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Wacker Brewing Company goes way back to 1853. This historical brewery was a major part of Lancaster’s pre-prohibition heyday, when the City accounted for just about 10% of all beer consumed in the United States, and was considered the “Munich of the States.”
After more than a century building a reputation as a beloved Lancaster beer, Wacker closed in 1956. It remained a fond memory to Wacker drinkers for decades, until 2014. That’s when Bryan Kepner, a chemical engineer, serial entrepreneur, and local restaurateur who grew up in Lancaster’s beer business, decided it was time to revive that memory.
Bryan reopened Wacker Brewing in 2014 at its current Grant Street location at a time when the industry had begun to experience a resurgence. The idea was to tell a beloved local story, with a fresh spin. For Bryan, the story is personal: His great grandfather worked for Wacker as a delivery man and his father owned a beer distributor in Lancaster, where he scored his first job. For Bryan, running a brewery may have always been a dream, but the day to day isn’t as dreamy as you might think. A typical day is spent cleaning, cleaning, and then cleaning some more. Because brewing beer is a biological process, sanitization is important to preserving the perfect finished product. For a trained chemical engineer like Bryan, it’s even more important.
“The beer industry is a huge part of our history here in Lancaster,” says Bryan. “And our intention is to remind the community of what brewing means to us, not just today but for the past 150 years or so.”
Visitors can experience the classic Wacker beer, which is preserved in the Bohemian Pilsner, German Pale Ale, and Little Dutch beers, and explore a rotating list of specialty brews like fan-favorite Oatmeal Stout.
“The challenge for us is straddling that line, staying true and authentic to Wacker’s historical legacy as an industrial, blue-collar beer but also fitting into the current microbrew scene and satisfying those flavor seekers who are looking for exciting new beers.”
Committed to their profession and to their community, BSSF is proud to support Lancaster County breweries, small and large, who are shaping the impact that the craft beverage industry has on the future of this county. BSSF is your highly skilled partner for accounting, tax, and business advisory needs.