One journey ends and a new journey begins...

As I read the email that Mark Sofio sent to our loyal W5 Homebrew followers, I have to admit, I had tears in my eyes.  We have been brewing beer, eating great food prepared by King Leo, having a blast with friends and family, and all the while hatching plans to take our home-brewed beer commercial.  The McCluskey's home is the original Castle and all of us have so many wonderful memories from the past 5 years.  Thank you to all the W5 brewers and especially, Leo, Kitty and Mark Sofio!!

This is Mark's final W5 email to the gang.

Greetings All!

Where have all the years gone?! For over five years W5 Homebrew Club has dedicated itself to making the best home-brew beer we can. As many of you know, about 2 years ago we ventured out, via contract brewing, into the commercial beer world. We were warmly received and felt pretty good about our brewing ability. So we have decided to leap into the crazy world of Craft Beer Breweries as Crowded Castle Brewing Company with a brewery and taproom in historic Phoenixville, PA.  If you are interested in finding out more, you can go to our website

In making that decision, we knew that the day would come when we would have say goodbye to W5 in order to focus our attention on Crowded Castle. That day is here.

We would like to say thank you to all of you who came to visit us, who came to brew with us, eat with us, and who allowed us to share our home-brew at their events.  Your support and encouragement…and just plain love of beer…helped inspire us to start Crowded Castle. We invite you all to stop by and join us this Spring in Phoenixville…across from the Blob movie theater…for a pint or two!

I will pass this email list onto Crowded Castle for our monthly update. If you do not wish to be on that list, just respond to me and I will not pass on your email address.

If you are so inclined, we are kicking off a crowd funding campaign. Join in if you'd like. If you have any friends who might get a kick out of supporting us, please forward this to them.

Thank you again my friends and beer lovers. It has been my privilege to share our experiences with you.

Remember, just because something doesn’t last doesn’t mean it wasn’t beautiful!

This is Masta G, signing off and wishing you the beauty of life and the best of beer!




Craft brew fans clamor for more

The CCBC brew crew continues to answer the demand for our beer and our story.  Packing up our wears we head into Bethlehem Pa to turn craft brew lovers onto our Copr IPA.  New and returning fans love our neighborhood home brew club gone commercial craft beer story.  A bit of rags to riches or from bottles to kegs, type of thing. I don't know who is more excited about our anticipated grand opening in Pheonixville, PA - fans or the brew crew.   

Contract Brewing: Do You Know What It Really Means?

Whether you are an avid follower of the craft brewing culture or not, you may have heard the term “contract brewing” thrown around before.  You may even know what the term means by its implied wording, but what does it really mean to the business of craft brewing?  What does contract brewing mean to the brewery that supplies it as a service?  What about the brewer that utilizes it as a service? Most importantly, what does it mean to the end consumer who drinks a pint of contract brewed beer at his or her local watering hole? I will try to answer these questions for you, because Crowded Castle had its humble beginnings as a contract brewer, and we believe it’s important you understand what that means.

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Debut of the COPR IPA at Blue Mountain

Saturday was a milestone for Crowded Castle! We premiered our CÔPR IPA to the general public at The Blue Mountain Beer, Bourbon & BBQ festival. The event was held on the beautiful slope-slide lawn at the Blue Mountain Ski Resort and it featured local and national craft breweries and distilleries coupled with delicious BBQ.

Seven of our nine founding members staffed our tent to meet the beer enthusiasts of the Lehigh Valley and get feedback on our beer – needless to say is was a very “crowded” tent!

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Cristo Rey XBA Bike to the Shore

Greetings All!

I hope you had a great Memorial Day! We had a great time at Cristo Rey’s XBA’s Bike to the Shore fundraiser! Our beer was received very well and we received lots of very nice compliments! Thank you to John McConnell for inviting us back again this year!! Our best wishes to Cristo Rey as they grow and serve the Philadelphia community.

Well, the lull is over and it is time to get back at it! 

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W5 Home Brew - 1st Place IPA

Greetings All!


Well, a funny thing happened at the Raise Your Mug for a Cure charity event last night. Unknown to us there was “contest” where the event attendees voted for their favorite beer…and we did very well!! Kyle’s Biere der Untoten, a Citra IPA, took first for the favorite beer of the night!! Kitty’s Saison du Fou took third place!! Her saison landed ahead of many IPAs and a very good Maibock and a good German Wheat beer. A real accomplishment for a saison!! And Anna’s Flattery, a brown ale, place in the middle of the pack and received high praise from brown ale drinkers…a smaller part of the beer drinking population…a great showing for a brown ale!!

Thank you all for your support of our efforts to share our beer for good causes. Last night’s event was a big success for the event’s organizers and I believe it was in no small part due to the many home brewers who came to share their beer…and what really good beer they brought!! It was fun to meet them all and share our beer.

Congrats again to Kyle, Kitty, and Anna!! Well done and thank you for contribution to W5 and to Raise Your Mug for a Cure.




Mark Sofio and Fran Mazza of W5 Home Brew and soon to be Crowded Castle Brewing Company.  On Location last night at the Raise Your Mug of a Cure charity at The John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove, in Audubon, PA.

Our 1st Blog Post

Today Crowded Castle Brewery LLC, purchased their website.  This is a work in progress, and hopefully we will be able to have it up and running in a few weeks.  Can't wait to be able to give out the URL to this site, and watch our internet traffic increase!!