Featured Brewery of the Month: Highway Manor Brewing Company
Feb 01, 2017
In 2010, the stars aligned and a passionate, young homebrewer named Johnnie Leroy Compton III had a chance encounter with Tom Peters of Monk’s Café in Philadelphia. Following this fateful meeting, his horizons expanded, and Johnnie set about recreating a lambic brewery in his house – an 1840’s manor home in Liverpool, Pennsylvania christened Highway Manor, from which his brewery, Highway Manor Brewing Company
, gets its name.
Johnnie aspired to create beers without the use of commercial yeast strains. Instead, he mined the terroir of Highway Manor and its surroundings. Johnnie’s beers utilize open-top, wild fermentation; pulling bacteria and yeast from the air to achieve a distinctive wild and funky flavor. Johnnie brewed at home for five years, perfecting his recipes and cultivating his yeast strains, before finally moving into a production facility in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania in 2015. His proprietary yeast strains came with him, hitching a ride in hundreds of barrels in which Highway Manor Brewing Company deep-ages all of their distinctive saisons and sours.
Highway Manor beers ferment without temperature controls, allowing the wild yeast strains to be just that – wild. Johnnie doesn’t kettle sour his beers. All of Highway Manor’s brews sour naturally in the barrel, a result of the hard work preformed by the yeast and bacteria.
Highway Manor Brewing Company is currently making four main brands – SayJohn Saison, a golden sour, Mr. Blueberry and Mr. Strawberry, sours barrel-aged on copious amounts of fresh fruit, and last but certainly not least, Funky Prowler, a dry Irish-style sour stout. Coming soon will be Taste My Place, a golden sour aged longer than Highway Manor’s main lineup, which will highlight the delicious complexity of Johnnie’s proprietary yeast strain.
Whether you’re new to sours or a seasoned veteran, Highway Manor Brewing Company has something for everyone. Hand crafted and aged to perfection, complex yet approachable, Johnnie’s wild creations are top-notch representations of the style.