It is now official – Levity Brewing is expanding both in Indiana (Pennsylvania) and adding a second tap room in Altoona (Pennsylvania). Erich, a co-owner and bartender when I was there on my trip was discussing the expansion with me and a few other patrons at closing time, and it is now official, with construction beginning at both locations.
The goal is to have both – the expanded taproom and the new location – open and running in January 2021; hopefully by the first of the year. This is a difficult time with COVID-19, the pandemic, restrictions, changes, and weather, so this is a ‘scheduled’ timeframe, and as with all things right now its up in the air, but by all appearances, they should be able to make their date.
The Indiana expansion is under way, as they turn the former Gorell Windows employee gym – which was located above the current taproom – into a second taproom, dedicated to overflow, private parties, and events. This will nearly double the occupancy of the Indiana brewery and taproom, and with social distancing being such a priority right now, will provide for a much more safer and socially distanced environment for guests.
Co-owner Luke McKelvy said: “This year has forced us through one change after another – not many of them fun. But this is a fun one for the Levity family. We have been working on this for a couple years, but COVID-19 restrictions have actually pushed us forward.”
2020 has certainly been a tough time for many breweries, bars, restaurants, and business owners of various fields. The 25% and 50% reduced occupancy rules have been tough for many places, as has the restriction on bar seating, and requiring food, and various other mandates. As we move into the more wintry months, outdoor seating will stop being usable, further reducing space and occupancy. Many small breweries have already felt the pinch, and will only further feel it in the winter months. Co-owner Erich Walls knows this very well. When I was there in early November, we discussed the changes they foresee in the coming months. He has also been quoted by media sources saying: “We have been so fortunate to have lots of outdoor seating this summer. And fire pits are extending the season a little bit. But we have to make more space inside. The big bonus for our customers is the ability to do private parties, wedding receptions, and things we never had space for in the past.”
Thankfully also, for those of us closer to Harrisburg, Levity is expanding to a second taproom in Altoona. This is about (roughly) an hour east of their Indiana location, making it closer to those in the Harrisburg region (which we here at The Beer Thrillers are greatly happy for). The taproom in Altoona will be downtown in the historic section and will actually be one of the historic buildings of Altoona, providing the the taproom with a beautiful space. Co-owner Jared Herman said this: “We explored lots of towns for a second location, but in Altoona we were immediately drawn in by this energetic group of local leaders. They are passionate about their town and excited to bring something like the Levity taproom downtown.”
Altoona Mayor Matt Pacifico is very excited for Levity Brewing to expand into his town. He personally met Erich Walls at a coffee shop in downtown Altoona (The Clay Cup) and pitched the idea of Levity expanding into Altoona. “I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Levity to Altoona! Over the last year I’ve really gotten to know Erich, Luke, and Jared, and we all share the same passion for community. So I know they will be a valuable part of the Altoona community just like they are right now at their flagship brewery in Indiana, PA.” Mayor Matt Pacifico said about Levity and their expansion into Altoona.
The Altoona location will be the Chalk Box building, on 11th Avenue. In January 2019 it was renovated and reconstructed for office space, which you can read about here: We Are Central PA – Building Renovations in Downtown Altoona.
They are planning on renovating, restructuring, building, and opening the Altoona location in three phases. The first phase is to set up and construct a facade and storefront on the Chalk Box building (you can find a picture of the building in the article above), this will serve as a place to sell their canned beers (which they can in Indiana and are already distributing into the Altoona area – this will allow them to store them there and be more accessible to the Altoona community). After this, they are planning on turning the 2400 square feet first floor into a taproom and restaurant, with similar style to that of their current Indiana location. No word yet on how many taps, what foods, or look or appearance of the restaurant. The third (and final – for now) phase will see a brewhouse and canning line added to the Altoona location. This will allow them to brew in both locations (Indiana PA and Altoona PA) and will allow them to make unique distinctive beers for both locations. No word on timeline or proposed dates for the second and third phases.
As per Untappd, Levity Brewing Company is a brewpub located in Indiana, Pennsylvania. They have 65 unique beers, with a total of 34, 312 ratings (as of 12.3.20). They have a global average rating of 3.76. The description on Untappd reads: “Levity Brewing Company is a small brewery and pub in Indiana, PA-about an hour east of Pittsburgh. We aim to brew clean, crisp, and dry examples of style and bring a diversity of beers to our community. At any time we offer a variety of IPAs, kettle-soured fruit beers, oak-aged wild beers, etc, etc, etc…”
Stephen J. McKnight, President and CEO of the Altoona Blair County Development Corporation (ABCD) issued this statement about Levity Brewing: “Levity’s investment is a testament to the resolve and innovation of our small businesses even in difficult times. It’s also further proof of our community as an attractive place to live and invest. This adds to our growing craft food and beverage scene, helping to bring people together throughout our mountain main streets. This is great news at a time when we all really needed it. On behalf of the ABCD Corporation Board of Directors, we look forward to welcoming Levity to the First Frontier Blair County.”
I personally was there at Levity Brewing on Sunday the 8th (of November, 2020) and got to talk with Erich Walls, who is a great guy, and a wonderful bartender, host, and all round cool dude. Genuinely interested in his customers, his community, books, (we discussed the book I was reading about Presidents and that its the hardest job, etc.) and is very knowledgeable about Indiana, Pennsylvania, and brewing. I hope the absolute best for them with this expansion, and am excited that they will be a bit closer to home to be able to try their beers more easily.
You can read about my time at the brewery at the below links:
- The Trip – Day One Recap
- The Trip to Indianapolis: Day One – 1000 Steps Trail, Juniata Brewing Company, Ghost Town Trail, Hoodlebug Trail, Levity Brewing
I will also be doing a beer review soon of Punky Bruiser, a plum porter that they made which I had as part of my flight while there (and was given a free can of by Erich as well). So be on the lookout for that soon, and I will edit this post, to the link of it when I do so.
- Beer Review: Punky Bruiser (Levity Brewing)
As always everyone, thanks for reading, please be sure to like, follow us here, and on our social media pages (links can be found below and above at the top of each page), and be sure to check out our other openings / closings and industry news with the links below.
Please be sure to follow us on our social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Influence. Please be sure to also follow, like, subscribe to the blog here itself to keep updated. We love to hear from you guys, so be sure to leave a comment and let us know what you think!
Be sure to check out our other articles on brewery openings:
- A Sneak Preview of Rubber Soul Brewing (Hummelstown)
- Midwest Coast Brewing Opens (Chicago)
- Rally Point – Cox Brewing Taproom Opens (Elizabethtown)
- Boneshire Brew Works to Open Second Taproom in Harrisburg (Harrisburg)
- Irv’s Pub Rebranded as Rotunda Brewing Pub (Hershey)
- Official BBQ (Pizza Boy Secondary Location) (Rutherford)
- Pilger Ruh Brewing Needs Your Help (Pottsville)
- Highway Manor Brewing Co. (Camp Hill)
- Grand Opening: Rubber Soul Brewing Company (Hummelstown)
- Tap Room Opening: Howling Henry’s Brewery (Hummelstown)
- Little Fish Brewing Extending into Dayton
- Levity Brewing Expanding Taproom and Opening Second Location in Altoona
You can read about more brewery closures here: