Kilmarnock BrewHaus opens

Don Lee recently tapped the Kilmarnock BrewHaus at 44 West Church Street, Kilmarnock.The brew room is visible through windows facing the street.

by Audrey Thomasson

The best part of owning a craft brewery is not getting in trouble for drinking on the job, said Don Lee.

Two weeks ago, Lee launched Kilmarnock BrewHaus, the town’s first craft brewery, in time for St. Patrick’s Day weekend. And what a weekend it was.

“Everybody is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day,” he said. Those “Irish” customers jammed into his spacious new pub at 44 West Church Street ready to celebrate with a variety of lagers and beers that would please any palate.

Although Lee says he’s never been to Germany, the establishment has a German flare in its decor. Beers are brewed according to the strict 1516 Reinheitsgebot (German bier purity law). Introduced in 1516 by Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria, the law allows for only hops, barley, water and later, yeast in the making of beer.

Kilmarnock town water is “heavily filtered” to remove chlorine, salts and other impurities. His grains are shipped from Germany. But that could change, now that he’s discovered a local source in Northumberland County. Lee boils the grains, which are then separated from the liquid and traded to a “hog farmer in Middlesex…