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Happy Valley Brewery - State College

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic' started by jra173, Sep 19, 2013.

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  1. jra173

    jra173 Jan 19, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    The State College, PA area is soon to be home to a new brewery called Happy Valley Brewery. So far that has not been much information out on the brewery. Does anybody know anything about their beer or the brewer?
  2. mscott1975

    mscott1975 Feb 19, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I live in State College. This is what I know...

    One of the owners is Scott Luchessi, the guy who owns Champs, Ale House etc. The other owner is Greg Somers who organized the State College Beer expo.

    I heard the brewer is a former brewer at Acadia Ales in Michigan. Not sure if he was head brewer or what.

    They should be opening in the next week or two. The just got the lines painted in the parking lot.
  3. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Sorry, but I couldn't help myself. Are you saying that painting the lines in the parking lot signifies that they are ready to brew?
  4. wrw5031

    wrw5031 Dec 21, 2011 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    As someone who grew up in State College, I'm really wondering what the legitimacy of this place is going to be. To be honest, businesses that Luchessi has owned have really not produced quality over quantity (at least in my opinion). It'll be interesting to see how this place compares to Otto's, too.
  5. mscott1975

    mscott1975 Feb 19, 2011 Pennsylvania

    No. They were supposed to open the doors two weeks ago. My guess is they are close to opening the doors. No idea what the status of "brewing" is but my guess is they will open the doors and sell food and other beers not brewed by them if their beer idnt ready. In State College, they are losing tons of money every "home football weekend" they are not open.
  6. mscott1975

    mscott1975 Feb 19, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Scott has done a great job with Champs over the last five years. Completely remodeled with a really good beer selection. Of all the restaurateurs in State College, I trust him to do it the right way. I'd say snagging a brewer from Acadia is very promising.
  7. PittRooney

    PittRooney Jan 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    i can't remember his name, but the brewer from arcadia bartends at champs usually in the back bar while the brewery is being built
  8. mscott1975

    mscott1975 Feb 19, 2011 Pennsylvania

    The person who told me was as actually a back bartender at champs but he didn't identify himself as the next brewer at HVB. Maybe it was him. I'm looking forward to it.
  9. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 May 30, 2005 Michigan

    The brewer's name is Josh Davies, and rest assured, he can brew. You'll enjoy what he turns out if he is given free reign to brew things his way.
    jra173 likes this.
  10. Uniobrew31

    Uniobrew31 Jan 16, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Nothing online. So many brewery's opened around the area in the last few months I haven't been able to try them all yet. Good problem to have though!
  11. jra173

    jra173 Jan 19, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I live in State College as well and have been waiting for this to open. Someone I work with knows the brewer, loosely, but he wasnt comfortable sharing a lot of information. What he did say is that the brewer has beers in his fermentors in his garage. I do assume that they are for HVB and they will have their own creations when they open. I will second that the beer list at Champs is fairly solid, needless to say i have high hopes for the new place. I think Otto's is good, not great, but it will be nice to have options without having to go to Millheim.
  12. jra173

    jra173 Jan 19, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I did check with my co-worker and the brewers name is Josh Davies and he is from MI.
    Mothergoose03 likes this.
  13. Beerisheaven

    Beerisheaven Dec 5, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Where is it going to be located?
  14. merc7186

    merc7186 Dec 5, 2010 New York

    Dont you travel to Bellefont for Gamble Mill?
  15. BeerIsland

    BeerIsland Feb 9, 2003 Pennsylvania

    Southwest corner of 322/24 intersection. Looks to be a nice place; interior is well done. Inittal coverage will be in Oct issue of MidAtlantic Brewing News.
  16. music4beer

    music4beer Apr 22, 2011 Ohio

    You beer lovers in State College will be very pleased with the new Happy Valley Brewing, if past performance of the brewer comes into play. Josh was the head brewer at Arcadia, & was recruited by the new owners to make sure beer quality is outstanding. Josh is highly regarded in the Michigan brewing community, & I expect the Penn. brewing community to equally embrace him within a short period. He is young(30?), but very knowledgeable.
    The beer being brewed(garage) is on a pilot system, which basically allows a brewer to "test-run" recipes. A brewery build-out is extremely time-consuming due to all the permits needed, in addition to construction delays. As with any new brewery, high-end quality is often not apparent for a few months until familiarity with equipment, or small kinks are worked out. That being said, expect beers you will be flocking to; Josh can brew 5% beers that have complex flavor profiles, or 10+% beers that are smooth. It's the standard in-betweens that you will learn to love.
    Josh & his beautiful wife(2 young children) are awesome human beings, with interests in outdoor activities, sports, music & countless other things. To say he is an approachable brewer is an understatement. We got to know Josh & his wife on our Michigan beer trips, & we quickly became friends. I know beer, & I consider Josh one of the best young brewers in America. You too will soon be embracing him as another credit to the Penn. brewing scene.
    Hope to see you soon State College(we are already familiar w/Otto's), as our beer trips will now include Pennsylvania on a regular basis due to Happy Valley Brewing.
  17. Jaysus

    Jaysus Jan 16, 2003 Pennsylvania

    Wait, I'm confused... did they bring him out to PA to run a brewery, and then not build a brewery for him?!?
  18. BeerIsland

    BeerIsland Feb 9, 2003 Pennsylvania

    During my visit, Josh said a 15 bbl JV NW system with 5 fermenters was on the way.
    Jaysus likes this.
  19. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Josh bought brewing equipment from a closed brewery here in Michigan two years ago when he accepted his new position, but I suspect it's been in storage until the brewery construction was finished.
  20. jra173

    jra173 Jan 19, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    any further info on the opening date?
  21. BeerIsland

    BeerIsland Feb 9, 2003 Pennsylvania

    This would have been a good weekend for it.
  22. Edwin

    Edwin May 8, 2003 Pennsylvania

    QFT. Big weekend in the SC area.
  23. jra173

    jra173 Jan 19, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    A friend of mine told me yesterday that he had heard 10/24 for the opening date. I'm not sure if that is true or not and cannot seem to locate anything online, but if so it is just around the corner.
  24. PaigeD

    PaigeD Aug 7, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I heard similar things re: opening from people "in the know" about it, but it seems like we're pretty dang close to the 24th to have not heard anything about it.

    I did get to see drafts of the beer artwork a few weeks back. It looked pretty slick.
  25. jeevo

    jeevo Nov 1, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I'll be up Penn State the weekend of November 22nd for the Nebraska game. Hopefully I can find some time to check this place out.
  26. PaigeD

    PaigeD Aug 7, 2012 Pennsylvania

    You might get lucky and they'll have some of their own stuff for sale by then. I talked to my buddy yesterday and was told that they are on schedule to open before the end of October, but they will be doing so with none of their own beer on yet.

    Or if you want to meet up at, e.g., Zeno's, for a beer at any point, let me know. We're doing a tasting at my house that weekend too.
  27. jeevo

    jeevo Nov 1, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I did not know that they would be selling outside beers. Admittedly I haven't read too much about this place, but I was under the impression that it would be like Otto's in that the only beer served would be there own.

    And I would definitely meet up for a beer or a few. I guess I can message you a little later on when I know my definite plans, but I'm 90% sure I'm going to be in State College that weekend for the game. I absolutely love it up there. Visit at the very least once a year. The campus / town is amazing this time of the year. Can't beat Autumn.
  28. Kloze

    Kloze Apr 8, 2013 Pennsylvania

    Their website is more functional than it was last week. I will stop by on the 24th to try and get some info. I am unclear of their location though. Anyone have an exact address?
  29. BeerIsland

    BeerIsland Feb 9, 2003 Pennsylvania

    137 Elmwood ST southwest corner of Rte 322 and College Ave
  30. Kloze

    Kloze Apr 8, 2013 Pennsylvania

    Oh okay, I drive near there every day. I'll stop by tomorrow and report back to you guys.
  31. PaigeD

    PaigeD Aug 7, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Ok, so I stopped in tonight, their unofficial grand opening. it was like a surprise opening.

    A few quick notes:
    Guest taps are fairly solid; victory first wolf, founders all day IPA, new holland dragon's milk
    Beers: they still haven't gotten their yeast in (ships tomorrow), and at least what I overheard is that the idea is that they won't start serving any of their own beer until they have all of it brewed. so prepare to possibly wait for a bit?
    Ambience: the basement reminds me of Texas. I like upstairs. In general, way too many TVs.
    Food: Tasty... my constructive criticism was mostly nitpicking. But, be careful. It adds up quickly.
    Liquor: they have the best bartenders in state college, and their martini menu is phenomenal. but spendy.
    Prezels: best I've had in State College. Big portion, small $$, order ALL THE PRETZELS
    Griggsy, LosDiggity25 and jwat like this.
  32. PaigeD

    PaigeD Aug 7, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Just as a heads up to people that may be here over the holidays (myself included), HVBC is allegedly tapping the Brown and Pale Ale today around happy-hour-ish.
  33. jra173

    jra173 Jan 19, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    They tapped the IPA on Monday and i tried it yesterday. I'm a fan of a hoppier IPA and so i would rate this above Slab Cabin for a locally brewed IPA. I'm looking forward to them bottling it, so i can enjoy them without having to worry about driving home after.
  34. BeerIsland

    BeerIsland Feb 9, 2003 Pennsylvania

    How many house beers on tap now?
  35. kdb150

    kdb150 Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Sounds like they're trying to keep the student riff-raff away. I will definitely check this place out next time I'm up. Sounds good.
  36. jra173

    jra173 Jan 19, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    They have four of their beers on tap. The IPA, Brown Ale, Loftbier and Pale Ale.
  37. PaigeD

    PaigeD Aug 7, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I haven't had the IPA or the Loftbier, but I wasn't a fan of the brown or the pale ale at all. Glad to hear the IPA is above slab cabin, though.
  38. TheMultiYeast

    TheMultiYeast Oct 11, 2011 Vermont

    Why would you be glad to hear that? Slab Cabin is an exceptional local IPA and a very decent beer overall. Otto's clearly has the most brewing credentials in State College so why praise the newbs at HVBC because they made one decent IPA, an average pale ale, and mediocre brown ale?
  39. PA-Michigander

    PA-Michigander Nov 10, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I could be wrong, but I'd guess after having two beers he wasn't a fan of he was happy to hear there was a good choice.
  40. PaigeD

    PaigeD Aug 7, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Right on the money. Slab Cabin is great, but considering that I like their food (though sometimes it's a touch on the salty side for my preference), I'd like to have a beer from them I enjoy drinking. I wasn't throwing shade at Otto's-- I used to play trivia there every week before we moved to playing at Zeno's. It only strengthens the brewing community in State College for their beer to be enjoyable.
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