Crafty Alums

Hot Plate and Boal City are just the latest alumni-owned breweries—from L.A. to New England, Penn Staters are brewing all over the map. 

12 blue bottle caps featuring names of alumni-owner breweries

The Alchemist Beer Café

Stowe, Vt. / Est. 2003
Owner: John Kimmich ’93 Bus
Home of the world-famous Heady Topper double IPA and its counterpart, Focal Banger, The Alchemist’s tasty hops-related endeavors are now largely “a vehicle for social and environmental change that we want to see,” Kimmich says.


Antifragile Brewing Co.

State College / Est. 2022
Owners: John Schaffer ’06, ’12 MBA Bus & Lisa Harpster ’99 H&HD, ’08 MEd Edu
There’s no flagship beer on purpose, Schaffer says. “This is the place you want to go to try something new.” But Game Face, a heavily dry-hopped pale ale, is always a good bet.


Axemann Brewery

Bellefonte, Pa. / Est. 2020
Owners: Rod Stahl ’90 Eng & Stephen Hirlinger ’13 Eng
Axemann’s flagship beer is Blue Stripe, a Kölsch-style beer that Stahl spent years perfecting at home. Deemed to be “perfect for every game day,” Blue Stripe is sold in 15-packs that are perfect for tailgating.


East End Brewing Co.

Larimer, Pa. / Est. 2004
Founder & brewer: Scott Smith ’03 Eng
In 2019, Smith began making custom You Are Here beers celebrating Pittsburgh’s 90 unique neighborhoods. And in 2021, the brewery released its first hard seltzer, G&T Hard Seltzer.


Elk Creek Café + Aleworks

Millheim, Pa. / Est. 2007
Owner: Tim Bowser ’80 Lib
Founding brewer: Tim Yarrington ’89 Agr
The cornerstone of artsy Millheim, Elk Creek’s Brookie Brown Ale, Poe Paddy Porter, and Double Rainbow IPA are popular year-round offerings.


Erie Ale Works

Erie, Pa. / Est. 2014
Co-founder & brewing director: Steve Anthony ’09 Com Behrend
Erie Ale Works’ most popular beer is the one they started with: Tattooed Lady, a blond ale Anthony describes as “our beer-flavored beer, which satisfies the noncraft beer crowd.”


Grist House Craft Brewery

Millvale, Pa. / Est. 2014
Owners: Kyle Mientkiewicz ’09 IST & Brian Eaton ’06 Com
While the owners transform a former missile command center in Collier Township, Pa., into a brewery and taproom, patrons of their Millvale location can enjoy Hazedelic Juice Grenade, a super hazy NEIPA.


Lawless Brewing Co.

North Hollywood, Calif. / Est. 2021
Owner: Ben Wallace ’04 Com
Head brewer: Josh McCombs ’01 Sci
Lawless specializes in lagers, as McCombs trained in Germany and is well versed in classic German styles of beer. Noho Boho, a Bohemian Pilsner, is a fan favorite.


Locust Lane Craft Brewery

Malvern, Pa. / Est. 2017
Owners: Tom Arnold ’95 Bus, Jason Cartwright ’96 Lib, & Bryan Brockson ’96 Eng
Delta Upsilon fraternity brothers-turned-craft-brewery owners host “taproom tailgates” for football games. Their Locust Lane Kölsch, a “bier-flavored beer” with a blue and white label, is a “drinkable, approachable beer,” Cartwright says.


Otto’s Pub & Brewery

State College / Est. 2002
Founder & brewer: Charlie Schnable ’93 Agr
Family-friendly restaurant and brewery Otto’s has a Pub Club that gets members food and merch discounts and a free 10-ounce glass of a featured beer each month.


Schaylor Brewing Company

Shillington, Pa. / Est. 2017
Co-founders: Josh Taylor ’15 Berks, & Lucan Schmidt ’10 Com
Schaylor’s motto, “Brew outside the lines,” is demonstrated in funky flavors like Fluffy Nuts, a blonde ale with peanut butter and marshmallow, and Lunar Occultation, a hoppy lager with lime zest, hemp, and milk sugar.


Stable 12 Brewery

Phoenixville, Pa. / Est. 2015
Co-owners: Richard Wolf ’10 H&HD & Chris Carbutt ’10 Eng
Wolf learned to brew in a 12-stall horse barn, with friends asking, “Can I get a case of that stable 12 beer?” The name stuck. Their We Are lager is a favorite, with NEIPA Sugarcoated Pony Kisses a close second.