By Derek Warren Weekender Correspondent

Nimble Hill Winery has established itself as one of the best wineries that our local area has to offer. However, two years ago, owner Gary Toczko decided to branch out and get into the beer-making business and opened Nimble Hill Brewery, becoming Pennsylvania’s first winery/brewery combination. Much like the winery, the brewery has quickly proven itself as a fine producer of fantastic drinks.

The brewery first opened in June 2011, selling the product as draft-only accounts throughout Wyoming County. However, the demand continued to grow and fast, which could be a problem for many just starting a new brewery, but Nimble Hill was prepared. It started with humble beginnings with brewmaster Mike Simmons making beers in a small garage while the pieces of the brewery were all put together. The brewery soon hit the ground running as the 15-barrel brewery that it is today.

Many in Wyoming County are very familiar with and enjoy Nimble Hill Brewer,y but in recent months, they were picked up by distributor LT Verrastro, Inc. This relationship has brought Nimble Hill’s beers to a much wider audience, and we can now thankfully find their beers throughout our local area on draft and in bottles.

Nimble Hill prides itself on producing high-quality beers, and according to head brewer Mike Simmons, they would “much rather dump a less-than-perfect beer rather than compromise their integrity.” This says a lot for a small brewery, as many are very strapped for cash in the early days, and this pursuit to produce high-quality beers is very apparent in all of their brews.

The brewery’s flagship beers are Cluster Fuggle, a wonderfully balanced pale ale, and Midnight Fuggle, one of the best robust porters I have ever had. The company is continually expanding and experimenting and has recently released Hop Bottom IPA and has many different varieties in the pipeline, including Turbo Diesel, a 10 percent port barrel-aged imperial stout that will soon be released at the brewery along with a sour beer named Mysteria, which I personally cannot wait to try. Also, when I was visiting, they were just beginning to brew Jack Be Nimble Pumpkin Ale, one of the best pumpkin ales on the market in my humble opinion, and it shall also be available soon.

Is all this talk about delicious beer making you thirsty? Well you are in luck! This past summer, they were all able to finally open their tasting room for the brewery, which is in the same building as the tasting room for the winery in Tunkhannock. This took some time and a lot of paperwork due to laws in Pennsylvania, but they were able to get through this and open a fine tasting room to try all of their wonderful beers.

So be sure to stop by Nimble Hill Brewery (3971 SR 6, Tunkhannock). Their hours of operation are Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Sunday 12-4 p.m. The hours of operation give you no excuse to not stop by and sample some beers, take home a six-pack, or fill your growler. However, if you are unable to get Tunkhannock, just look around and I’m sure you will find some in your local area. If not, ask for it – you will not be disappointed!