Meet SBC Brewsmiths’ new brewmaster

By on February 1, 2017

SBC Brewsmiths has a new head brewer, Brett Kintzer joined the brewery earlier this month.

Located on the grounds of Mount Hope Estate, 2775 Lebanon Road, Manheim, SBC Brewsmiths was established in 2015 to brew quality beers for the co-op of Swashbuckler Brewing Company, Rumspringa Brewing Company, and Divine Swine Brewing Company. Driven by the love of beer, brewing and community, SBC Brewsmiths continues the Swashbuckler tradition to “Live Free, Dine Well, and Drink Good Ale.”

As head brewer, Kintzer will brew craft beer for the co-op; the brews will also be available at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, as well as other festivals and events held on Mount Hope Estate.

He brings over 21 years of brewing experience, gained through his tenure with Stoudts Brewing Company, to SBC. Through two decades of brewing, his beers have earned recognition through the World Beer Cup Awards and the Great American Beer Festival.

“The hope is that Brett will add much needed experience to the brewery and winery aspects of our company as we continue to grow as an overall destination for year round visitors,” said Scott Bowser, CEO of Mazza Vineyards Inc., the parent company of SBC Brewsmiths and Mount Hope Winery.

Kintzer explained that what appeals to him about SBC Brewsmiths is the potential that the craft brewery has.

“I look forward to helping the company reach that potential,” he said.’

 

SBC Brewsmiths’ new head brewer, Brett Kintzer. (Photo by Rochelle Shenk)

SBC Brewsmiths’ new head brewer, Brett Kintzer. (Photo by Rochelle Shenk)

 

He’s been on the job a little over the week and he’s used that time to assess the current brewery and packaging operation. He’s planning to make minor changes to make it more efficient and to improve quality. And, he may make a few minor tweaks to the recipes for the beer. He did his first brew for SBC on Jan. 18.

“I’m glad I came onboard at this time,” he said. “It’s a little bit slower here over winter. I’ll have time to get to know the system here, which is a bit different than what we used at Stoudts. I want to be ready when the Festival season starts here in April.”

He added that he will work closely with assistant head brewer Jared Highfield in crafting beer at the 5,600-square-foot brewery. The facility houses not only the brewing operation, but also a tasting bar and outdoor deck.

Kintzer discovered an interest in the brewing process in 1993 while working in the packaging department at Stoudts. Through expressing that interest and being self-motivated to learn more about the brewing process, he was selected as the assistant brewer a year later. After a decade in that position, he was named co-head brewer, and three years later, became Stoudts head brewer.

If pressed to name his favorite style, Kintzer would select delicate lagers, knowing that they show more about the brewing process than heavy stouts or more hoppy styles.

“The thing is to be in touch with the consumers. We serve not only the beer ‘geek’ but also the person looking for a good hand-crafted beer,” he explained. “Because of the eclectic mix of people who visit our festivals and the co-op’s tasting rooms, we need to have a wide range of styles. I may focus on ales but will have a few lagers.”

 

Changes are brewing…

Although his main focus at SBC will be brewing craft beer and packaging of that beer, he will also work with Mount Hope winemaker Shelby Hoffa to craft hard cider for Lancaster County Cider. Also under the umbrella of Mazza Vineyards, Lancaster County Cider produces hard cider using apples sourced from the region. A hard cider was initially produced in August 2015. In September, Lancaster County Cider inked a distribution agreement with Kirchner Beverage.

The cider is currently fermented at a production facility at the former home of Tamanend Winery at 759 Flory Mill Road, then finished at a facility on the grounds of Mount Hope Estate & Winery. Construction is currently underway to repurpose a historic barn adjacent to SBC Brewsmiths to house Mount Hope Winery’s operation. The barn, which was originally constructed in the 1800s and rebuilt in 1908 after a fire, has 9,200 square feet of space on the first floor and 3,000 square feet of space on the second floor. Kintzer said that the packaging operation will take up about 600 square feet of space in the new building.

Candace Smith, director of sales and communications for Mount Hope Estate & Winery and the Pennsylvania Renaissance Fair, said that future projects may include replanting grapes and an orchard for apples and other fruit on the former Shimer Landscaping property, which was purchased in March 2016. A bee-keeping operation is being eyed to provide honey for mead and cider as well as provide crop pollination. The 20-acre tract is just south of Mount Hope Estate across Mountain Road. Smith said that planting grapes on this property would mark the first time that grapes have been grown on Mount Hope land since 1980.

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at RAASHENK@aol.com.

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