First Frontier Blair County Welcomes Levity Brewing Company
When some fun-loving and talented brewers get together with a group of forward-thinking real estate developers, municipal leadership, and a community ready to gather again, good things happen; and so they did this month.
Levity Brewing Company has announced the expansion of the Indiana, PA, taproom and a second location in downtown Altoona. Work has already begun in both locations with plans to open around the first of the year.
In Indiana, hammers are swinging to turn the former Gorell Windows employee gym into a second taproom for overflow and private parties. Located just above the current taproom, this larger space will double occupancy for Levity customers while leaving space to gather safely.
“This year has forced us through one change after another – not many of them fun. But this is a fun one for the Levity family.” Said owner, Luke McKelvy. “We have been working on this for a couple years, but COVID-19 restrictions have actually pushed us forward.”
With seating limited to 50% of occupancy in Pennsylvania, bar and restaurant owners have seen drastic drops in sales. Cold weather will only amplify the problems as outdoor seating freezes over. Owner, Erich Walls said, “We have been so fortunate to have lots of outdoor seating this summer. And fire pits are extending the season a little bit. But we have to make more space inside. The big bonus for our customers is the ability to do private parties, wedding receptions, and things we never had space for in the past.”
An hour east in the city of Altoona, construction has begun to turn a historic downtown building into a beautiful taproom space. “We explored lots of towns for a second location,” said owner, Jared Herman, “but in Altoona we were immediately drawn in by this energetic group of local leaders. They are passionate about their town and excited to bring something like the Levity taproom downtown.” Altoona Mayor, Matt Pacifico first met Levity’s Erich Walls at The Clay Cup coffeehouse in downtown and planted the seed for Levity to explore Altoona.
“I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Levity to Altoona!” said Mayor Matt. “Over the last year I’ve really gotten to know Erich, Luke, and Jared, and we all share the same passion for community. So I know they will be a valuable part of the Altoona community just like they are right now at their flagship brewery in Indiana, PA.”
Located in the old Chalk Box building on 11th Ave., The first phase of opening Altoona is to construct the façade and a small storefront for to-go beer. Levity is canning many of their beers in Indiana, and this store is a way to quickly start connecting with the Altoona community. The next phase will be constructing a taproom and restaurant in the 2,400 sq ft first floor of the building. And finally, a brewing operation to brew unique local beers will be constructed on site.
“Levity’s investment is a testament to the resolve and innovation of our small businesses even in difficult times,” said Stephen McKnight, President and CEO at the Altoona Blair County Development (ABCD) Corporation. “It’s also further proof of our community as an attractive place to live and invest. This adds to our growing craft food and beverage scene, helping to bring people together throughout our mountain main streets. This is great news at a time when we all really needed it. On behalf of the ABCD Corporation Board of Directors, we look forward to welcoming Levity to the First Frontier Blair County.”
ABCD will be providing small business financing to support this initial phase and future phases of the development which will further add to the growing 11th Avenue mountain main street food and beverage scene. In just the last few years, First Frontier Blair County entrepreneurs have launched Railroad City Brewing Company, JJ Hadley’s, Iron Pint Brewing, Chimney Rocks Brewing, and Spring Dam Brewing Company. We welcome Levity to the community! Prost!