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Mechanistic Brewing Gears for Official June Opening, May Features Saturday Sessions
CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Craft beer is now flowing from the taps of Mechanistic Brewing at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Liberty Street as Clarion’s newest brewery holds “soft” openings on Saturdays in May.
George and Chelsea Alexander, of Clarion, have nursed the idea of starting a new brewery in Clarion for over six years, and now it is almost time.
“We’re having soft openings during the month of May while we try to work through the kinks,” said George. “Right now, it’s open 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturdays. In June we want to establish some summer hours, but it is still going to be weekends and maybe some Fridays. We don’t want to expand our hours too quickly.”
There are about six employees working part time, and the couple will wait to see if additional help is needed. The business is a work of love, but definitely a side project for the couple who have two small children.
George is a geochemist and environmental engineer working on contaminated groundwater related to nuclear waste sites, and Chelsea works part-time for her father at F.L. Crooks and Company.
“We will always want to have a mix or a range of beers,” George said. “They will vary and will have different things, but we always want to have one light crispier beer that’s a Pilsner. We want to have one light and flavorful beer – that is our Belgian Saison right now. The third beer is going to be a hoppy beer now – a fruity New England Hazy IPA fourth beer.”
Customers can drink the beer on site or take some home in Growlers or Crowlers. Mechanistic doesn’t have a full-service kitchen but plans to make simple regional comfort foods, and will post their special weekly on their Facebook & Instagram pages. They also offer two Arsenal hard Ciders and Karamoor Estate Wines.
In addition to newly remodeled inside of the building, outdoor space is also expected to be a big draw.
“We really want a place where people can come together and hang out for a while,” said George and Chelsea. “We have a big outdoor space of 3,000 square feet, we’ll set up a grill in the summer and grill outside, we can also move out a set of the German fest tables with umbrellas. If you can hang out outside and play games, that’s pretty wild. Some landscaping is our next task.”
Chelsea and George love entertaining, and travel gave both a strong interest in cooking and beer.
“After earning his Ph.D. from Penn State, George missed spending time in the laboratory doing research, so brewing became a creative outlet for him to use his chemistry background,” said Chelsea. “I have always dreamed of opening a business from the ground up. I love it all: the marketing, building a brand voice, staying on a budget, finding out what customers really want, and being able to produce a product we think will excite Clarion and our visitors.”
Interest in craft beer continues to grow, and breweries are attracting people. It is a competitive field, and Chelsea was asked what makes Mechanistic different.
“Brewing beer is a science. George is a perfectionist at heart and puts quality above all else. One of George’s areas of expertise is water chemistry, which happens to play an outsized role in brewing.
“Different beers evolved from different cities, in part, due to the mineral content of the local water supply. It was not by chance that London became famous for dark beer and Pilsen in the Czech Republic for a light beer. Different styles of beer taste better with different water profiles.”
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