Grain to Glass: The PA Pride Beer Variety 4-Pack Showcases Local Grains With a Mix of Beer Styles

The PA Pride beer series started back in 2020, as the gravity of the Covid-19 pandemic was really starting to sink in. Many Pennsylvania breweries were in a bind: Without regular guests in their taprooms, and the wholesale channels to bars and restaurants drying up, offering beer to-go was one of the only options. But what about breweries that didn’t have canning or bottling lines? This was the inspiration behind PA Pride, a collaboration between Breweries in PA, Deer Creek Malthouse and any Pennsylvania breweries who wanted to join in. The PA Pride beers were meant to give breweries a great packaged to-go product to sell, while also promoting local agriculture and malted grains.

“PA Pride is a celebration of PA ingredients and Pennsylvania-made beer, and we want to get it out to the market as much as possible,” says Chad Balbi, a co-founder of Breweries in PA.

In the past three years, there have been 10 beers released as part of the PA Pride brand. The brewery members discuss and decide on the style of beer they want to try next, and then a brewer volunteers to create a recipe. While the recipe is technically open to anyone, it’s usually made at one main brewery, then distributed across the other collaborators to sell.

PA Pride Variety

The most recent iteration, which was released in October of 2023, is a mixed 4-pack, featuring two popular styles from past releases, as well as two new styles. The variety-pack format was chosen, Balbi notes, due to the demand from the collaborating breweries. 

“We were looking at how to freshen things up a bit, and asking, ‘How can we make [PA Pride] better?’” Balbi says. “The overwhelming request from the collaborators was to have the variety pack; not a lot of breweries make mixed packs because it’s kind of a logistical nightmare in terms of brewing, canning and packaging.”

The beers included in the PA Pride variety pack were brewed at Chatty Monks Brewing in Reading, PA, using grains and malt from Deer Creek Malthouse. They are:

  • A sessionable, hazy Pale Ale showcasing Pennsylvania organic spelt malt and Cascade, Citra and Simcoe hops. This was the original PA Pride release!
  • A Pilsner made with traditionally floor-germinated PA 2-row barley, Saaz hops and Bohemian lager yeast. This was the second release in the PA Pride series.
  • A rich Doppelbock showcasing Münich-style Dutch and Double Dutch malts made from PA 2-row barley and a hint of noble hop flavor and aroma from Hersbrucker hops. This is a brand-new release.
  • A bold Rye IPA made with Pennsylvania rye and Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Comet and Mosaic hops for notes of citrus, tropical fruit and pine, all rounded out by the classic hint of spice from rye. This is another brand-new beer to the series!

PA Pride Variety

For the Pennsylvania breweries that get to sell the 4-packs along with their own beers, it’s all about connecting with the local brewing community and sparking conversations with their customers about local ingredients.

For Evan Roth, the owner of Cartesian Brewing in South Philly, the PA Pride beers fit perfectly into his “local-origin brewery” ethos. 

“Our vision is to brew with ingredients that have a local origin, and in Pennsylvania, that mainly means grains that are grown locally, malted locally, then brewed into beer locally,” he notes. “The PA Pride beer series absolutely represents that vision for us: malt-focused beers that exemplify the special terroir and flavor here.” 

To find breweries that are selling the PA Pride variety 4-pack, check out this helpful map from Breweries in PA. It’s also available on the Deer Creek Malthouse online shopping site

This series is made possible by support from Deer Creek Malthouse through the Pennsylvania Malt and Brewed Beverage Industry Promotion Board and grant funding from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

Deer Creek Malthouse

Deer Creek Malthouse (Glen Mills, PA) produces high quality, flavorful malt ingredients made from local grain. Founded in 2012, Deer Creek is the first commercial malting operation in Pennsylvania since prohibition. The Company is dedicated to improving the regional grain supply chain for all stakeholders and leads many advocacy and value chain building initiatives, including the Philadelphia Grain & Malt Symposium. Deer Creek also produces a variety of consumer food and beverages using their grain and malt ingredients such as zero proof Barley Tea.

Love PA craft beer?
Check out our full Grain to Glass series!
  • PA Pride cans image: Deer Creek Malthouse
  • Box photo: Breweries in PA