Located in our state capital, Zeroday Brewing Co., 250 Reily St., has been serving its ales and lagers to the public for more than four years.
Started by the husband-and-wife team of Brandalynn and Theo Armstrong, the inspiration to turn a brewing dream into reality had its beginning with a homebrew kit and a desire to stop working white-collar jobs.
It took years of dedication for that dream to come to fruition after recipe development, taste tests, cultivating a space and dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s involved with opening a brewery in a climate that wasn’t as favorable then as it is today.
And the results have been so successful that they’ve opened a satellite location called the Zeroday Outpost in Broad Street Market at 1233 N. Third St. in Harrisburg.
Back when I lived in Harrisburg, I wished I had an apartment in Midtown. There were fun shops, hidden gardens, Midtown Cinema, the market and adorable streets reflecting the natural beauty of the seasons with summertime flowers, autumn’s leaf-turning and the wintry crunch of ice and snow underfoot.
This is the area in which both Zeroday locations can be found, When visiting the brewery, take the time to wander around Midtown a bit and see what other treasures you find. There’s the Susquehanna Art Museum, Little Amps Coffee Roasters, Midtown Scholar Bookstore and Cafe, the Pennsylvania National Fire Museum, a shop called Vie Chevre that sells goat milk products and a range of restaurants that will satisfy any craving.
Keeping in stride with its art-forward surroundings, Zeroday Brewing Co. features a wall full of local art available for purchase. There’s a vintage arcade game table at which you can sit and the rest of the space is wide open, with plenty of tables and stools around an L-shaped bar.
An in-house pizza shop called Knead offers starters like garlic knots, salads and charcuterie. The pizza is served thin-crust-style and there are a variety of pies you can select, including the Honey Badger with soppressata and hot honey, and you can also create your own combinations. I’m especially interested in the pesto cream sauce and that hot honey drizzle a patron can select for “extra flair.” For vegans, there are cheeselike options for you, too.
If you’re along for the ride, but not a beer drinker, there are nonalcoholic options like ginger beer and apple juice. If you’re in the mood for something alcoholic but not beer, then you’ll appreciate the wine, cocktails and hard cider options.
In the bathroom, I noticed complimentary feminine products. It’s that kind of detail that makes a brewery stand out to me above and beyond what I think about the beer.
And the beer at Zeroday Brewing Co., which is named for somewhere hikers would take a day off to kick up their feet and rest their weary bones, was solid throughout the session.
Financial Panther was a 6.5% alcohol by volume New England India pale ale brewed with El Dorado, Falconer’s Flight and Motueka hops. It poured murky orange with a white fluffy head. It smelled of green grassiness, pineapple juice and lemon while the flavor carried those aromas through to the taste buds, along with guava, resin, some caramel maltiness and fluffy juiciness. It felt super soft in my mouth and was an easy drinker. Enjoyers of New England IPAs will likely appreciate this selection.
I was excited to see a cream ale on the tap list because it’s a style I think is sadly underappreciated in our current beer culture. Zeroday’s cream ale on tap when I visited was Wastin’ Daylight, which is a decidedly lovely thing to do on a Sunday afternoon. This 4.9% ABV session ale has the following hobbies, according to the brewery’s website: walking basset hounds, front porch sitting and Willie Nelson songs. It poured pale gold and was crystal clear, topped with an off-white head. I smelled biscuity malt and sweet corn in the nose while the flavor offered a cornlike sweetness, a nutty malt backbone and whispers of vanilla. It finished on the dry and refreshing end of the spectrum. I would keep this beer in my refrigerator all the time if it was sold in cans — it’s the perfect lawnmower beer.
To finish out the visit, I had Positive Vibes because we can all use a little more of those, you know? This 5.6% ABV American wheat ale’s hobbies are hiking, music festivals and picnic lunches, which happens to also be a few of my favorite things. The website says it was inspired by trails on the Amalfi Coast of Italy. After looking at photographs of the region, it’s now added to the ever-growing bucket list of travel destinations.
Craft beer: inspiring future world travels.
It was hazy orange-amber and had a thin white head. I smelled citrus fruits, peaches and peppercorns, and the flavor offered those same characteristics in a sticky, delicious body that offered loads of wheat softness. Both this one and the Financial Panther were sweeter than I gravitate to for enjoying more than one, but definitely solid and well-crafted beers.
Contact Amber DeGrace with comments and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org and find her on Twitter at @amberdegrace.