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Newtown Brewing Company

Behind the scenes at Newtown's family owned craft brewery and taproom

For beer enthusiasts, the idea of owning a craft brewery seems like a dream job where days are spent perfecting new beer recipes and sampling the final product. However, when our own local brewer, Gregg Bonstein offered to give me a tour of his beautiful taproom and brewery, Newtown Brewing Company, I quickly discovered that the day- to- day routine of a brewer is nothing like I imagined.

Gregg launched Newtown Brewing Company in 2019. After many years as a chemical engineer, he decided to make some changes to his hectic career path in order to focus more time on his family and pursue his passion. He began taking classes in beer judging while simultaneously brewing beer as a hobby. HIs first job as assistant brewer at Triumph Brewing Company taught him many lessons that served him well when he decided to open his own brewery.

Gregg describes his first day at Triumph as his “Mr Miyagi” moment. He was told to clean the basement floor of the brewery, and ended up doing just that for no less than 5 hours. Gregg says the brewer checked on him occasionally, but most of the time he was on his own and cleaning. Alone with his thoughts, which he recalls were “why am I doing this?”, Gregg quickly learned that this lesson in the diligence of cleaning is the number one priority of every professional brewer.

“One of the biggest misconceptions of being a brewer”, says Gregg, “is that we brew every day.” “Brewing, is one small part of the job. I clean, I brew, I clean and I clean and I clean”. Gregg detailed the process of adding the grain and the hops, and the process of transferring the brew and so on. He also detailed the amount of hours of cleaning he does to ensure clean lines, and vessels, transfer points, the kegs, the piping and hoses, getting rid of residue, and then sanitizing all of the above! Wax on, Wax off!

While much of the work of a brewer is strenuous and repetitive, there are also many perks to the job, which includes tasting the beer at each step in the process, and of course the finished product. Sometimes these taste tests occur as early as 8:00am, but what must be done, must be done! Gregg would never let a brew be delivered to his customers without tasting and ensuring its perfection first. 

There are certainly worse things than tasting delicious craft beer in the amazing atmosphere that is the taproom. Gregg not only crafts the beer, but he personally designed and hand-crafted all of the tables and flight carriers too! The taproom is a show place of beautiful design that includes reclaimed wood pieces and stunning architecture. Such a cool place, made even cooler by the variety of food trucks that are there daily to go along with your beer. Cousins Maine Lobster, Flying Deutschman, Maui Lu, Tacos, Pizza, Barbecue Trucks, Bad Mother Shuckers are all part of the experience at Newtown Brewing Company, just to name a few.

Do yourself a favor and come see this outstanding place and taste a Belgian Wheat Beer or Stout or of course, a New England IPA. While you’re there get a lobster roll or a taco too.  You can relax and enjoy yourself, knowing that everything is definitely clean!  (Newtown Brewing Company; 103 Penns Trail; (215) 944-8609)

Morning; 7am

Loading up the mash tun with the grain and hot water which takes about 30 minutes to complete. While this sits for an hour, cleaning occurs.

Late morning; 9am

Sugar water from the mash tun is transferred to the brew kettle slowly. This takes 1 ½-2 hours. While the brew kettle is being filled, a sanitization loop is created for the hoses that hook the tanks to the fermentor. Prior to being used, the hoses and equipment that will touch the beer are sanitized using an acid sanitizer, ensuring that when the beer is transferred to the fermentor, it is clean.

Mid-day; 11am

Contents are boiled in the kettle for an hour. Hops are added during this step.

At the end of the boil, the brew is completed.

Afternoon-evening; 1-6pm

Cleaning of equipment and facility continues for another 5 hours.

Day ends around 6pm

*Photos provided by Newtown Brewing Company

*Article written by Christine Toy-Dragoni, a local freelance writer and Licensed Professional Counselor

  • Sanitization loop
  • Gregg and Sara Bonstein