Tag Archives: SCRANTON PA


Mutant Brewing to join craft beer boom ...


Scranton’s MUTANT BREWING opened its glass doors for biz in July ’23, promising to ‘take a walk on the wild side’ with deviously unconventional one-offs and fruitful sour ales as well as standard pilsner-lagers. A centrally located downtown pub with a brown awning leading to the novel tech-friendly art space, its centuries-old red brick terra cotta tiled bar back adds a charming pre-Prohibition feel to the freaky comic bookstore scheme.

A series of vibrant mutant goblins line the right wall and the black ceiling provides proper art deco atmosphere. Several pinball machines and arcade games are just down from the narrow pub’s elongated thirty-stooled stainless steel topped bar. A few community tables are stationed across the bar. A few mules, a margarita and local wines filled out the bill. Two TV’s surround the Mutant beer menu and Detroit-styled pizzas are recommended.

My wife and I visited the colorfully cartoonish beer arcade on a sunny Friday afternoon, June ’24.

Quaint aluminum-cleared Blockchain Bro Light Lager retained dry lemony white grapefruit spritz and light piney herbage atop musky graining.

Spritzy lime-peeled dryness and sweet agave snips stayed light and lively for Tulum Girl Mexican Lime Lager.

Mild maple molasses sweetness contrasted dry cocoa for Verified Czech Dark Lager, leaving desolate caramel-burnt cola, pecan and hazelnut illusions upon the seared wood backdrop.

Spectral wonder, Weekend Bender Grapefruit IPA, mixed yellow grapefruit-spiced Mosaic hops and lemon-candied pine needling (primarily Cascade hops) with guava-soured Mandarina Bavaria hops, creating a (marshmallowy) ambrosia fruitiness above lightly creamed oated wheat.

Classic hazy IPA flagship, Serum, a briskly light yellow-hazed, foamy white-headed moderation (not as bold or spectral as an typical oatier NEIPA), led its soft pine-needled yellow grapefruit bittering thru grassy hop astringency, picking up distant briny lemon, guava and mango snips.


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In the heart of Scranton across from the Court House, BACKYARD ALE HOUSE came on the scene November ’08 and soon became Electric City’s premier beer bar. Offering an outrageously enormous 500 bottled beers as well as 20-plus rotating  taps, Backyard’s celebrates America’s proud microbrew generation in grand style. Its pristine tan frontage features Backyard’s brown-lettered insignia, windowed neon signs for the Keystone State’s most popular microbreweries (Stoudt’s/Troegs/Victory/Yards) and gorgeous earth-toned slate footing.

Upon entering the clean open space for the first time, June ’13, there resides a 15-stool left bar with two big screen TV’s, Backyard-etched central mirror, sundry taps and a large refrigerator (with awesome bottled selections). To the right are dining tables and along the middle beams several collectible beer bottles stand front to back. A newly installed kitchen serves pub fare such as burgers, wings and pizza.

Nick Lowe’s cold war anthem “So It Goes” blasts from the speakers as I settle into a beer crafted just down the highway, 3 Guys & A Beer’d Ladder Dive Rye IPA. Its reedy-hopped rye breading and orange-rotted dried fruiting picked up a grainier residue than most typical fruit-forward stylings.

Before getting a few takeout bottled beers from local breweries such as Old Forge, Susquehanna, Evil Twin and 3 Guys & A Beer, I grab a seat outside in the cement-floored open-air back deck. Overlooking City Hall, the red brick-sided space offers an 8-stool covered bar with three TV’s, several tables and chairs and a popcorn maker. On tap at the back bar are familiar Bud-Coors-Miller product as well as Guinness, Goose Island, Ommegang, Stegmaier and a few local indie draughts.

I dip into creamy eggshell-frothed Victory Uncle Teddy’s Bitter (with its orange-oiled lemon pit tartness and nutty respite) and vibrant fruit-candied Clown Shoes Tramp Stamp Belgian IPA (where black-peppered hops and alcohol-burnt astringency contrast a bright grapefruit-orange-tangerine-peach tang).

Indoor and outdoor jukeboxes provide alternative and classic rock selections while live music plays Friday and Saturday evenings.

A favorite watering hole for local businessmen, post-collegiate imbibers and craft beer enthusiasts, Backyard’s perfectly centralized location attracts a diverse crowd to Scranton’s inner sanctum.





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January ’04, superb Cooper’s Seafood House in rustic Scranton offered wide selection of tap and bottled beers plus fabulous lobster bisque, crab cakes, and clams. A diversified seafood/beer joint, Cooper’s interior features a central bar with separate dining spaces. A toy train goes thru each room nonstop and nostalgic nautical and cultural items line the crowded walls.

Initially, bought three Barley Creek brews while quaffing chocolate-y Stegmaier Porter. Worth noting: due Southeast six miles in tiny Eynon lies huge ‘distributor of micro and specialty brews,’ Ace Beverage, where I found middling Straub.

I had revisited Cooper’s a few more times before they began brewing their own beers May ’23.

While enjoying stuffed flounder and chicken corn chowder, June ’24, tried two newfangled dark ales but didn’t get to quaff Captain Cooper’s Helles Lager, Sozzled Skipper’s Pale Ale, The Moxie 40 IPA and It’s All About Timing IPA.

Peaty wee heavy, Cooper’s Smoking Scotsman, linked smoked brown chocolate malting to pecan-glazed chestnut, hazelnut and cola caramelization plus spicy dried fruiting contrasting weedy hop dankness.

Using similar base malts (?) as the wee heavy, Pennsylvanian Cowfish Milk Stout sunk dextrin malted sour milking into dry Bakers chocolate, oaken vanilla and distant soy saucing.