“When you see individuals drink your stuff, and they like it, that feels rather wonderful,” brewer Josh Davies says. (Image by Darren Andrew Weimert)
On the Friday of Penn State’s graduation weekend, Satisfied Valley Brewing Enterprise head brewer Josh Davies poured a pair pints of his freshly made beer straight from the tap and gave me a tour as we chatted about how he ended up at the brewpub.
Josh is a big aspect of HVBC’s historical past he came to the space from Michigan to be head brewer when the brewpub opened in 2013 in a renovated 200-12 months-old barn at 137 Elmwood Street. Following a quick hiatus at Otto’s Pub and Brewery across town, Josh came back household to the barn last summertime and doesn’t approach on leaving again whenever before long. He’s hunting to go on to develop the brewery’s presence in the community.
“I like to be a lifer and make beer for the community, and not jump close to. … To be definitely impactful, I come to feel like you have to be component of a group for a lengthy time,” Josh claims.
I relished getting the opportunity to enjoy a craft beer with the human being who built it and learn about how he bought in this article. Following all, most just about every beer lover has at one issue dreamed about getting a brew master, mixing the grains into mash and earning a beer that men and women appreciate. I have designed a number of home-brew batches in my day, but they have been absolutely nothing to brag about.
So, right here I was drinking a Tailgater IPA, listening to Josh tell his story about how he is living that dream it set a smile on my deal with. Perfectly, probably the smile came from the genuinely delicious beverage that Josh brewed. Yeah, that was certainly element of it. It is in these smiles from folks making the most of his beer that Josh finds determination.
“When you see persons drink your things, and they like it, that feels fairly awesome,” he says. “When people today are like, ‘Oh my gosh, I really like this beer,’ … I’m blushing, because I really do not know how to say thank you. … For me, to be the go-to beer for some people today in this group, exactly where when folks consider about an IPA they assume of my beer, that feels pretty excellent.”
Josh’s journey to head brewer started out in Michigan, in 2001. He was functioning as a paramedic when he fulfilled a couple of persons from the now-shut Arcadia Brewing at a brew expo, and they related in excess of their love of tunes and beer.
“They explained, ‘Dude, you should come assist us bottle. We bottle every single Monday you will drink the freshest beer you at any time drank, we’ll ship you dwelling with a few cases, and we’ll educate you a matter or two about a factor or two,” Josh claims. This sounded like a good deal to Josh, who was then 21. “That was Saturday. I went on Monday, and I went every Monday for two-and-a-50 percent many years.”
Before long just after, a fellow EMT hooked Josh up with some property-brewing materials and he started off earning his have beer. He bought hooked, understanding as substantially as he could about strategy, recipes, and equipment.
With that encounter, he identified a job at Michigan Brewing Business in 2004, controlling the home-brew retail outlet, all the even though understanding and generating connections. Just about every opportunity he obtained, he assisted out in the brewing method, until finally just one day the proprietor handed Josh the brew list for the working day, telling him to get in touch with if he experienced any queries.
“I didn’t even know what button to drive … it was all buttons,” says Josh, looking back with a giggle. It was a trial by fire, but he aced it, figuring out the proper buttons to thrust even while he experienced to contact the operator “probably 10 periods that working day. But, no dilemma, everything was superior. I brewed just about every batch of beer there for the future two-and-a-fifty percent decades.”
He ongoing to make connections, setting up friendships and his community, until he received a contact from his old good friend from Arcadia Brewing Enterprise.
“He mentioned, ‘Dude, it is time to arrive residence. We just can’t make ample beer we have high quality regulate difficulties and we need to have you,” suggests Josh, who turned assistant head brewer at the spot where by he utilised to volunteer for a pair of instances of beer.
At some point, by good friends in the market, he received connected to a team that was seeking to open a brewery in Content Valley.
Josh remembers the initially time he arrived to Condition University to seek advice from about the probability. In the course of that journey, he sat on the 50-lawn-line of a Michigan-Penn Point out recreation on Halloween, and climbed to the prime of Mount Nittany. He commenced to imagine in the again of his head about how pleasant it would be to elevate his young spouse and children in the mountains of central Pennsylvania.
“It was like, this is … sweet,” says Josh.
Eventually, he experienced a alternative to make: Either continue to be in Michigan and help Arcadia increase to a next spot, or, “there are these actually great people today who I just satisfied who want to open up up a brewery in Point out Higher education, where you can get everywhere in the woods in like 10 minutes, and they have mountains, and streams you can paddle, and there is no criminal offense. … So, the decision was to go listed here and raise a family in an wonderful place.”
When he settled in, Josh got to brewing with this philosophy: “We are not seeking to make the greatest beer on the world our real, sincere goal is to make the very best beer you are going to consume right now.”
Josh brews a huge wide range of beers, wanting to satisfy a selection of taste profiles. He likens the lineup to that of a sporting activities crew.
“For us right here, a full lineup is 12 beers on faucet. … Four of them have to have to be hoppy … so we’ve got 8 to perform with. You need to have a pair awesome, approachable beers, due to the fact not every person rides mountain bikes and sucks down 7-% IPAs every working day. A good deal of persons want the closest thing to Miller Lite. You really should have some thing that satisfies the taste-preference variety.”
As we come out of the pandemic, Josh is ready to create the brewery’s connections to the community even stronger. An avid mountain-biker who enjoys stay songs, he sees those people as avenues to develop individuals connections.
“I want to make beer for this community, I want to be a portion of this community,” he claims. “My stuff is songs-centered, out of doors-based. So, for folks who are performing items in those people realms, I want to be included. If there is a mountain-biking function or a path-working event, we want to be associated. Beer delivers a ton of factors for people today who are seeking to produce, that are coming up with concepts. They are getting with each other, brainstorming, and the ecosystem downstairs is wonderful to sit back again, seize a few of beers, and shoot the breeze and determine it out.”
Town&Robe employees writer Vincent Corso enjoys drinking nearby and meeting new individuals at central Pennsylvania’s several attention-grabbing establishments. This story appears in the June 2021 concern of Town&Gown.