Iron Hill Owners Act as Santa Claus, Award Employees Appreciation Ale

Yes, Iron Hill staffer, there is a Santa Claus. Look for the jolly old elf to pay a visit to your restaurant soon to deliver holiday cheer you can use to shout “cheers.” Not an employee? Read on to find out how to get your holiday on in delicious style.

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How can Santa be at all 11 Iron Hill restaurants? He has some helpers, of course, in the form of owners Kevin Finn, Mark Edelson and Kevin Davies. They’ll be decking the halls as ol’ Saint Nick and gifting over-21 employees with Appreciation Ale. Those not yet of drinking age need not worry: there will be no coal in your stockings, just something fun from your manager to mark the season.

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“We started bottling beer in 2006, and shortly after I started delivering ‘thank you’ beer at the holidays to the over-21 employees,” explained Kevin Finn. “At some point I began dressing up as Santa, and it just took off from there. Once we got to around five or six restaurants, Mark and Kevin got involved. It’s a really great time and a fun tradition of giving back to our employees.”

Like Kevin, Mark and Kevin’s yearly gifting visits, the type of beer also evolved over the years, and has settled into the aptly named Appreciation Ale. Originally crafted by Chestnut Hill Head Brewer Chris LaPierre for his staff when he was in West Chester, the 2014 vintage is a big, bold American IPA. This clearly takes the “employee benefit” concept to a new level.

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The sentiment on the festive hangtag accompanying each gift is a tribute to the respect and admiration the owners have for each and every employee. Iron Hill recognizes employee achievement throughout the year and encourages employees to dedicate time to community service. That attracts a certain caliber person, one who is proud to wear the Iron Hill logo and one who makes Iron Hill proud in return. The beer and food are outstanding, but customers also return for the exceptional service.

“As owners, we’re living our dreams, and we know we have everyone who works for us to thank for that,” Kevin F. added. “It’s our way to raise a glass to the best staff in the business.”

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Kevin Davis concurs: “I always enjoy doing this and our employees get a kick out of it. They  appreciate that we make the effort. The part I enjoy the most is when you first walk into the employee meeting dressed up as Santa Claus.”

Non-employee fans of Iron Hill beer, take heart. There is a good selection of bottled beer—and one limited-time canned gem—available to grab up as gifts for your nearest and dearest (note: you count as a “nearest and dearest”). Eliminate the regift with Special Reserve 750 ml bottles. These tasty selections vary, so ask your server or bartender for a menu of our current selections. Or let us choose for you with the Belgian Abbey gift package (Abbey Dubbel, Tripel and Belgian Quadrupel) or the Gold Medal package (The Cannibal, Russian Imperial Stout, Saison and Wee Heavy). Completely on-trend right now is our Bedotter in a four-pack of 16-oz. cans. And it goes without saying that Iron Hill gift cards and King of the Hill Rewards Club memberships make perfect gifts, too.

Happy holidays to our employees and our customers, and here’s to a delicious 2015!

With 11 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Content provided by Dish Works author Nina Malone.

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