Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor a global pandemic will stop Old Thunder Brewing from opening in the Blawnox Post Office building this year.
Since September 2019, partners Josh Taylor, Zach Gordon and Rob Dillman have been working to transform the 81-year-old building into a modern taproom that will serve beer styles to suit every palate. Natives of DuBois, PA, Gordon and Dillman brewed together while in college. Once they moved to Pittsburgh, their neighbor Taylor joined the team.
Although the 3,000-square-foot structure has been gutted, historical elements remain, including the ornamental eagle on the stone facade, the walk-in safe and the sign above the postmaster’s office, which will serve as a semi-private gathering space.
Once the spot opens and Covid restrictions are lifted, folks can belly up to the long, concrete bar à la Cliff Clavin in “Cheers.” An IPA and a Munich Helles lager will be year-round staples, but patrons can expect to sip everything from barrel-aged stouts and barley wines to double IPAs and saisons in the near future.
The beer is made in the adjoining room, a newly constructed, 3,200-square-foot, 15-barrel brewhouse with glass garage doors that face Freeport Road.
Visitors can watch the brewers in action through an interior taproom window. Large windows at the front and back of the building bathe the spacious taproom in natural light and depending on where you sit, offer views of the bustling roadway or the Allegheny River.
There will be seating on the front patio and free parking on the street as well as in a side lot and in the rear, where a rotating lineup of food trucks will be stationed.
The owners are still in awe that their long-awaited dream is slowly becoming a reality. The name Old Thunder is symbolic of the storm the trio has had to endure to get the brewery up and running.