The first brewery to open in Reading, Pennsylvania in over six years has set its official grand opening date. On Friday, March 11, Oakbrook Brewing Company will be introduced to the public, situated in the former Oakbrook Fire Station on the southern end of Reading (in close proximity to Alvernia University and Angelica Creek Park).
Oakbrook Brewing Company is founded by Kyle Neuheimer, who worked diligently for over three years to make this brewery a reality and restore the historic property. “This building, when I walked into it for the first time, screamed brewpub!,” Neuheimer said. “When I started finding some of the history about it and some of the photos, I knew I wanted to be a part of that history and keep the building standing.”
Neuheimer is a practiced homebrewer who has completed courses at Siebel Institute and an internship at Colorado Boy Brewing Company. Colin Presby joins the Oakbrook Brewing Company, formerly of Golden Avalanche Brewing Company and Weyerbacher Brewing Company. Presby signed on primarily as a consultant, but following the grand opening, will transition to Oakbrook’s head brewer.
The Reading-based brewery is focused on traditional beer styles served in an unpretentious brewhall setting. Beer production takes place on a five-barrel brewhouse, as well as a state-of-the-art half-barrel pilot system. Additionally, there are two seven-barrel European white wine fermenters on-site.
The opening tap list includes Smokey the Dog Smoked Porter, Polly’s Pale Ale, 1938 Special and Angelica Golden Ale, plus a few experimental pilot batches. The goal is to have 6 to 8 flagship beers on tap at all times, aside from a variety of one-off seasonal beers.
Oakbrook Brewing is committed to being an active partner in the community. The menu highlights local food, sources ranging from Muddy’s BBQ from Oley to soft pretzels from Reading Hard and Soft Pretzel on Bell Alley. Additionally, Oakbrook will be developing relationships with local nonprofits to support a variety of community development projects.
“Firefighters have a history of fundraising for community projects by passing the boot for contributions,” Neuheimer said. “Rather than asking for contributions, we will be donating a set amount from each pint sold as directed by our customers. The specific mechanism of the voting is pretty neat!”
Following March 11’s grand opening, Oakbrook’s 45-seat brewhall will be open seven days a week, 3–11 p.m.