It was already good news to hear that the brains behind Devil’s Den and Old Eagle Tavern – owner Erin Wallace and her team – were aiming to revive the too-long-vacant General Lafayette Inn & Brewery. But today, the reports got even better – not only is the ownership of the site done and dusted, but a head brewer has been announced: Scott ‘The Dude’ Morrison will take the reins at the Barren Hill Tavern & Brewery.
Philly-area beer nerds will recall Morrison’s excellent, fancy-award-winning, beers from McKenzie’s (where he was famously under-appreciated, to put the case mildly) and more recently at Dock Street, as well as various points beyond. In the new venture at Barren Hill, he’ll have six taplines dedicated to house-made beers to oversee; there will be thirty, all told. It’s worth putting in some quotes from the press release:
â€œI'm totally excited to be making new and interesting beer at Barren Hill. The collaboration with Erin [Wallace] and her team has been awesome so far. The beer will be fresh, allowing us to create new and interesting styles that aren't readily available in the Philly market,â€ says [Scott] Morrison.
Morrison has gained much of his career accolades from his Belgian Ales, but the six lines at Barren Hill will be diverse and eclectic.
â€œScott asked me what direction I wanted to take Barren Hill, and I gave him creative license. This project is exciting because of its endless possibilities,â€ Wallace says. â€œWe're looking forward to bringing contemporary cuisine and brewing styles to this historic and storied location.â€
The house-made, rare, interesting beers will not only be available at Barren Hill Tavern, but will also be available at South Philadelphia's Devil's Den and Manayunk's Old Eagle Tavern. Settlement was finalized today so the Barren Hill crew is getting started on minor renovations and recipe development. The brewpub is expected to open late Summer 2013.
So, there it is – we’ve got not only the renovation of a quirky historic building to look forward to (one that carries on the legacy of its original construction and an earlier name, no less), but an ever-changing lineup of great beer and, thanks to chef Paul Trowbridge, good food as well. It may be the first time the old building will have been able to boast a consistent menu in both regards!
Hopefully the new Barren Hill Tavern will feature on something akin to the Craft Beer Express from time to time, since public transit to the area is not stellar, but a cleanup and better food will go a long way toward encouraging designated drivers.
Keep an eye out for an official opening date later this year – and go like them on Facebook!