Hop’in Around: Raney Cellars opens Sept. 25

By on September 18, 2019

After six years in the brewing industry, it was time for Sean Raney to make a move. Lancaster County’s newest brewery will bear his name when it opens Wednesday, Sept. 25, at 4 p.m. at 11 Manor Ave., Millersville.

Raney took time away from last minute preparations  — all of which are in proper order  — prior to the grand opening to chat about his background and let us know what we can expect from Raney Cellars Brewing Company.

“We are really looking forward to opening in this community. The people have welcomed us with open arms,” said Raney. “We are excited about being here long term.”

Originally from Austin, Texas, Raney’s homebrewing led him to a brewing internship at Bonfire Brewing in Colorado.

“I worked my way up to right under head brewer there,” said Raney.

Sarah, his wife and now co-owner of Raney Cellars, was originally from Mount Joy, so the couple decided to move back to Lancaster County a little more than three years ago. He immediately connected with Francisco Ramirez at Mad Chef Craft Brewing in East Pete and came on board as a brewer.

“I was reaching out to some places. Francisco (Ramirez) and I were a good fit. In Colorado, I did some work at a production brewery, like Victory and Tröegs. I definitely wanted to do some stuff on a smaller scale where I could be a little more experimental,” said Raney. “Having our own brewery was always in the cards. My wife and I always wanted to be entrepreneurs.”

Raney has dedicated a lot of time to developing the new brewery’s flagship beer, a kolsch, which will be served in the traditional drinking vessel for the style: a stange. The stange is a perfect cylinder and like the bottom-fermented beer (and members of Sarah Raney’s family) hails from the Cologne region of Germany.

Raney Cellars, opening Sept. 25 at 11 Manor Ave., Millersville, has a catacomb-like area beneath the brewery for barrel aging that helped inspire their name. Co-owner Sean Raney calls the Kolsch (pictured) a simple style with a lot of complexity, and the traditional German beer will be the flagship offering at Raney Cellars’ opening.

Raney Cellars will offer a rotating selection of IPAs, seasonal brews, and sours. For opening day Raney expects to tap the Kolsch, a west coast session IPA, a New England Pale Ale, a fruited NEIPA, a blueberry/raspberry sour, and a porter. In the future, Raney will take full advantage of a catacomb-like area underneath the brewery for barrel aging.

“We really want to focus on the barrel aging; thus the name Raney Cellars. We know it will take a while to get going,” said Raney, who will fill a niche not heavily occupied by brewers in this area.

Raney Cellars is a taproom; there is no kitchen. But, the forward thinking Raney has signed on with the folks from Buzz food truck.

“This will be his permanent home,” said Raney, who explained take-in food is also welcome when Buzz is about town on other jobs. “We want to focus on making beer and not running a restaurant.”

Raney Cellars hours will be: closed Monday and Tuesday; Wednesday and Thursday 4 to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday noon to 11 p.m.; and Sunday noon to 8 p.m. Follow their progress at facebook.com/raneycellarsbrewing.

Cheers and thanks for reading!

Michael C. Upton is a freelance writer specializing in arts and leisure. He welcomes comments at somepromcu@gmail.com and facebook.com/SomebodiesProductions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *