If you’ve never heard the folklore of Molly Pitcher, I’m about to drop some serious knowledge on you. Don’t worry – there’s beer too (duh, there’s always beer). While there may not be “one” Molly Pitcher, there were, specifically, two pretty bad-ass chicks that inspired her symbolism and legend. The first being Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley (geesh, that’s a mouthful), whose first husband, William, was a gunner in the Pennsylvania Artillery. The story goes that during the Battle of Monmouth in 1778, Mary was carrying water for the troops (hence the Pitcher) when her husband was injured. Mary (commonly referred to as Molly back then) quickly set aside her pitcher, and stepped in for William to man the cannon herself. After the War, Mary and William resided in Carlisle, Pennsylvania where she was eventually awarded a pension for her service, and lived out the rest of her life. The second real-life “Molly” inspo comes from Molly Corbin, who like the first, also replaced her husband at the cannon after he was killed at Fort Washington in Manhattan, New York in the year 1776. This Molly was badly injured during the fight, and was also awarded a pension afterwards. Like I said. Bad. Ass.
So where’s the beer, you’re wondering? Hold your horses – I’m getting there! Molly #1’s grave and memorial can be found in the “Old Graveyard” in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. And just a stones throw away lies a quaint little hometown brewery named after the heroine herself. Molly Pitcher Brewing Company opened in 2014 at it’s current location on South Street. Here you can find brews named with the same revolutionary theme in mind, such as the Independence IPA, Patriot Pale Ale, and the Cannonball Kolsh, just to name a few. I got to visit the brewery two weeks ago with my parents, and after ordering our beers, which were poured from the coolest revolutionary firearm taps, we sat down at a high-top table to take in the perfect spring day. Along with our brews we also enjoyed a lunch of pulled pork sandwiches, and the most drool-worthy meat and cheese plate I’ve ever set eyes (or rather, stomach) on.
Molly Pitcher Brewing Co. boasts 10 rotating taps that feature beers from their list of about 20. You can get growlers, or crowlers filled to-go, and they also sell 20 oz. bottles. I love bringing back hometown beer to my friends in the city, and my only regret is not bringing a cooler as none of their beers are kept non-refrigerated. Not a beer drinker? Not a problem! The brewery also serves wine, cider, and cocktails sourced/made from local wineries and distilleries. Talk about #drinklocal. And due to demand, the brewery is already moving to a new location sometime this summer, 2017. Just 5 blocks away, the new taproom is currently under construction at 139 W. High Street. I can’t wait for my follow-up visit once it’s finished!
I’m constantly blown away by the level of craftsmanship, passion and community in the ever-growing Central PA craft beer scene. Molly Pitcher Brewing Company is another prime example! With one of the best happy hour’s in the area ($1 off pints – normally $5 each) I see big things in Molly Pitcher Brewing Co.’s future! I very much enjoyed every last drop of my Independence IPA and only wish I had a 6 pack here in my fridge in Manhattan right now. Rumor has it that both real-life Molly Pitchers had a tendency for foul language and an indulgence in an adult beverage or two (remember, bad-ass). I think she’d be quite pleased with the brewery of her namesake, too. To Molly; Cheers Woman!
Molly Pitcher Brewing Company
10 E. South Street
Carlisle, PA 17013