BERWYN – When Berwyn resident Paul Macchione opened his business, Flapjack Brewery, with his brother James Macchione last May, he wasn’t sure what to expect. But after one year, the Depot District brewery is booming, and Paul couldn’t be happier.
Flapjack celebrated the milestone with a big party May 25, when its new beer, Triple Gullet IPA, was introduced.
“Community support has been great. I didn’t know if people would like us when we first opened,” Paul said. “The Depot District is growing, there are a lot of new businesses coming up and I wanted to help make the Depot District a destination location.”
Paul, 38, and James, 42, grew up in Berwyn and began brewing craft beer together in their garages in 2007. James said they began talking about opening a brewery then but became more serious about it in 2013. After James’ full-time job was eliminated that year, he decided to take the plunge to open a business, and Paul was on board. James, who is in charge of the kitchen while Paul is in charge of brewing the beer, said he’s never looked back.
“Business has been great and has been increasing since day one,” he said. “It’s great to be a part of the Berwyn business community. This was the best career move. It’s a lot of responsibility, but I love it.”
The business has eight beers on tap at all times. Two of its original creations, the vanilla cream ale and coffee stout, are available year round, but Paul rotates the other beers depending on the season. Paul said he’s been working on lighter beers as summer approaches.
“In the winter, we have darker, thicker beers, but when the weather is warmer, we like to have a lot of light, refreshing beers with a lower alcohol content. Our tropical IPA is probably our biggest seller right now. I produce new beers all the time,” he said.
Flapjack isn’t just known for its unique beer. The brewery has a pizza menu, which James said wasn’t part of the original business plan. He said after considerable thought, they decided to build a small, wood-fired oven and sell their own food.
James, who attended culinary school, created all of the pizza recipes, which he describes as “Neopolitan-style.”
“A lot of families come in. The parents like to have a beer and pizza, and the kids can have our homemade craft sodas,” he said. “There are a lot of pizza places in Berwyn, but I don’t think any other place has the style of pizza that we have. It’s simple, wood-fired and has an airy, raised ring along the outside of it. It’s very thin and doughy in the middle.”
Amy Crowther, deputy executive director of the Berwyn Development Corp., said in an email she enjoys the different style of pizza Flapjack offers.
“[Flapjack Brewery] has added a lot to the character of the Depot District and Berwyn overall,” she said. “These are two hometown brothers who had a dream that started in their home and eventually they were able to grow it right here in Berwyn, and the BDC is proud to have been able to help them through that process.”
Paul and James have some big plans for the brewery over the next year. Paul said in the “near future,” they will start selling their beer in 16-ounce to-go cans, and he hopes to upgrade the brewing equipment to make bigger batches of beer. He also hopes to get the beer in wider distribution, so fans can get it outside the brewery, and expand business hours.
Overall, James said the last year has been a whirlwind, but he’s looking forward to what’s to come in the next year.
“We put everything on the line for this. It feels like we just opened up because everything went so fast. But I’m definitely excited for the future,” he said.
If you go
WHAT: Flapjack Brewery
HOURS: 2 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: 6833 Stanley Ave., Berwyn