Beer Appreciation class had the pleasure of visiting the Manayunk Brewery in the spring 2005 semester and found Brewmaster Chris Firey to be a wealth of beer knowledge and a great host. See the review of the brewery tour and tasting.
For the fall 2005 semester, Beer Appreciation invited Chris and his assistant, Frank, to come to the class and talk about Chris’s successful career in beer, and the business of brewing and the beer industry. Chris is recognized as one of the brightest lights in the Philadelphia region brewing scene, with experience brewing at Victory Brewing Co. and now at the Manayunk Brewery.
Chris traced his roots from home brewing to forming his own home brewing equipment store in the 1980s. He attended brewing school in California and became a brewmaster, then pursued a concept of creating a software and portal for brewers. He was eventually attracted to Victory Brewing in Downingtown because of their reputation for inventive and successful craft brewing, and his desire to learn more about running a brewery. After a couple of years there, eager to make more of his own recipes, he moved to Manayunk Brewery. He shared with the class the challenges of competing with the big, commercial breweries, and spoke of the camaraderie among craft brewers in our local area.
Chris and Frank shared a few of their delicious brews with the class – including a stellar, wet hopped Harvest Ale, and fine dry pumpkin ale. The signature Schuylkill punch was consumed eagerly by the class as Chris talked about his new project – Synergy Brewing. Synergy Brewing will brew primary for restaurants and bars that want to sell their own branded custom brews. Chris already has letters of intent from a number of prospects, and recently purchased all the brewing equipment he needs from the defunct Valley Forge Brewery. Best of luck, Chris, on your new endeavor. Contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org .