The self-proclaimed “hobbyists” behind basement brewing company After Midnight Brewing are making their first foray into the market this summer with the opening of a production space and taproom in Kensington.
The new space, partially underground, is located on North American Street and West Susquehanna Avenue.
The move comes after an approximately five-year journey brewing in co-owner Matt McDermott’s basement, he told Philly Eater. After the work he and his team — consisting of friends Colman McCurdy and Jim Kirn — began to outgrow McDermott’s home, they knew it was time to expand into a commercial space. So, the trio of Pennsylvania natives made plans to quit their day jobs, McDermott says, to get the brewery on its feet full-time.
“This project for us has just been a way to break free of our kind of boring jobs,” he said. “We just said you know what, ‘let’s do it.’ It’s very very difficult, but it’s not impossible.”
“We’re hobbyists, but we’re just obsessive obsessive hobbyists — and it’s not an impossible craft to learn, with just the right amount of obsession,” McDermott added.
While the opening date is still not set it stone — and to be exact, only two of the three owners have already quit their day jobs, with one still planning to do so — McDermott says the team hopes to serve a delicate balance of “old style beers” and “classic clean lagers” with “cutting edge experimental beers” and IPAs. He told Philly Mag they plan to have around 10 taps of staple brews in the new space.
The bar will also serve a range of non-alcoholic drinks, like flavored seltzers and tonics — a component that’s important to McDermott, who hopes the bar will be accessible to people who traditionally feel excluded from breweries.
“A lot of my friends are sober, so I want a place that I can serve them,” he said. “I want it to be just slightly different than what you’re expecting, so that it kinda feels more open and fresh for everybody.”
He also hopes the location, secluded in its subterranean nature, will evoke a sense of wonderment and magical exclusivity in patrons.
“We want to release a little bit of magical spirit in people by disarming them, if only briefly,” McDermott said. “[Our brewery] does not have visibility from the street, in fact it’s a little difficult to find. Everything about it feels kind of like a secret club. So when you go in you’re almost at this little society. And that’s what we’re going for.”
- After Midnight Brewing [Official]
- After Midnight, a Sour-Centric Brewery, Is Coming to Kensington [Philly Mag]