Fourth in a series of 14 articles spotlighting the member breweries of a new Ale Trail launching in March, which will span six counties and two states
Crooked Tongue Brewing is a family affair. Cody Greene, owner and Beer Engineer at the Edinburgh, Pennsylvania brewery, said it was his father Doug Greene who sparked his interest in brewing his own beer. It all started with a small homemade, all-grain setup and quickly expanded into a mini brewing system in his parents’ garage. It didn’t take long for the obsession to take full hold, and before long Cody out grew his parents’ space. He ended up building his own garage. He never suspected that he would soon outgrow that space as well.
With a strong family network of support that included his mother Jody Greene, his wife, Gerri Greene, and his father, his dream to have his own brew pub was ultimately fulfilled. Along the way, close friend Mike Henry jumped in as Cody’s brewing partner and together the team brought Crooked Tongue Brewing to fruition.
Crooked Tongue Brewing opened in 2015. Greene himself describes his brew pub and eatery as having a “hipster meets woodsy vibe”. Located off Benjamin Franklin Highway (Rt. 422), not far from the Pennsylvania-Ohio border, the building has been completely remodeled with unique details such as a hand-poured concrete bar, curly maple tap wall, local artistry, patio, fire pit, backyard Jenga, Cornhole, Bru-Bag, and even a Stones course (www.stonesthrowingassociation.com) in the massive outdoor space.
Greene says he gets most excited about the wide variety of people who show up to try his beer. Beer drinkers young and old alike walk through his doors, and run the gamut from complete newbies to craft beer all the way to full fledged craft aficionados. He feels the best part of the job is always having something new for them to try. Ever a stickler for detail, and appreciative of the feedback his customers provide, he says he literally files their comments away to use during his next brewing session. Cody interacts with his staff at Crooked Tongue Brewing in much the same way. A collaborative spirit exists on the staff as well, as he often solicits suggestions and ideas not just from the staff but also from his friends and family to continually update their on-tap beers with new and innovative tastes.
Cody, an engineer by trade, brewed his first beer in 2008 after spending a full year just learning all he could about how to brew. He honed his technique in that self-built garage until he developed a style his own.
Crooked Tongue initially served only small appetizers but soon customers were asking for more, and always listening to his customers, he worked to meet their expectations. Today Crooked Tongue employs a full-time chef who concocts innovative dishes to compliment his brews. The menu is regularly refreshed based on the availability of fresh and local ingredients. Many dishes are actually made with Crooked Tongue beer.
Like a lot of breweries, Crooked Tongue wants to cater to the non-beer drinker who may be part of a group, and offers outside meads and wines, though he plans to make mead and cider in-house soon.
Crooked Tongue has been bottling for some time, releasing everything from a gin barrel Aged IPA to a massive 19.2% ABV Brew sealed with wax. More recently they’ve hopped on the hazy New England IPA trend and produced some well received canned releases. The brewery has grown quickly since 2015 and expansion plans are on the horizon. As demand has begun to outstrip supply, Greene has plans to scale up from the tiny 1.5 barrel system he has brewed on since they opened to a 7 barrel system this Spring. Despite the growth, one thing is abundantly clear. Crooked Tongue will always be a family affair.
As for that name? Well, we can’t disclose everything in one article. You’ll need to stop in, belly up to the bar, and talk to Cody…. maybe he’ll tell ya how they came up with it.
Crooked Tongue Brewing
2516 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Head Brewer / Owner: Cody Greene
Brewhouse Size: 1.5 barrel, scaling up to 7 bbls this Spring
Flagship Beers: Woppyjammer IPA, Sweetside IPA, Bamboozled Blueberry Blonde, Blackst Out Stout, White Out Stout.
Best Seller: Sweetside IPA
Additional Reading: “Crooked Tongue Plays It Straight”, by Jim Cyphert (Mahoning Valley Flight Crew), vindy.com (http://www.vindy.com/news/2017/jan/04/crooked-tonguesflbplays-it-straight/)
All photos courtesy of Crooked Tongue FB Page