Meet The Brewer: Brian McConnell of Sterling Pig Brewery

Welcome to our “Meet The Brewer” series! Where we interview brewers in Pennsylvania, from breweries small to large. Let us know if you know anyone who should be featured, email us at

Sterling Pig Brewery first opened in July of 2015 at 609 West State Street, in Media, PA. In March of 2019, the brewery expanded by opening a second location in West Chester, at 113 West Market Street. Sterling Pig brews on a 15 BBL brewhouse feeding 8 taps at their Media location and 10 at their West Chester location. Both locations also serve the brewery’s signature barbecue and wood-fired pizzas, perfect for pairing with beer.

Brian McConnell is the head brewer at Sterling Pig Brewery. Read more to find out his introduction to craft beer, where he sees the craft beer industry heading, and more!

Photo courtesy of Sterling Pig Brewery.

What was your introduction to craft beer?

My introduction to craft beer was actually quite the epiphany for me. I was in college in Virginia in the ’90s and my most exotic exposure to beer had probably been something like Michelob. A friend returned educated from a semester in Oregon and picked up a sixpack of Sierra Nevada. I’d had no idea beer could taste like that.

How did you get started as a brewer?

Soon after that epiphany, I started homebrewing. Supplies were tough to come by, and the beer my friends and I made was surely awful, but we had a blast.I eventually got a job as a keg washing grunt in DC. I honestly never expected it to turn into a career, but here we are…

What style allows you to be the most creative, and why?

I honestly think there’s room for creativity within any style. My favorite to play with is probably Pilsner. We use American hops (of noble lineage) and our hop back for ours, but it tastes pretty darned continental.

Photo courtesy of Sterling Pig Brewery.

What was the first beer you ever brewed, and what did you learn from it?

The first beer I remember brewing was a Christmas beer inspired by Anchor. It was a blueberry ginger porter and I called it Grizzled Grinch. Made a label for it and everything. If I learned anything, it was that there’s a wide margin for error.

Where do you see the craft beer industry heading in the next few years?

I picture the industry continuing to localize. I can see a bunch of small local breweries with pubs or taprooms and small distribution footprints. But my crystal ball frequently malfunctions.

Describe what it’s like to be a brewer in Pennsylvania.

PA is a great state to be a brewer. There’s an interested, educated, and curious audience of beer drinkers here to go along with a close-knit group of brewers.

Photo courtesy of Sterling Pig Brewery.

What is the inspiration behind your beer names?

The inspiration behind our names varies, but it’s frequently a necessity. Meaning, that I may have to text our team a week before the beer comes out and ask for a name, It’s not typically something I’m thinking of in advance.

What is your favorite beer to drink right now?

My favorite beer to drink is the one in my hand at any given point. Ideally, one that I have not paid for.

What is the most important lesson you learned in the beer industry so far?

The most important lesson I’ve learned in brewing is that there’s a solution for every problem. And I’m currently finding some wood to knock on.

Thank you to Brian for talking with us! Make sure you visit Sterling Pig Brewery’s website to see all the latest beers and news. Also, follow Sterling Pig on Facebook and Instagram.

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