Isaac’s Brewhouse opens Monday in Lancaster, marking the transition of the downtown restaurant from beer seller to beer maker.

Attached to the Isaac’s restaurant at 25 N. Queen St., the brewery operates out of a newly renovated area that incorporates the restaurant’s former Pickle Bar with 3,000-square feet of adjacent space along East Grant Street that’s the previous home of Capitol Copy Service.

The roughly $200,000 project to create the small brewery also boosted the restaurant seating capacity by about 30, including at some new outdoor tables and a bar that has room for 18. Bar seating is temporarily unavailable because of restrictions meant to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Isaac’s Brewhouse will open with 11 beers on tap, including two varieties made in cooperation with other local breweries, as well as eight of its own, which include four IPAs, a stout, a witbier and a hard seltzer. It also features Stoudts Brewing Company’s American Pale Ale.

The names of several beers reference the brewery’s debut during the coronavirus pandemic, including a double IPA called Stronger Together, a New England-style IPA named Drink it with Your Mask On and a session IPA dubbed Frontline Workers Rock.

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Brewmaster Alex Painter pours Uncle Johnny’s Porter in a glass at Isaacs Brewhouse in downtown Lancaster. 

Isaac’s, which previously had a restaurant liquor license for its downtown restaurant, sold that to Turkey Hill last year, using the proceeds to cover the cost of the brewery addition.  With the brewery license it now has, Isaac’s plans to serve its beer at two other Isaac’s restaurants: one in Mechanciscburg and one at a yet-to-be-determined restaurant in Lancaster County.

 Founded in Lancaster, Isaac’s opened its first restaurant in1983 in the first block of North Queen Street. That restaurant moved across the street in 2001 to the Fulton Building, where the brewery now operates. Isaac’s, which features sandwiches named for birds, operates 12 other locations, including six others in Lancaster County.


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