Allusion Brewing Company

Allusion Brewing Company

Allusion Brewing Company logo.

Allusion Brewing Company is in The Battle of the Breweries Finals

Congratulations to Allusion Brewing Company for making it to the Finals of The Battle of the Breweries (2023). They are currently competing against Tattered Flag Brewery and Distillery, AleCraft Brewing Company, and Mad Chef Brewing in The Battle of the Breweries (2023) – Finals Fatal Four Way.

I am taking a deep dive into all four of the breweries that are competing in the finals, devoting an article a day to each of the breweries. Yesterday we covered – Tattered Flag Brewery and Distillery. Today we are now looking at Allusion Brewing Company, and tomorrow we will be looking at AleCraft Brewing Company, and then finally (but not least) we will be looking at Mad Chef Brewing.

This is the final week (the last few days) of voting for The Battle of the Breweries (2023). You can vote in the tournament here: The Battle of the Breweries (2023) – Finals Fatal Four Way.

Voting ends on Sunday, April 16th, 2023, at 11:59:59 PM EST.

Allusion Brewing Company

Allusion Brewing Company iconic logo

You can visit Allusion Brewing Company in Vandergrift, Pennsylvania at 143 Grant Ave, Vandergrift, PA 15690, just like I did back in November 2020. They have a beautiful little tap room, with a very cool flight system. Their flights are in old book catalogue (from a near by Library that sold their Book Catalogue desk / table / system), and the tasters fit into it perfectly, and all the bartender has to do is pull them out of the card catalogue cabinet / table / desk system thing.

I had an absolute wonderful time when visiting the brewery, and cannot wait to come back out to Vandergrift to get check them out again.

Grand Opening

Allusion Brewing Company celebrated their Grand Opening in October of 2020 (so shortly before I ended up visiting them in early November of 2020).

They opened their doors on October 10th, 2020 at 11:00 AM. They promoted through YouTube and Twitter at the start, with this YouTube video and Twitter post:

From their Facebook and Twitter accounts back in 2020, they gave a detailed discussion of how they were started, founded, and their opening:

“Allusion Brewing Company was started in 2013. When John Bieranoski and Robert Buchanan started experimenting with home brewing, the resulting beers they created were of surprisingly good quality. As more and more friends and family tried the beers they were creating, the demand for the beers continued to grow. Within a very short time, there were continuous suggestions that a microbrewery should be considered.

While discussing the potential for a microbrewery in 2013, John and Robert were brainstorming ideas for the name of the brewery. Both being advocates of classical literature and history, the names of the beers were always being created with an obvious or sometimes subtle reference to a figure or item from history or literature. When it was apparent that all of our beers names were alluding to literature, film, and pop culture, Allusion Brewing Company seemed a perfect fit!

Nick Bieranoski joined the team early in stages of development. He shares Robert and John’s passion for craft beer and his enthusiasm for the business has expedited the expansion of our brewing capacity and our search for a flagship location.

A suitable location was the next step for the business. Smaller communities surrounding Pittsburgh were the focus of the search. We wanted a smaller community that could support our brewery, but also would benefit from our original goal of giving back to the community. We have toured breweries where a beer is created and proceeds of the beer sales go back to an organization in the community. Our original thought being Allusion Brewing was to donate proceeds to a local library. During our search, a family member of John and Nick suggested we look into a location in Vandergrift, Pa. The building was a fantastic fit for what we wanted our brewery to offer. We learned the building was owned by a non-profit organization in Vandergrift formed to work towards revitalization of the town. The Vandergrift Improvement Program (VIP) has embraced our idea for a brewery and is working with us to get the location up and running.”

Allusion Brewing Company – Facebook

It couldn’t have been easy opening amidst the pandemic and the craziness that was 2020 (and even subsequently the years after). I know locally in October Howling Henry’s and Rubber Soul’s openings didn’t go as planned due to the COVID-19 and coronavirus pandemic. (Rubber Soul was originally planned to open earlier in March – May of 2020… but well… obviously that couldn’t happen at that time.)

(Read: Allusion Brewing Company Opens This Saturday in Vandergrift.)

After months of delays, Vandergrift’s Allusion Brewing Co. will officially open Saturday.

Robert Buchanan and John Bieranoski had planned to open their craft brewery in the spring. They were ready to make Vandergrift a new destination for craft beer enthusiasts. In February, Buchanan said everything was on track for a smooth and successful opening in the spring.

Then the covid-19 pandemic hit the region.

With businesses closed, Buchanan said the final preparations for the brewery were subsequently delayed. They could continue working on improving the building — which required renovations — but they weren’t able to have as many contractors working at once. They couldn’t have inspections performed on plumbing, electricity and other utilities or receive certain equipment on time. Buchanan said it took an extra three months for the brewery to receive a new transformer for their extensive equipment. Without it, they couldn’t even turn on the machinery.

“With everybody being shut down, we had to wait unusually long times for inspections on utilities,” Buchanan said. “(We had) delays, delays, delays, delays getting the power for the equipment. We couldn’t even start brewing in the spring.”

“But we’ve soldiered on and we’re here,” he added.

Allusion Brewing Co. to open Saturday in Vandergrift

COVID-19 certainly hampered a lot of things in 2020, especially from March through August. But thankfully Allusion Brewing Company was able to push through, and open, and boost the small town of Vandergrift, Pennsylvania.

“We have a 10-tap system,” Bieranoski said, gesturing to the ornate line of taps behind the brewery’s newly-finished bar. “That’s five staples and that gives me five to play with and have fun.”

Both natives of Western Pennsylvania, they decided to locate their shop in Vandergrift as a way to boost the small community.

“We knew we always wanted to go to a small town that we felt we could help to bring back the vitality to,” Bieranoski said. “We look at Vandergrift as one of those towns that has a lot of potential to become a great small destination town for folks around the Pittsburgh area.”

Allusion Brewing Co. to open Saturday in Vandergrift

Allusion Brewing Company Pushed On

In 2021 Allusion Brewing Company was able to celebrate their 1st Anniversary. In 2022 they celebrated their second, and this fall (October) they will be celebrating their third anniversary.

The following is from a news article celebrating their 1st anniversary:

Friends John Bieranoski and Robert Buchanan never planned to open a business during a pandemic.

But the new business owners did, and they not only have survived, they have thrived.

Allusion Brewing Co., the only in-house brewery in Vandergrift, recently celebrated its one-year anniversary.

For Bieranoski, 46, and Buchanan, 44, the milestone has left them feeling grateful and hopeful.

“There’s so many silver linings,” Buchanan said.

Building the Valley: Allusion Brewing celebrates 1st anniversary, expansion plans in Vandergrift

It so great to see this brewery to keep growing and expanding, and making such good quality beers, so happy for them to be celebrating their 3rd anniversary this year.

The duo said opening during covid had them “hoping it could only get better.” They announced expansion plans last week.

Buchanan, of Ross, said they’re in the process of purchasing the building next to Allusion, 143 Grant Ave.

The men said the expansion will grow the seating of 70 to about 140.

“We want to have an open area to accommodate live music. That’s a huge ‘ask’ around here,” Buchanan said.

“We got the brewing equipment in February 2020, and we were super excited, and then March happened, so, yeah, it was a little stressful,” said Buchanan of the decision to open during the covid pandemic.

The two friends began brewing beer themselves in 2013. Their friends and family encouraged them to open a microbrewery someday.

Bieranoski, who serves as head brewer, is studying to earn his master brewer certification.

“The best part has been the support we’ve received throughout the pandemic from the town itself and our customers. A lot of great feedback and a lot of customers that continue to grow with us and enjoy it,” Bieranoski said.

Bieranoski, 46, is a Kiski Area High School alumnus from Allegheny Township. He left his job in the higher education sector to pursue his beer brewing hobby.

“This is confirmation for me,” said Bieranoski of Allusion’s early success.

Building the Valley: Allusion Brewing celebrates 1st anniversary, expansion plans in Vandergrift

My Trip to Vandergrift in 2020

Back in 2020 I did a full trip all the way out to Indianapolis by myself to visit the Kurt Vonnegut Library. It was a wonderful trip, I stopped at a lot of breweries through Western PA, Ohio, Indianapolis, even hitting a few in Kentucky and West Virginia. I did a lot of hiking too.

For the quick recap of of the day I visited Allusion Brewing Company, you can find that here:

For the complete, seven day trip recap, you can find that here:

Rock Furnace and Vandergrift

The Kiskiminetas River along Roaring Run Trail

From the article I wrote about my trip to Vandergrift and Allusion Brewing Company:

…[But], there was a nearby hiking trail that went along the creek called Rock Furnace Trail, and I did hike that, and it led out by the river and was a bike / walk path called Roaring Run Trail, and I walked some of that as well. The trails were located in Apollo Pennsylvania, and the river that ran alongside Roaring Run Trail is called Kiskiminetas River. It was a beautiful path (both the Rock Furnace Trail and the Roaring Run Trail), the creek alongside Rock Furnace Trail was pretty, low, meandering, and the Kiskiminetas River was big and roaring with lots of rapids. Unfortunately, no real waterfalls or cascades to see, I assume all of those were at the Jackson Falls that were now on the private property.

After hiking and walking the two trails / paths, it was about 11AM when I left Apollo and made my way to Vandergrift Pennsylvania, for my first brewery stop of day two. Vandergrift was a small, quaint, old time town, that reminded me of the town from Back to the Future. Not sure why, but it just did. I walked a few blocks of it before / after drinking and eating at Allusion Brewing Company.

The Trip to Indianapolis: Day Two: Rock Furnace Trail, Allusion Brewing Company, Couch Brewery, Riverview Park, Hop Farm Brewing Company, and The Meadows Casino and Racetrack.
The bar at Allusion Brewing Company

Then, after getting to Vandergrift, and getting to Allusion Brewing Company:

Allusion Brewing Company is a micro brewery located in Vandergrift Pennsylvania; just outside of Pittsburgh. According to Untappd it has 18 unique beers, with 542 ratings and has an average rating of 3.8. The Untappd description simply reads: “Vandergrift’s hometown brewery.” The oldest created unique beer was on 12.26.13, but then the next wasn’t until 5.24.14. It certainly seems like it’s a relatively new and small brewery, but the beers were great, the building was beautiful, and the staff – Jim – was wonderful. If you get a chance to go by Vandergrift, make sure to stop in, visit Allusion Brewing, and see Jim as bartender, wonderful guy, very nice, informative and talkative.

The Trip to Indianapolis: Day Two: Rock Furnace Trail, Allusion Brewing Company, Couch Brewery, Riverview Park, Hop Farm Brewing Company, and The Meadows Casino and Racetrack.

To read more about the trip to Vandergrift and Allusion Brewing Company, you can read the full day trip travelogue here:

More Information About Allusion Brewing Company

For more information about Allusion Brewing Company you can visit their very well designed website here: Allusion Brewing Company – Official Website.

The following comes from Untappd: Allusion Brewing Company is a micro brewery from Vandergrift, Pennsylvania. They have 53 unique beers and just over 4,600 ratings, with a global average rating of 3.84 (as of 4.13.23). Their Untappd description reads: Vandergrift’s hometown brewery, offering a consistent library of approachable beers taking the tradition of each style seriously. Craft beer is about bringing people together – come join our story.

For more information, you can find them at their social media pags here:

More of Our Articles About Allusion Brewing Company

Looking to read more about Allusion Brewing Company? Here’s the articles we’ve written about them:

The Battle of the Breweries (2023) – Finals Fatal Four Way

The Battle of the Breweries (2023)

Here is a look at how Allusion Brewing Company made it to the Finals Fatal Four Way:

In the Group Stage, they were in Group G of the Nugget Conference. Allusion Brewing Company and Elder Pine Brewing and Blending emerged victorious from Group G with 36 and 32 votes respectively.

In the Nugget Conference Round of 16, Allusion Brewing Company (149 votes) defeated Chatty Monks Brewing (99 votes)

In the Nugget Conference Round of 8, Allusion Brewing Company (161 votes) defeated Victory Brewing Company (66 votes).

In the Nugget Conference Final Four, Allusion Brewing Company defeated Bunnyman Brewing. In the second battle we had six seed Allusion Brewing Company defeat the 15 seed Bunnyman Brewing with a total of 283 votes to 169 votes.

In the Nugget Conference Finals we had 6 seed Allusion Brewing Company battling the defending champions (coming in at the 8 seed) Von C Brewing Company. This was another hotly contested battle. This time Allusion Brewing Company emerged victorious with 2255 votes to 1128 votes. Thats a 1127 voter difference.

It was a battle of East Pennsylvania vs. West Pennsylvania (Norristown vs Vandergrift), and this time West Pennsylvania emerged victorious. (Much like the Penquins beat the Flyers last night – as much as that pains me to admit.)

Allusion Brewing Company will be a strong competitor in the Finals Fatal Four Way.

(See end of article for all of The Battle of the Breweries voting and results pages.)

Past Results:

Group Stage Voting Pages

Group Stage Results Pages

Round of 16 Voting Pages

Round of 16 Results Pages

Round of 8 Voting Pages

Round of 8 Results Pages

Conference Final Four Voting Pages

Conference Final Four Results Page

Conference Finals Voting Page

Conference Finals Results Page

Voting Rules

First, before we get to the voting, we have to go over the rules. Unlike all of the previous rounds, the Finals Fatal Four Way is a two week round. Voting will end Sunday, April 16th, at 11:59:59 PM EST.

You can vote once per day for your favorite brewery in the finals. The voting block will list all four breweries, but you can only select one. You can share this page on your social media to help your favorite brewery win the tournament.

Vote Here

Vote. Vote here. Get your voting here! Click below to vote:

The Battle of the Breweries (2023) – Finals Fatal Four Way

[perfect_survey id=”10950″]

Remember to vote daily, starting today and ending on April 16th at 11:59:59 PM EST.

The Battle of the Breweries (2023) – Voting and Results Pages

Thank You for Reading

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the four remaining breweries and wish them all the best of luck. I have enjoyed visiting all four of them, and they certainly all rank very highly in my opinion. (Amy has been to three of them with me, and has loved the three she visited as well.)

It is a tremendous honor to get to this point in the competition – out of 160 breweries, we are down to just 4 remaining. Thats amazing to think about, and shows the love and support these breweries have.

Even the conference runner ups put in a tremendous effort and deserve some recognition too. Cox Brewing Company, Von C Breiwng Company, RAR Brewing, and Boneshire Brew Works are all amazing breweries and have loved my (and Amy as well) visits to their breweries.

As well as I want to take the moment to thank all of the 160 breweries that shared, linked, pushed, and helped make this tournament a rousing success. You all blow me away with the love, support, and energy you pour into this – as well as what you pour into your breweries (and, by relation – what you pour into my glass). Thank you all for everything you’ve done!

This tournament has been a lot of fun, but it is also a lot of work. So thank you to everyone for your patience.

We have also completed the first two Maps of Breweries – Maine and New Hampshire. You can see those here:

We are currently starting to work on creating maps of all the breweries in each state, starting geographically with Maine. So be on the lookout for these great resources to soon be popping up on the blog. Hoping to get a state done every 2 – 4 days. (Some will be quicker and easier than others, but 50 states, plus Washington D.C., will certainly take some time!)

Thank you everyone for reading and please like, share, follow, subscribe, all that good stuff you see at the end of every YouTube video.

You can check out the final four breweries left in the Finals Fatal Four Way here and vote:

Check out some recent articles:

Cheers All!

-B. Kline

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