Black Rock Brewing Company – Downtown Pottsville – Will Not Be Re – Opening

Black Rock Brewing Company – Downtown Pottsville – Will Not Be Re – Opening

Black Rock Brewing Company – Downtown Pottsville

Black Rock Brewing Company in Downtown Pottsville Will Not Be Re – Opening

It is with a sad heart we have to yet again report unfortunate news in the craft beer industry. As just announced (under a half hour ago), the Black Rock Brewery in downtown Pottsville, Pennsylvania; will not be re – opening.

They shared a post by Bobby Weaver on their Facebook account just a bit ago which states why they won’t be re – opening. The shared post reads:

It is with a heavy, heavy heart that I am forced to announce that Black Rock will not be re-opening. We love Pottsville. Anyone who knows myself or Abby knows this all too well. If I wasn’t someone challenging Pottsville City Hall and the “leaders” of this City who sit on City Council – Black Rock would still be open today.

We love the old YWCA building, with its iconic architecture and rich history shared with many who still live here. However, restoring and converting old buildings like this one, built in 1893, is an extremely difficult endeavor. We took out massive loans to finance this major historical restoration and conversion. Personally, I’ve never been more proud of a project I’ve worked on. It’s a survivor, having suffered through an INCREDIBLY difficult first 2 years of life. We NEEDED year 3 to be the payoff, just like all new businesses. We fought through our growing pains, figured out what people wanted, and had a kickass staff ready for an epic summer in Pottsville. We even expanded our outside seating with the picnic patio, added a pool table and dart boards, and had exciting events lined up, such as more beer/wine train excursions, an art installation with the Schuylkill Historic Society, and SO many scheduled bands.

Then, on the early morning of May 17th, we had an after-hours fire. It was caused by a freak equipment malfunction with our grill, and it led to one of the worst calls (so far) I’ve ever received as a business owner. When I arrived, a fleet of fire trucks, representing all fire departments in Pottsville, was already on the scene. Every fire is dangerous, but we were fortunate that the alarms in our building miraculously alerted a passing Pottsville PD officer at 1am. He gained access to the building and extinguished the fire within minutes from when it started – absolutely incredible. By the time the first firefighters arrived, the fire was already completely extinguished. The damage was minimal, contained, and we couldn’t have been luckier. We even got the whole thing on video!

However, upon learning that a local business had suffered a fire, our City Council members used it to score cheap political points. The code office condemned our building and revoked our certificate of occupancy, which left us utterly shocked and completely confused.

They knew the fire was small, they knew it was extinguished extremely fast, and they knew there was no reason to take such drastic action. A few days after the fire, representatives from the City of Pottsville government conducted a “life safety inspection” of our building. These code officers were the same individuals against whom I had filed official complaints. The same 3rd Party Code Inspector, who gladly accepted $3,000+ for our final inspection just 2 years ago, accompanied them. They meticulously examined our entire building that was approved,inspected, and untouched from the fire, from top to bottom, for over an hour, and then they left without saying a single word. They found 67 items, literally everything they could find, with the most petty violation being the height at which we hung our basement bathroom mirrors was a few inches too high. Violation. There were certainly some legitimate items on the list, such as emergency lights needing repairs and outlet covers, or our temporary use of extension cords. However, these were all easy fixes that we’ve completed weeks ago and would not have caused us to close.

We have been closed for 6 weeks, and our hope is gone. Due to the revocation of our certificate of occupancy, we were required to submit entirely new architectural designs for the project. Unfortunately, every plan we have submitted so far has been denied, despite being submitted and sealed by licensed architects. The lack of clear answers and constantly shifting requirements have left us without hope. Our efforts have been consistently shot down, with emails and calls going unanswered or weeks in between contact, and general correspondence hostile. We can’t go on like this. They have bullied yet another business into closing its doors in Pottsville, we aren’t the first.

I’m choosing my family. Abby & I are having our second child, a girl, here in a few days. I’m also choosing our other two businesses, Pressed & Farlows, both of which won Readers Choice awards this year! Best coffeehouse AND best deli & hoagies, it was such an honor. If the City of Pottsville government isn’t willing to fight for this project and save a historic building, neither am I. The dark and pathetic side of small town politics snuffed out Black Rock Brewpub. This is the embodiment of everything I’ve been working to change in Pottsville, and why I’m running for City Council.

We have remained closed through Memorial Day Weekend and the entire month of June. As a primarily outdoor venue, the summer season is crucial for us. However, with the roadblocks, red tape, and ever-changing rules, we have been crippled. We can’t plan events, retain our staff, or do ANYTHING when we have no idea when we can open, and we have no other options. Our employees are out of jobs, this historic building is closed, and it pains us to see Pottsville suffer. We hope that this goodbye is not forever.

Black Rock Brewing Company – Facebook Shared Post

Unfortunate News

This is very unfortunate news as Black Rock was a staple to the Pottsville community. There is other Pottsville breweries in the area (most notably the Yuengling Brewery as well as Pilger Ruh Brewing).

There is no talk or word yet on the Black Rock Brewing in Linglestown, Pennsylvania.

The fire back on May 17th really set them back, and as it turns out, crippled the business. Its a shame to see travesties and tragedies like this happen to businesses and that force them to shut down.

Fires aren’t new to breweries – in just the past few years, Victory Brewing had a fire and explosion at their Kennett Square location, and the Funk Brewery in Elizabethtown had a fire. As well as the brewers Brooke and Shannon Hemauer had a fire at their own home.

We offer our condolences to those affected by the loss of Black Rock Brewing, and we wish the best for all in the future going forward.

May 17th Fire

Back on May 17th, Black Rock Brewing had a fire. Their Facebook post from the date sums it up:

In case you didn’t hear, we had a silly little freak fire in the kitchen late last night. No one was there at the time and it’s minimal damage, but we will be temporarily closed while we work on cleaning up and making sure everything is in normal tip-top shape. Stay tuned for re-opening updates!

As always, our whole team is super grateful for the incredible speed and effeciency of our local police and fire departments. They’re the real MVPs.

Black Rock Brewing Company – Facebook Post (May 17th, 2023)

The post was accompanied by a Black Rock Brewing Company logo with “OK but Temporary Closed”.

Black Rock Brewing Company

The following comes from Untappd. Black Rock Brewing Company is a micro brewery from Pottsville, Pennsylvania. They have 27 unique beers with a total of 2,918 ratings, and a global average rating of 3.58 (as of 6.28.23). Their Untappd description reads: Black Rock Brewing is a landmark craft microbrewery in Downtown Pottsville, featuring our own local brews, Yuengling Beer, SpringGate Wine, and food sourced from the historically rich coal region.

They also have a location in Linglestown, Pennsylvania.

You can find them at the following social media pages:

Brewery News

Interested in finding out about many other brewery openings, new locations, closings, movings, and in general brewery news? You can check out our links below:

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