How Roy-Pitz is creating liquid art in a pint glass
Learn more about the artists and craftsmen behind Roy-Pitz, via our exclusive interview with, Liquid Artist, Chris Bratton.
Tell us a little about Roy-Pitz and how you were able to turn beer making into an art.
Roy-Pitz is a brewery that started over 11 years ago by co-founders Ryan Richards and Jesse Rotz. The brewery and original tap-house are located in Chambersburg, PA in the south-central part of the state. The Barrel House here in Philadelphia opened slightly over two years with a concentration in a barrel aged sour program. On location we create two year aged barrel aged sours to which we usually have 2 on draft, as well as 15 other offerings ranging from IPAs to classic German styles to kettle sours. The brand motto has always been "Liquid Art." Not only does that apply to crafting artisanal beers, but applies to local sourced ingredients, and using community artists for metal work, bottle art, hand crafted tables. We believe in growing a community by supporting the community; that by combining inspiration with collaboration we can create a product for that community by that community.
"...Offerings ranging from IPAs to classic German styles to kettle sours."
What has been your favorite moment working at Roy-Pitz?
My favorite moments after being brought on was the opportunity to small batch a few different beers to try out at our location. Having home brewed for years I was humbled by the amount of knowledge Chris Collier, the brewmaster, has been able to teach me in the chemistry behind barrel aged sours and yeast propagation.
"Having home brewed for years I was humbled by the amount of knowledge Chris Collier, the brewmaster, has been able to teach me..."
How did you get involved with Roy-Pitz?
I became involved with Roy-Pitz when they needed a bar manager and someone to redevelop their cocktail program, my responsibilities hence grew from there.
"...My responsibilities hence grew from there."
What excites you most about working here?
The most exciting aspect about working here is contributing to Philly's incredible beer scene. The people in this city are always game to try new beer and expand upon their palettes. There are already two other breweries (Love City, Yards) within a few blocks and another slotted to open up across the street shortly(Triple Bottom), being part of a growing neighborhood known for beer is very satisfying.
"The people in this city are always game to try new beer and expand upon their palettes."
What makes Roy-Pitz different?
What makes Roy Pitz different is our heavy concentration on Sours. In the context of breweries of similar size the amount of styles we have at any given time is more than most small breweries.
"...Our heavy concentration on Sours."
What is one thing most people don’t know about Roy-Pitz?
People that are familiar with our brand but haven't visited this location are surprised to the amount of beer we are producing on site through the barrel program.
"...The amount of beer we are producing on site through the barrel program."
What makes your beer unique?
Uniqueness I could break down to individual beers. For example brewing a New England IPA at a lower ABV to make it more session-able, or letting our house sour rest on oak chips, or brewing a Gose with pretzel dough. What I think is most impressive about our draft list is the gambit it runs from simplicity to complex. Whether you like a simple pilsner, something dark and rich, something slightly sweet, or want to try something you have never tried - we always have something to accommodate all of those.
"...Letting our house sour rest on oak chips, or brewing a Gose with pretzel dough."
What is most exciting about the Spring Arts Neighborhood?
With all of the new businesses moving in to Spring Arts it has been awesome to meet a lot of interesting people and make a lot of new friends.
"...To meet a lot of interesting people and make a lot of new friends."
What does Roy-Pitz pride itself on?
We pride ourselves on attention to detail. It goes in to our beer, our cocktails and our food. We believe that all of these combined can provide a unique experience to any potential diner.
"We pride ourselves on attention to detail."
The design of the Roy-Pitz is part of the appeal, what was the inspiration behind that and what makes it special?
With most of our apparel you will find a keystone implemented in the design. To us it is a call to our roots and family and a signal to the state that provided us this opportunity. Every beer is PA born and brewed and when you look at what the state is producing in beer its an esteemed class to be a part of. Our role may be small in relation to the market as a whole but something we take very seriously and feel blessed to be a part of.
"To us it is a call to our roots and family and a signal to the state that provided us this opportunity."
What is your favorite food item on the menu?
I never thought my pretzel consumption would be this high, but the Bavarian pretzel with beer fondue and IPA mustard is one of our greatest sellers and crowd pleasers. Whenever family or friends visit it is the first thing that draws their eye. My actual favorite is the fried persimmon panini. The fried persimmons are topped with Fuji apples, goat cheese, and lightly dressed arugula. It is very balanced between light, savory, sweet, and acidic.
"My actual favorite is the fried persimmon panini. The fried persimmons are topped with Fuji apples, goat cheese, and lightly dressed arugula."
Tell us a bit more about your upcoming events, which one are you most excited for?
We have recently started a tradition of doing a Sour Sunday on the last Sunday of the month. We open our beer garden so dogs can run around play while people can relax on grass couches. There will also be food and beer specials all day. It has been a great event both times we have done it thus far and I am really looking forward to hosting it again. We have a few weddings coming up in the next few months as well. We do a lot of event planning here from 20 people happy hours to occasional buy outs of over 150 people. The weddings are a unique experience in the gravity they hold. We really want to contribute all that we can to make the night perfect.
"We open our beer garden so dogs can run around play while people can relax on grass couches."
What are you looking forward to for the rest of the year? Where can you purchase Roy-Pitz beer?
We are striving to grow distribution in the Philadelphia are up this year. We are looking forward to tap take overs, local events, and generally getting our beer in the hands of those who have never tried it. Currently we have beer in local bars, distributors, and bottle shops. The app GoPuff also sells our Best Blonde Lager and S.Y.G.U. IPA for home delivery. In house we carry large format bottles and multiple 4 and 6 pack can offerings. We do growlers and crowlers to go of anything on draft, with a 3 crowler for $24 special.
"Currently we have beer in local bars, distributors, and bottle shops."