REVIEW: Collusion Tap Works
A trip to Collusion Tap Works in York, Pa. offers a different experience every time you set foot in their tap room.
Though they opened just a year ago, they have already eclipsed the 200 distinct beer mark and show no signs of slowing down.
From sours to stouts, and IPAs to Rauchbier, Collusion does it all with great quality. It all stems from the brewing philosophy of Collusion’s head brewer, Jared Barnes.
“I believe — don’t get complacent, don’t get stale, and don’t get stagnant,” said Barnes. “Try new things, when it comes to beer styles, always experiment. That’s why we built this brewery the way we did. There’s not a style of beer we can’t make.”
Barnes’ brewing experience reflects that brewing philosophy. His resume includes stints at Southern Tier Brewing Co., Darwin’s Brewing Co., and Mispillion River Brewing.
Barnes, along with brewer Ben Beddia, brew constantly to keep up with Collusion Tap Work’s ever-changing tap list.
Collusion offers 20 beers, including core, or flagship, beer selections to special one-offs.
Vivid River Farmhouse Ale – A dry, tart farmhouse ale that is light and easy to drink. It’s not too sour that it challenges your palate with every sip, but it will still please anyone looking for a bit of pucker.
Animorphous Series – Their rotating double IPA series features new hops with every batch. The current version combines the juicy Mosaic hop profile with the sweet and fruity flavors of the Vic Secret hop.
Alley IPA – Their flagship session beer that uses Cascade, Nugget, and Belma hops for a refreshing light beer with tropical fruit aroma and flavor.
Masquerade Porter – A cappuccino porter that balances coffee flavor with the roasted notes of a porter. It’s delicious and a coffee-beer lover’s dream.
Auckland Kolsch – There’s nothing better than a crisp Kolsch on a hot day. Collusion’s version is true to the style with a slight bitterness and smooth malt flavors.
Homunculus DIPA – Barnes said he thinks this is the beer that put them on the map. It’s a juicy double IPA full of citrus and mango flavors with a balanced bitterness.
Fuzzy Scrumpit – A New England-style IPA that uses a dose of pink guava and white peaches for a slight tartness and extra flavor in this juiced-up IPA.
These are just a small sampling of the special one-off beers on tap, and they could be gone before you know it.
Guava River – Their Vivid River with the addition of guava for more depth of flavor with a little more of a tart finish.
Corn Has Spoken IPA – An IPA brewed with flaked corn in the mash to add a touch of sweetness. Heavy hopping of Huel Melon, El Dorado, and Belma hops add tropical fruit notes and bitterness.
Black Velvet Nitro Stout – A beer that drinks like its name. It’s smooth and packed with chocolate flavor and a hint of roasted coffee at the back end. It’s a perfect dessert beer.
Urban Explorer Hefeweizen – Collusion’s hefe finds the perfect balance of a sweet malt profile with the typical banana and clove flavors from the yeast.
Deep Horizon Baltic Porter – This beer has all the complex flavors of a porter with the smooth easy-drinking crispness of a lager.
Mexican Harlequin – Imperial coffee porter aged in Anejo Tequila barrels with Mexican cinnamon, coffee beans, vanilla beans, and ancho chilis. This beer has sweetness from the porter, heat from the chilis and a perfect amount of tequila flavor.
Collusion offers full pours, half-pours of some beers, and of course, flights if you want to get a taste of everything.
Barnes said when he found this location it was just the shell. There was nothing to the building except four walls and six hanging lights.
He said this was the perfect canvas to create his brewery.
The taproom is cozy with plenty of seating at the bar and a variety of other seating options at tables. Collusion also offers outdoor seating complete with a corn hole set for friendly competition.
The brewhouse, which features both one and seven barrel brew systems, sits just behind the taproom wall. Collusion also several fermenters to keep the 20 taps flowing with new beer.
For food, Collision offers a menu with handhelds like paninis and flatbreads along with shareable appetizers. They also offer specials throughout the week like Monday Taco Night, Wurst Wednesday, and Buck-a-Shuck Thursday.
Collusion keeps you on your toes with their ever-changing beer lineup, and it’s a good idea to make frequent trips to try the latest and greatest.