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The 'beer guys' who founded Black Cap Brewing Company in Red Lion almost a year ago are celebrating their first anniversary on Dec. 4, with live music, giveaways and an anniversary beer -- a twist on a customer favorite.

Co-owners Greg Bentley and Jim Waller said they're proud of what they've accomplished in their first year. But the celebration isn't really for them.

"It's probably more about our customers than us," said Bentley, who is also the head brewer. "It's a nice way to thank our customer base, our loyal customers, for getting us to this point."

A year into their business, Waller and Bentley said it feels like Black Cap Brewing Company is part of the Red Lion community, and they're excited for some of the branching out that's already starting to take shape.

From the start

When Waller and Bentley decided to open the brewpub, they set out some strategy.

"We've sort of done what we said we were going to do from the beginning," Waller said.

From the start, they wanted to "create a place that we'd like to go to as beer guys," Waller said.

They've done that through every element of their business.

They put a new beer on tap each week. That's a point of pride since many customers come in looking for what's new and many other customers come in looking for an old favorite to be back on tap, Waller said.

Their menu, which evolved after they opened, features weekly sandwich specials like pulled pork and pit beef from FFF Catering and George's Famous BBQ in Windsor Township, and desserts from Red Brick Bakery in the borough that are updated monthly. They serve wine from Allegro Winery, Chanceford Township. "We've got some good local partners," Bentley said. "It's a great thing and our customers like that we source local, small businesses."

And they've created an atmosphere at Black Cap Brewing Company where conversation, not noise, is the focus.

"We don't have TVs, we don't plan on having TVs," Waller said. "This is a place we can come and talk with our friends and family."

Looking head

At any one moment on any given night when Black Cap Brewing Company is open, Waller said he can look across the crowd of customers and recognize 70 percent of them, some by name.

That's exciting, Waller said, because it means people have enjoyed their experience at the brewpub, and they've come back for more. It also means new faces are making their way in, some from out of county and even from out of state, Bentley said.

Some of the new faces at the brewpub have had Black Cap beers before, at one of the local bars or restaurants that the brewery has distributed to since July.

Distribution is something Waller and Bentley said they're interested in growing. They've been approached by a few establishments outside of Red Lion, including some in York. "The owners or the bar managers came in here and tried our beer," Waller said of those places that have expressed an interest in serving Black Cap beers. "I think that makes us pretty proud."

First Anniversary Celebration details:

When: 3 to 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4

Where: Black Cap Brewing Company, 5 W. High St., Red Lion

Specials: Live music, giveaways and a special anniversary beer, an Imperial General Gates Porter, which has a 7.7 percent ABV.

For more info: www.blackcapbrew.com

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