Olde Bedford Brewing Company’s owners, David and Mary Heller are featured in this episode of Fermented Adventures.
Mary purchased Dave a Mr. Beer Kit. The first foray into home brewing was a success. To Mary’s surprise, it quickly developed from a hobby into an addiction to home brew. She thought that this would entertain Dave for a couple of months and he would move on. She had no idea that 7 years later that all of it would turn into a business. Olde Bedford Brewing is their “retirement job”. They even grow their own hops on their ranch. Quickly they developed followers of their beer and the brewery began to blossom from there. Passion drives the grain to glass philosophy. “Join the Whiskey Rebellion… drink beer” is their slogan. We had a tremendous time sitting down with Dave and Mary on the podcast. We learned so much about the history of Bedford, beer and the brewery. Take a side trip off the PA Turnpike and go visit them. You’ll be glad that you did.
Links to the podcast can be found on this page.
“Every batch of beer that David and Mary Heller craft at Olde Bedford Brewing Company tells a story. ” And we were proud to tell our story to Positively Pennsylvania.
This article shares the story of our approach to locally sourced beer, and how each ingredient and each beer produced is ultimately part of a grander story. One that is uniquely Pennsylvanian, and even more uniquely Bedford County.
The article tells of the history of Bedford and of the Hideaway Ranch, the century-old farm that has been in the Heller’s family for almost half a century. And David and Mary’s passion for Pennsylvania and supporting the agricultural community is clearly demonstrated.
“You can experience local,” David Heller said. “It’s great for someone like us to have a customer in from Pittsburgh and we can tell them how it was made, where it came from and they can go up to Dancing Star Farms and see for themselves. It helps to educate the public on how important agriculture is to their everyday life.”
Read the rest of the article to learn about how we tie history into every aspect of the process. The Hellers integrate the historical context into all of their brews. And they have some interesting offerings coming in the future.
OldeBBC is proud of the historical legacy of our hometown, Bedford PA. Our customers recognize the ties we have made between our recipes and the rich history of our region.
Hops and History has written a book about the many breweries around the country that are honoring the people, places, and events in their regions. They have included a feature about us and our 1794 Rebellion Rye IPA, which is named after the Whiskey Rebellion. This beer and its name ties into the rich history of our town and its role in the rebellion and to President George Washington and Alexander Hamilton.
For more information, check out the Hops and History website.
In their October/November 2017 Issue, Mid-Atlantic Brewing News spotlights Olde Bedford Brewing Company’s plans to open soon in Bedford, Pennsylvania. The article, entitled “Resuming the Rebellion”, spotlights the unique partnership between OldeBBC and Fat Jimmy’s Outfitters. The two businesses joined forces this year to offer a unique business model. They also believe this will resonate with patrons of both businesses.
The article touches on the historical significance of Bedford, and its place in the history of the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794. George Washington (a brewmaster of his own right) used the Espy House, at 121 E. Pitt Street, as his headquarters when he and the United States Army marched into Pennsylvania to put down the rebellion.
Olde Bedford Brewing Company taps into this history with our slogan, “Join the Whiskey Rebellion,… Drink Beer!”.
Owners David and Mary Heller plan to use spring water from their farm, “Hideaway Ranch”, on Blue Knob Mountain. They also grow their own award-winning hops, which has received much attention from agriculture experts in the state.
OldeBBC plans to open its doors in early 2018. The ten-tap brewpub will occupy a portion of Jimmy Fungeroli’s sporting goods business. Additionally, he brew pub will feature rustic decor and will continue to play on the theme of the town’s historic relevance in the whiskey rebellion and other early American history. Check out items available in their store.
Bedford, a town of 2800, is the county seat of Bedford County, PA. The Hellers are native of the area and are seeing their dream of opening a brew pub come true this year. Most of all, as the first brewery ever to sell beer in Bedford, we are excited to build a new legacy for our great town.
Click here to go to the article in the Mid-Atlantic Brewing News October/November 2017 Issue.
On this Independence Day, we want to honor our country’s first President and Brewmaster.
Everyone knows George Washington as one of our nation’s founding fathers, General of the Continental Army, 1st President of the United States of America. He was also a farmer, entrepreneur, land owner, surveyor, distiller and yes, brewmaster!
George Washington was a true lover of beer. He especially enjoyed a good porter. This dark, English-style beer would have normally been purchased from Great Britain, but as president, he felt it was not appropriate to buy from them. Hence began the first “buy American” campaign. But, the English beer was the inspiration behind his recipe for “Small Beer”. The photograph is of his recipe hand-written by George himself.
Small beer was popular in Colonial America. It contained very little alcohol, and was considerably less expensive than traditional beers. Historian Victor S. Clark states “many housewives still brewed small beer for their families, and for fifty years thereafter numerous village breweries continued in operation with an equipment and a volume of business hardly exceeding those of a village bakery.”
At Olde Bedford Brewing Company, we recognize the importance General Washington made on our country, our town of Bedford, and our love of beer. We will do our best to honor his legacy. We will also work to formulate our own version of his porter and make it available to our patrons.