written by Patrick Clark
Locust Lane Craft Brewery is just about set for their grand opening on April 1st. The event will be kicking off the operations of the newly formed craft brewery at their first official location at Three Tun Industrial Park in Malvern (50 Three Tun Road, Suite 4).
Starting at 11AM, Locust Lane will be bringing in four unique food trucks spread across two days of festivities. Abuelita’s Empanadas will be selling food from 11AM-3PM and Nick’s Roast Beef will take over from 4PM-11PM. The following day, The Flying Deutschman will be present from 11AM-7PM and West Chester’s Dia Doce Cupcake will be vending from 3PM-7PM. Following the grand opening, Locust Lane will continue to feature a food truck at the brewery every day starting after 4PM.
The Malvern brewing group’s motto is, “Simply Crafted.” According to co-owner Jason Cartwright, they aim to live up to that by providing simple, great beer and attempting to limit the confusion that some people experience when exploring the craft brewing market.
“Our goal is to simplify the craft beer experience while making damn good beer,” Cartwright explained. “We endeavor to use traditional, and when possible, local ingredients to produce beers that are true to their intended styles. We have been homebrewers and fans of craft beer for years. We’ve noticed, and received feedback as we began this journey, that people are getting confused by the exploding creativity with ingredients and naming of beers throughout the beer scene. The names of our beers will be simple and our creativity will come through in the beer styles that we produce.”
Locust Lane’s beers are notably geared towards session-drinking. The Locust Lane IPA is their most alcoholic offering, sitting at a moderate 6.5% ABV. “We feel that the lower ABV addresses another need in the current craft market, where a lot of beer lists feature almost everything at 6 or 7% ABV and up,” Cartwright said. “The local feedback that we’ve received is that people are looking for beers that they can enjoy more than a single pint of during a visit.” To that end, Locust Lane will also be offering 5 oz flights and 10oz and 16oz pours.
Upon opening, the taproom will feature the brewery’s four flagship beers: the Locust Lane IPA, Locust Lane Pale Ale, Locust Lane ESB and Locust Lane Stout, which will be on nitro. In addition, they will be offering the Locust Lane Brown Ale, which features malt from Deer Creek Malthouse in Glen Mills, Kurant Earth cider and Chaddsford Proprietor’s red and white wines. Cartwright added that the bar will also have Wissahickon Brewing Company’s Czech Please on tap. Wissahickon will coincidentally open on the same day as Locust Lane, and so the two budding breweries agreed to a keg swap. In turn, Locust Lane ESB will be available at Wissahickon Brewing Company upon their opening.
Cartwright, co-owner Bryan Brockson and founder, head brewer and co-owner Tom Arnold met at Penn State in the early 90’s when they were all members of the Delta Upsilon fraternity. “While at school we imagined a day where we owned a sports bar together. But after the last 10-plus years of home brewing, a brewery seemed more logical,” Cartwright said. The partners pay homage to their time in State College through the name “Locust Lane,” which is the namesake of the street that Delta Upsilon lay upon in State College.
Locust Lane is making a concerted effort to make their brewery a strong member of the Malvern community. “We’ve already participated in many community events and will continue to do so in the future. We also hope to work with local restaurants to encourage our customers to bring their food, or order for delivery, when we don’t have a food truck on site,” Cartwright explained. The group sources their merchandise, including anything from t-shirts to magnets, from a local vendor in Malvern who is less than half a mile away from the taproom. “All of our staff live locally as well. So we foresee continuing to impact the local economy in a number of ways.”
Malvern holds a lot of potential for a brewery like Locust Lane, who plans to offer a relaxed, fun atmosphere for beer enthusiasts and laymen alike. “There is a nice little pocket here in Malvern of craft beer enthusiasts. We’re geographically between West Chester and Phoenixville, each with their own burgeoning craft beer scenes,” Cartwright said. “I think that our vision will be well received as a fresh take on craft beer, keeping the experience fun and simple.”