“When I first started thinking about starting a brewing company, I talked it over with people,” [Rust Belt Brewing Company founder Ken Blair] said during an interview in front of the fermentation tanks at his B&O Station site. He got encouragement from his friends, including Nick Rosch, who is a brewmaster at Penn Brewing in Pittsburgh. “Nick said, ‘If you can brew beer this good in your house, you can do it in a bigger environment.’ It’s actually easier in a brewery, because it’s a more controlled environment and there’s less chance of spoilage.” ...
... He has contracted with Ohio Wine, a wholesale distributor, to get his bottled brews in stores, and has also obtained agreements from quite a few bars to reserve a tap for his draught beer. He mentioned the Boxcar Lounge, the Royal Oaks, University Pizzeria and the Draught House in Youngstown, and Quaker Steak and Lube and Barry Dyngle’s in Austintown.
“My business model would be Great Lakes Brewing in Cleveland, or Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware,” he said.
The first brew scheduled to pour from his tanks will be Rusty River Irish Red, a full-bodied beer with the sediment left in. “The sediment will give it a nostalgia, and it’s actually good for you,” said Blair. “There are nutrients in it.”
I hope Officer Blair will consider opening a tap room so fans can sample fresh batches, but I'm looking forward to drinking his beer the next time I'm in the Tech Belt. Meet me at The Royal Oaks!