going to continue focusing on the craft side because the craft side of this industry is where it's at today," Farina said.

The Lion Brewery bought the Stegmaier name in 1974. About a year ago, Risell said he and other officials at the Lion Brewery decided "we're going to make Stegmaier work or we won't have Stegmaier."

"Since that time, with Leo's help and Tom's help, we have fixed that brand from a quality standpoint and a recipe standpoint," Risell said. "With Tom's selling and marketing, we have had tremendous growth."

Among the other growth at the Lion Brewery, its offices have moved to Laird Street in Wilkes-Barre.

"We continue to invest every year in our business," Risell said. "We're investing in our brewhouse to make us more efficient and capable. We buy new cleaning equipment every year, including trucks and forklifts. We're spending a significant amount of money every year to make our business better. Our business is growing. Our customers are demanding more and we're spending more."