Brewer in Phoenixville Balances Staying True to His Roots and Accommodating Newer Styles

Chris O'Keefe of Root Down Brewing Company
Image via Root Down Brewing.
Chris O'Keefe.

Chris O’Keefe, head brewer at Root Down Brewing Company in Phoenixville, started making beer as a hobby, which then led him to his current position, according to a report from Breweries in Pennsylvania. 

“I almost exclusively bought ingredients from Artisan Homebrew located in Downingtown,” said O’Keefe. “Artisan was owned by Mike Hamara, who is now the owner of Root Down Brewing Co.” 

After Hamara sold Artisan and opened Root Down five years ago, he approached O’Keefe and offered him the role of assistant brewer. He was happy to accept and has been there ever since. 

Working as a brewer in Pennsylvania has required a lot of balancing. 

It “is an ongoing balancing act between trying to remain true to your roots and accommodate newer styles in a unique way,” said O’Keefe. “It’s certainly a never-ending task for our whole team.” 

As far as the future of the industry is concerned, “I think that current trends are pointing to a continued resurgence of European styles and lower ABV styles in general,” he said. 

Read more about Chris O’Keefe at Breweries in Pennsylvania

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