Sheetz in Bethel Park hosts a tasting of Coffee Hopz beer
Bill Helzlsouer of Dravosburg was the first person to try the new Coffee Hopz on Thursday at the Sheetz on Library Road in Bethel Park.
“I really like it,” said Helzlsouer, who has a beer blog, and has written about 472 brews. “It’s crisp, with a nice coffee taste at the end. You don’t have to be a coffee drinker to like this.”
Coffee Hopz is a limited edition coffee bean IPA that’s the collaboration of Altoona-based Sheetz and Rusty Rail Brewing Company of Mifflinburg.
Come to the Sheetz in Bethel Park for a beer tasing of the convenience store’s first brew… Coffee Hopz pic.twitter.com/aiwDukvAqC
— JoAnne Harrop (@JHarrop_Trib) May 16, 2019
Sheetz hosted a tasting of the brew on Thursday — its first ever craft beer.
Helzlsouer bought some to take to his son, of the same name, who has a beer podcast and inspired his dad to try new beers.
The beer can be purchased at the Bethel Park location. Four-packs of 16-ounce cans cost $7.99.
*We card responsibly* pic.twitter.com/WOpjPGjIGy
— Sheetz (@sheetz) May 16, 2019
It will be available at 4 p.m. Tuesday at 54 other stores, including Canonsburg, Moon, Natrona Heights, Ohio Township, and Sewickley.
Gordon Sapko of Bethel Park bought two of the first four packs. He said he had read about the tasting event and said he wanted to be a part of this because it’s a limited edition and might be a collector’s item someday.
“It’ really good,” said Sapko, who frequents the place for gas, food, drinks and snacks and now, beer. “They have been selling beer here for a long time, but this is special because Sheetz is making their own.”
Bethel Park was chosen for the tasting because it’s a successful store, there is plenty of parking and there is a lot of traffic on Library Road, said Nick Ruffner, a Sheetz spokesman.
The brew is something customers have asked for, Ryan Sheetz, assistant vice president of brand strategy at Sheetz told the Tribune-Review at a product launch last week on the South Side. His uncle Bob started the company in 1952 which has become a third generation family business.
Sheetz said they have worked for years to make beer available in the convenience stores across Pennsylvania. It is now available in more than 140 stores across the state.
Brewed with Sheetz Brothers Sumatra coffee beans, the new IPA blend features “light and floral notes with a subtle coffee presence.”
Guy McCarty, brewer director at Rusty Rail, said last week he was nervous at first about the marriage, but the Sheetz people made him feel at home.
Laurie Ashline of Greentree likes the brew.
“It is light, which is perfect for summer,” said Ashline, as she exited the beer cave at the store. “You can taste the coffee but it’s not real strong.”
— Should I Drink That? (@SIDT) May 16, 2019
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, [email protected] or via Twitter .