Charleroi restaurateur building brewery next door
December 15, 2016
Heads up. A fourth brewery is coming to Washington County.
Four Points Barbeque and Brewing is under construction in downtown Charleroi. The restaurant end, actually, has operated for more than four years – as Fourth Street Barbeque. Dave Barbe Jr., the appropriately named owner of the established establishment and the future brew pub, will run the businesses as one – thus the all-inclusive name change.
“This was always going to happen, I just wasn’t sure of the timing,” Barbe, 32, said of his microbrewery aspirations. “We’re a year into planning this.”
Workers are only a week into renovating the four-story brick-and-frame structure next door, slightly uphill from the stylishly retro barbecue bistro, a popular location among locals. Barbe is striving for a mid-2017 opening but realizes the process could be longer.
Building a brewery is a major construction project anytime, let alone during the winter, when weather-related delays are more likely. Licensing approval is a mutli-headed beast.
Passing inspection isn’t simple.
Barbe has purchased the equipment, though, has hired a master brewer – Adam Boura of Pittsburgh – and has a brewery site. He is poised to go.
At some point next year, Four Points Barbeque and Brewing should be one of four operating brew pubs in Washington County.
Until a month ago, there were none.
Coal Tipple Brewery opened a little before Thanksgiving, off Route 22 in Hanover Township. Coal Tipple is part of Raccoon Creek Winery at Kramer’s Greenhouse, and owned by spouses Chris and Dawn Kramer.
Rusty Gold, on West Pike Street in Canonsburg, should launch second. Owner E.J. Kleckner is planning a January debut. And work has begun on a third microbrewery, Washington Brewing Co. in downtown Washington. Two couples, John and Angela Burgess and John and Michele DeFede, are co-owners of the facility at 28 E. Maiden St., and project a summer 2017 start.
The brew pub movement is big in Western Pennsylvania, and now growing in this region. Barbe, a Ringgold graduate and Carroll Township native, is pleased to be part of that trend.
“People are very receptive to (microbreweries),” he said. “I think people want something new and they want fresh selections. Everything at a brewery is the right temperature, not sitting on the shelf, I think that’s important.”
Barbe is the sole owner of the two-story restaurant and budding brew pub, but said his father, Dave Sr., is “involved in a lot of the process.” The dad owns both buildings, and is president of a Speers food production company, Fourth Street Packing Inc.
Fourth Street Barbeque is his son’s bailiwick. Dave Jr., a Duquesne University graduate now residing on Pittsburgh’s North Side, did close it down for remodeling for a few months in 2015, but has it going full bore now. There is seating for about 100 on the two floors, and pulled pork and burgers are culinary favorites. He prefers to stock locally made brews, such as those made at Bloom Brewing in West Newton and Helltown Brewery in Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland County.
His brew pub, Barbe said, will supply the restaurant with beers made next door in a five-barrel system. He said he may eventually double production to 10 barrels, but likely won’t go beyond that.
Equipment, which has been ordered but hasn’t arrived, will be situated in the basement of the former flower shop. Barbe doesn’t plan to have indoor seating in the brewery in the near future, but said beers in larger quantities – growlers and pints – can be purchased there.
There is a gap between the buildings, and Barbe intends to carve out an old-fashioned beer garden – outdoor seating – in that space. He said the area could be “winterized.”
Though launch is months off, Barbe is giving customers several previews of coming attractions. He had tastings of Boura-brewed beers in November and December, and will continue to do so monthly. The next date hasn’t been established, but will be posted at facebook.com/Fourthstreetbbq.
For beer connoisseurs, an industry that didn’t exist in the county two months ago is now providing a barrel of joy.