P.J.W. Restaurant Group, the multi-concept regional operator announced an enhanced craft beer program. As of February 1, all 14 P.J. Whelihan’s concepts across Pennsylvania and New Jersey began running a monthly “tap takeover” program in which one carefully selected craft brewery occupies up to three bar taps in order to provide an immersive experience to the customers.
Local long time friend of P.J.W. and partner, Victory Brewing Company kicked off the program in February with Hop Devil IPA, 21st Birthday IPA and cult favorite Sour Monkey occupying taps across P.J. Whelihan’s locations all month long. Stone Brewing will takeover on March 1 when hop heads will be treated to Stone IPA, Stone Ripper San Diego pale ale and Stone Tangerine Express IPA on draft. Tangerine Express IPA is the result of collaboration between Steve Gonzalez, Stone’s senior manager of small batch brewing and innovation and Jake Karley, director of beverages and special projects at P.J.W. Restaurant Group. Karley and Gonzalez developed the beer in 2016 for the annual Craft Brewers Conference. It was such a hit and so well loved that Stone widely released the beer as part of their year-round lineup in January 2017 in 22 oz. bottles and on draft.
Georgia’s Terrapin Beer Co. will be the highlighted in-house brewer during April 2017 showcasing their T-Time Berliner Weisse and HI-5 IPA among a to be determined third beer. Local favorite, Evil Genius Beer Company, will occupy the three taps during May. Karley will work closely with brewers across the country to fill out the rest of the year based on beer trends and detailed customer history that’s been compiled over the past decades.
P.J.W. Restaurant Group isn’t new to craft beer collaborations. In 2006 they debuted P.J.W. Copper Lager, a signature beer brewed exclusively for P.J. Whelihan’s by Victory. Since that time the restaurant group and Victory have worked together on three other beers, the latest being The Pour House’s signature Hoppy White Ale which first appeared in spring 2016 and holds a permanent place on the craft beer bar’s draft list. As recently as last December P.J. Whelihan’s served the limited time offering P.J. the Elf’s IPA brewed in collaboration with Philadelphia’s Yards Brewing Company for the holiday season.
“We’ve been riding the craft beer wave long before it was standard operating procedure,” says Jake Karley. “We debuted our first craft collaboration ten years ago at the number 30 spot on our draft sales, today it is our number two seller. We recognize what craft beer fans crave and know that they aren’t a niche customer anymore; everyone loves a thoughtfully made beer and they should never have to look further than their favorite PJ’s to find one.”