Couple serves up recipe for success
A desire to lay down roots led Bob McCafferty to a dilapidated, 19th-century building on Main Street in Slippery Rock.
McCafferty, 45, owner of North Country Brewing Company, learned the restaurant business while bartending and waiting tables throughout college.
But after majoring in environmental geosciences at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, McCafferty worked as an archaeologist for 12 years.
All the while, he collected menus from favorite restaurants he discovered.
“I loved my job, but the traveling piece was wearing me down and I wanted to call something home,” he said.
McCafferty and his wife, Jodi, bought land on Slippery Rock's Main Street in 1998, on which stood an original structure from the turn of the 19th century.
“We were both working full-time, maximizing credit cards and rubbing pennies together,” he said.
There wasn't a straight angle in the structure, and it needed repairs, but McCafferty saw its promise.
The history of the place was long and varied, McCafferty learned through research.
Built by Peter Uber around 1805, the building stayed in the Uber family and over many years it was an inn, a tavern, a funeral home, a furniture store and an antique store.
While McCafferty said various changes and updates gave the place a “fun house type of effect,” he wanted to incorporate some of the old into the new.
Slippery Rock had been a “dry” town since Prohibition, only allowing alcoholic beverage sales after a community vote in 2001.
McCafferty began renovation that same year, basically gutting the existing building.
He eventually left his archaeology job to focus on his new business full-time — but was able to integrate various hardwoods he had saved, adding them to the structure.
“When you walk in, you can see all the wood — white oak, pine, cherry,” he said.
Wood, slate and stone from the original building also were repurposed in the update.
The brewpub opened in 2005, and McCafferty said the community has embraced the business.
Under the guidance of head brewer Sean McIntyre, the brewery specializes in whole grain beers with no additives or preservatives.
Local places often are honored in the names of beers, such as Station 33 Firehouse Red. A portion of its sales is donated to the Slippery Rock Fire Department.
Production and popularity has grown, with 2013 marking the first year for a new warehouse system that will allow the brewery to distribute its four top-selling beers to surrounding areas.
“Crazy, fun beers” will still be offered, along with the top sellers at the brewpub, McCafferty said.
Food at the brewpub is seasonal, relying in large part on vegetables, fruits and meats from local farmers.
McCafferty appreciates being able to shake the hands of people who deliver food to his door, and now he has his own 64-acre farm too.
It took five years to build up the farm, he said, and now he raises cattle, pigs and hens that provide fresh, local selections to the menu.
“I love the restaurant business, but it is nice to have the farm because it's easier to see the results at the end of the day when you're doing so much yourself,” he said.
North Country Brewing Company is at 41 S. Main St., Slippery Rock. For details, call 724-794-2337.
Mandy Fields Yokim is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
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.
- Connoquenessing neighborhood turns to Web to raise money for clean water
- Zelienople woman captures 4th shuffleboard gold medal at National Senior Games
- Regatta annually attracts thousands to Moraine State Park
- Butler County motorist dies in accident with tractor
- Butler’s jeep record could face Florida challenger
- New annex will ease Butler County office overcrowding