The Making of Punch Buggy | Craft Beer, Cars, and Community

The Making of Punch Buggy | Craft Beer, Cars, and Community

A home brewer, a beer enthusiast, and a soon-be-to-married brother walk into a bar.  

What happened next wasn’t a punchline — it was the start of Punch Buggy Brewing Company. 

Northeast Philly natives Patrick Coyne and John Riley had the idea of starting their own brewery while attending John’s brother’s bachelor party. But it wasn’t just the celebratory high of the party that got them thinking about opening a brewery: Pat and John had been brewing for years before that fateful night. 

The History (so far) of Punch Buggy Brewing

In fact, Pat already started the Northeast Philly Beer Fest nine years ago to showcase local brewery companies and their innovations. The annual festival gives Philadelphia based breweries a chance to test out new flavors and share a love for beer. His experience volunteer brewing with Free Will gave him experience for his own brewing endeavors. By providing an outlet for experimentation and community feedback, Pat set a strong precedent for novelty in his own brewing. 

John is also a seasoned veteran with ten years of home brewing under his belt. In addition, John is the mastermind of Punch Buggy’s kitchen as the pioneer of the food menu. He set up  collaboration brewing between 2nd Story Brewing Co. and Punch Buggy.

After going through high school together, Pat and John decided that opening a brewery together couldn’t be that much more difficult. After dedicating so much time already to the creation of beer and community, it was a natural progression for them to expand into their own taproom and brewing company with a few very important pieces of the puzzle added along the way to help it all come together.

Matt Rowland is our head brewer and was instrumental in the construction of the building. Ray Mowery started as an investor and now runs the front of the house and was also huge in the construction project. Rob Clark manages and keeps day-to-day operations running smoothly. Ryan Russo is the man behind the menu and created all of our prized Gourmet Grilled Cheese recipes.

The spirit of Pat’s punch buggy lives on through their brewery’s decoration and logo. All colors of punch buggies are welcome to the party!

Punch Buggy Brewing Company, which was named after Pat’s orange punch buggy from college, officially opened their taproom on August 8, 2019 and there hasn’t been a boring day yet. Located in Olde Kensington, the brewery is centrally located in an evolving community. The taps are constantly changing thanks to the fresh, small batches that guarantee variety. 

They continue the tradition of community involvement with events, such as the most recent Halloween costume party, and voting for new beer flavors with the Battle of the Brewers. Both innovation and customer feedback are critical to the creation of Punch Buggy’s rotation of fresh craft beer. Events range from their running club to football watching parties.

Even the outside decoration of the taproom is a testament to their cultivation of community with street art from a local artist. 

The street art we commissioned on the outside wall of Punch Buggy’s taproom made by a local artist.

From its conception at a bachelor party to the story behind the name, Punch Buggy Brewing Company has always been a personal investment that the founders have made a personal passion project. Punch Buggy is not only a product of the founders’ passion for all things brewing, but also of their desire to foster a community of innovative Philadelphia breweries.

What surprised you about Punch Buggy’s origin story? What has been your favorite experience with Punch Buggy so far? Are there any events you would like to see us do? Leave us a comment down below!

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