Helps make Lake Region a craft beer destination

HAWLEY - Friends and family gathered for a ribbon cutting on the opening day of Hawley’s newest brewery, Hopping Eagle Brewing Company, on Saturday, August 24. The brewery and tavern are located on the “B” level of Hawley Silk Mill, right down the hill from the Silk Mill’s main entrance.
The arrival of Hopping Eagle make the second craft brewery in the immediate Hawley area, another instance of a growing, popular industry.
Hoping Eagle is a one barrel nano-brewery with eight fermenters, allowing eight types of beer at any one time. They have seating for 28, with plenty of standing room with barrels and window ledges to place your glasses.
A family affair, Hopping Eagle is owned by Ron Passaro, his wife Maggie Passaro, his father, Jim Passaro and Maggie’s uncle, Jim Varetoni.
Ron Passaro and P.J. Doyle do the brewing.
This new venture has roots in a passion of Ron Passaro’s. He said it started out as his hobby eight years ago. He met P.J., and it all came together. A brewer’s license was obtained.
They are partnering with Space Time Mead & Cider Works to provide mead and cider, and Three Hammers Winery, to offer wine to their customers. They will have popcorn and pretzels. They are looking to have a pop-up kitchen and food trucks in the future.
It’s been a lot of work to bring the new business together, Ron stated. The last was signed in November 2018.
Jim Passaro, who worked on the restoration, pointed out the old barn beams on the ceiling, and other features. Jim Varetoni, who restores antiques, highlighted some of the classy antiques decorating the bar room. These include a 1939 Coca Cola machine, a 1951 Pepsi machine, and a vintage pedal car.  An old gasoline pump will be added soon. Varetoni also restored the bar, which had sat in a garage for 25 years.
Asked where they got the name for the business, the “Hopping” refers to hop picked from vines, which are used to add flavor to their beers. “Eagle” refers to the fact that Ron was an Eagle Scout.
Justin Genzlinger, who is the owner and CEO of Settlers Hospitality, said that renovations undertaken for Hopping Eagle completes the renovation work in the main building of the Hawley Silk Mill complex, which was built in 1880 as a silk factory. Settlers Hospitality has owned the building 10 years and made it a multi-use facility with a wide variety of tenants.
“I wish the family the best of luck,” Genzlinger said. “…The quality of their beer is very good.” He said he looks forward to partnering with Hopping Eagle at the Boiler Room as well as at the Cocoon coffeehouse and bakery across the road.
Genzlinger said that the addition of Hoping Eagle in the community, along with the Wallenpaupack Brewery, helps make the Lake Region a destination for craft beers, which he said is good for the local economy and tourism. The latter business opened in 2017, and added an addition in 2019. Ron Passaro pointed out that between the craft breweries and local wineries, the area is becoming more of an attraction for the industry’s clientele.
Hopping Eagle is presently open Fridays, 4:30 to 9 p.m.; Saturdays, 12 to 9 p.m. and Sundays, 12 to 7 p.m. More information, including what’s on the menu, is available by calling 570-390-7331 or by visiting their website (www.hoppingeaglebrewing.com), Facebook or Instagram.

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Editor's Note: This is a revised article, to correct a few errors.