Monday, December 17, 2012

Two Rivers Brewing Company to Finally Open--After One Last Hurdle

By Christina Georgiou

Two Rivers Brewing Company is set to open to the public, after holding two preview nights for its Founders Club members and for those that contributed to its Kickstarter campaign over this past weekend, on Friday and Sunday.

The new restaurant and maker of on-site craft brews hopes to be open Tuesday evening, if the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board gives their final approval. Though the venue passed city health inspections and has been granted a certificate of occupancy, the LCB has delayed granting the establishment its liquor license because the second floor outdoor balcony seating, mentioned in its application, is not yet ready for use.

The by-invitation-only preview nights were jam-packed with friends of the pub. Because of the lack of liquor license, invitees enjoyed a night of free beverages.

Seating will be on the ground level of the old hotel until the building renovation is completed sometime next year, when the second floor--including the balcony--will also become restaurant space.

"We're just waiting for the LCB to come through, and then we can make this an every night thing," said co-owner Kathy Reynard at Sunday evening's preview event.

Co-owner Troy Reynard talks with dining
guests at the Sunday evening preview.
There were two seatings on Sunday, and more than 100 people showed up to sample selections from the pub's New Orleans-inspired, locally-sourced  menu.

"That's so good," and "Wow, I like that" was overheard from tables more than once.

For now, the restaurant is serving local craft brews other than its own, including selections from Weyerbacher, Victory, Troegs and Lancaster, along with two beers Two Rivers master brewer Wayne Milford created in collaboration with the Allentown/Bethlehem-based Fegley's Brewworks. 

The fully stocked bar also reflects the brewpub's commitment to handcrafted and quality, featuring a number of liquors not often found on the barscene, such as Root, an organic liquor made from the natural ingredients that make up old-fashioned, traditional root beer.

A rinser cleans and chills
every pint glass before
the beer is served.
Though the new brew pub isn't yet open, it has already established one house tradition--when city fire trucks roll out of Easton's Central Fire Station across the street, shots of cinnamon-infused Fireball whiskey are $2.

When the fire trucks across the street
roll out, so does Fireball whiskey.
Troy Reynard said they were worried the noise of the truck sirens would be disruptive to guests, so they're offering the special to offset the potential issue.

"But it hasn't been so bad," he said, noting that despite the non-issue, they have no plans to do away with the new "tradition."

Live music is already in the works, with the first band, "Last Small Town", a bluegrass band, set to play on Thursday night from 8 to 11 p.m. "Edison's Hot Mess" is booked for Friday evening, Dec. 21 at 9 p.m.

Co-owner Kathy Reynard chats with preview
guests at the bar Sunday evening.
All of that is dependent, of course, on Two Rivers Brewing Company's liquor license mix-up getting straightened out. But principals in the business say they've been assured they should have final approval by Tuesday morning.

"As soon as we get that license in our grubby little hands, we'll throw the doors wide open," said co-owner Troy Reynard.
Two Rivers Brewing Company
co-owner Brad Nelson.

Partners Judy and Brad Nelson said they can't wait for the moment. The Reynards and Nelsons have invested their life-savings in the restoration and establishment of the brew pub.

"It's been 17 months since we bought the building, and," Brad Nelson said.

Judy Nelson echoed the thought.

"Can you believe it?" she asked, adding she celebrated her 50th birthday on Friday, during the Founders Club preview night, the very first time the pub has invited a full-house of guests. "So it's a milestone in many ways."

A period reproduction lighting fixture
hangs over the bar, complete with
a reproduction turn-of-the-century light bulb.
Call 610-829-1131 to check the status of Two Rivers Brewing Company's public opening, or to make reservations once it does. They're not required, but if the crowd at the preview nights is anything to judge by, they might be a good idea!

Two Rivers Brewing Company is also on Facebook. Visit them at

Update, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 6:45 p.m. and again, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 5:23 p.m.: Two Rivers Brewing Company reports that the new establishment is still awaiting its  liquor license from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board...

Update Thursday, Dec. 19, 2:45 p.m.: Two Rivers Brewing Company will open to the public tonight! Hours are 4 p.m. to midnight, seven days a week, with lunch/brunch hours to be added on weekends shortly.

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