written by John Henry Scott
This spring heralds the arrival of Root Down Brewing, the latest addition to Phoenixville’s bustling brewery community which currently includes Iron Hill, Stable 12, and Sly Fox. Root Down will be located at 1 N. Main St, an old warehouse historically significant to the area. 1 N. Main was constructed in 1910 and was originally the Savoy Theater. Later in the building’s life, it became a manufacturing plant for Hire’s Root Beer and Orange Crush.
“Because of the great history the building as a landmark of Phoenixville, we made it our mission to keep the inside original and reuse all the original wood and steel to build our tap house,” said Mike Hamara, co-owner of Root Down.
Root Down will be brewing on a 17bbl brew house from Simplified Stainless Solutions. Hamara plans to brew with a balance of traditional and contemporary styles. Brewers will include Harama and Steve Bischoff, formerly of Sly Fox. Harama’s brewing experience comes from Artisan Home Brew, a beer and wine cultivation supply store in Downingtown which Hamara opened in 2009.
The food menu at Root Down is centered around smoked meat and BBQ style plates. However, vegetarian and vegan options will be available. Chef John Walsh has been in the restaurant industry for over 20 years and was formerly the head chef at the West Chester Comcast headquarters.
Hamara maintains that the working environment at Root Down is more about the team as a whole rather than the individual. “We’re like Ocean’s Eleven,” he said.
With the addition of Root Down and Crowded Castle Brewery coming later this year, Phoenixville is becoming quite a destination for craft beer drinkers. Blue Bird Distilling and a couple of wineries are also located in town. Time to start making weekend plans for Spring.