Bethel Park brewpub gets council's approval
The seeds for the planned Spoonwood Brewing Co. were planted in the mid-1990s, when heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment salesman Grant Scorsone worked on a new brewpub in Lawrenceville.
“What really piqued my interest was 17 years ago, when Church Brew Works opened,” Scorsone said.
After nearly two decades of interest in the business, Scorsone and his wife, Mary Lou, are preparing their own brewpub on Baptist Road in Bethel Park, at the former site of Duke's Station restaurant.
Bethel Park Council approved the Spoonwood development on Monday, with members John Pape, Brandon Colella and Paul Dixon absent. Councilman Jim McLean abstained because his brother is the project architect.
Spoonwood, named for a Native American term for the mountain laurel, the state flower of Pennsylvania, could open in late October, Grant Scorsone said.
The brewpub will feature 10 of its own beers on draft, made by brewmaster and partner Steve Ilnicki.
Grant Scorsone said the selection will include seasonal beers and standards.
The Scorsones and Ilnicki are working on beers and are looking for inspiration from microbreweries across the country.
He said in today's craft beer market, India Pale Ale is king. “Every craft brewery needs to have a great IPA,” he said.
Ilnicki wrote in a statement that he has “a soft spot for big American IPAs and Belgian yeast,” and likes smoked-malt and wood-aged beers. Other possibilities for Spoonwood include fruit-infused wheat ales and a chocolate porter. The Brewers Association, based in Boulder, Colo., said the craft brewing industry grew 20 percent in 2013, with sales totaling $14.3 billion.
Initially, Spoonwood beers will be sold only in the brewpub. However, Scorsone said, kegs could eventually be sold to other bars and restaurants.
Spoonwood won't bottle or can its beers, he said.
Mary Lou Scorsone said Spoonwood will be the only restaurant in the area to feature draft wine, a process that cuts waste and keeps the wine fresh longer.
The business's executive chef, Rose Walther, is designing a taste menu of tapas, Italian sandwiches and wood-fired pizzas, Grant Scorsone said.
To make way for the new building, the train cars that housed the former restaurant will be moved to DuBois to be included in a park, Scorsone said.
Eric Eisert is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.