Crystal Ball Brewing adds to South Beaver Street's local flair
Crystal Ball Brewing is opening a second location at 21 South Beaver Street now in York City.
Don’t be surprised if Crystal Ball Brewing Co. bartenders tell different tales about how the brewery earned its name.
“Crystal is my grandmother, and she used to make yarn balls,” marketing and sales director Jesse De Salvo joked. “We named the business after her.”
De Salvo explained the business’s name is a “corporate secret.” But their passion for promoting Pennsylvania’s best libations is not, he added.
“We make stories up off the tops of our heads,” De Salvo continued about the brewery’s name. “We do it with every patron and at every beer festival. It’s hard to do, but you just have to roll with it.”
The brewery will open a new full-service bar at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, at 21 S. Beaver St., with York City Mayor Michael Helfrich cutting the ribbon.
The opening will mark the completion of a new South Beaver Street merchant hub that also includes Isaac’s On The Fly, Memory Lane Sweets, Make Me Over Beauty Supply, Lele B’s Boutique and Meta Hair Studio, according to Downtown Inc.
De Salvo said he and his co-founders, Ryan Johnstonbaugh and Ashley Garvick, think they've found "the best of the best" to serve their clientele.
"For anybody out there who says PA doesn't have any good wines, well they're wrong," De Salvo said. "We've found some good ones."
The three Spring Grove graduates and York City residents put themselves on the “craft beer map” in May 2014 when they opened their facility at 1612 W. King St. in West York. Their signature brew is a Coconut Porter, made with toasted coconut, De Salvo said.
Downtown Inc lauded the trio for creatively paying “homage to something local.”
The Project 70 Pale Ale references the man-made Lake Marburg at Codorus State Park, where the three grew up. They frequented the park to hike, swim in the pool or play disc golf, according to a Downtown Inc release. Lake Marburg was created as part of the Project 70 Land Acquisition and Borrowing Act in the 1960s.
The full-service bar is connected to Isaac’s On The Fly, De Salvo said, which opened up a natural business partnership.
“This whole building is connected,” he explained. “I haven’t heard of any instances like this. It just happened. They’ve got great food. We’ll make our money off of beer, wine and liquor, and they will make their money off of food. It’s just sales-driven. They make sales and we make sales, and it just supports each other naturally.”
Crystal Ball Brewing will offer 20 to 25 of Isaac’s items, such as wraps, sandwiches, soups and salads, he said.
The laid-back ambiance — 13 barstools, 10 counter seats and 35 table tops — has window shades to protect patrons' eyes from the sun’s natural light and to give it a speakeasy feel to match the city’s renaissance.
“We named a few of our drinks after the Weinbrom Jewelers building,” referencing the one-time tenant of the building in which Crystal Ball is located, De Salvo said.
Throughout the five-month build-out, he said he saved one of the building’s original beams.
“It’s an original beam, a big ugly beam that I love now,” De Salvo said. “With a graphite pencil, you can sign it. The building was a part of the Underground Railroad. We want to pay our respects to it.”
The brewing company's next location, De Salvo said, could be in Lancaster.