Monday, October 11, 2010

Gamble Pays Off

I hate putting unopened breweries in my books. I've been burned in the past when brewers swore they were in great shape, 'Yeah, you bet, we're gonna open!", only to have the whole plan collapse in a heap, leaving a ghost entry in my nice new book. So I was apprehensive when I did up an entry for Gamble Mills, a restaurant in Bellefonte, Penn., that was adding a house brewery. I wasn't optimistic, but I did it because I have a weak spot for this beautiful little town.

My optimism is rewarded: According to the Centre Daily Times yesterday, Gamble Mills' beers are just about ready to start pouring. The only thing holding them up -- tell me if you're surprised -- is a "minor licensing issue" that they hope to have cleared up by this Friday. That's when brewer Mike Smith -- late of Dogfish Head and Ithaca Brewing -- hopes to open the taps on HB 48, a golden session-strength ale named for the bill the restaurant's owners (Dave Fonash and Paul Kendeffy) had to hire a lawyer to shepherd through the state legislature to overcome their other problem. According to the article, "An old Pennsylvania law prohibited existing restaurants from converting into breweries." News to me, but given the crap that fills The Almighty Liquor Code, I'm not surprised. 
 
That's all taken care of now, though, and Smith will have HB 48, a saison, and a pale ale ready to roll on the 15th...assuming the PLCB manages to get their act together and get the licensing cleared (actually, that's not fair -- I don't know that it's a PLCB issue; it might be local). Best of luck...and thanks for making the book look good!

8 comments:

Marc said...

Lew - Still waiting to receive my book from Amazon, but did you include Mudhook Brewing in York?

Lew Bryson said...

Too iffy when I finished up the manuscript, Marc; remember, Mudhook's still not even open. Inn at Turkey Hill was at some festivals last year, but they're still not open. The one I really do regret is Prism; I should have pushed harder on that one. But there were at least three that could have made it in...that never happened, and don't look likely.

Things are popping so fast, I'm just going to have to keep the updates page as current as possible. I was just looking at another planned nanobrewery yesterday.

Marc said...

I know they are still not open, but I am hoping to finally have a brewery in York!

Lew Bryson said...

Keep your fingers crossed, Marc: it hasn't been an easy road for York craft brewers!

sam k said...

It is my understanding that this license is the first in the state to name two separate entities as owners, and that new provision was driven by this particular establishment. My guess is that this may be contributing to the holdup. Meanwhile, across the county, Otto's is still dangling at the whim of everybody's favorite bureaucracy, ready to open a new joint as soon (wrong word there, I think) as the LCB says "go." They have been dealing with unforeseen details, picky bureaucrats, and the long chain of command at the PLCB for many months now.

As goes York, I had a fabulous cheesesteak and a very good pilsener there before the demise of the Brick Oven. They're definitely due for a solid brewery down that way!

Anonymous said...

Have they actually opened? There is not any info on their website.

Thanks

Lew Bryson said...

Don't know! Sam? You there?

Frothingslosh said...

I stopped in at the Gamble Mill tonight while in to visit relatives. The beers are flowing. I tried all 4. Pleasant beers though nothing particularly exciting. Worth checking out the next time you get in the area.