A New Place to Go for Local Beer, Music and Community
Parkersburg is getting a nice boost to their downtown neighborhood with the official Grand Opening of the Parkersburg Brewing Company, this coming Saturday. The brewery (as a brand) hasn’t been open for over 100 years, but Co-owners Justin Logue and Dan Curtis intend to bring the PBC name back to its full glory.
I got to have a sit down with Parkersburg native Justin Logue this week, to get the lowdown on what the Parkersburg Brewing Company can offer to Mid-Ohio Valley beer lovers, music lovers and community members:
HTN: So about 5 years ago, you started the local home brew club?
Justin: Yeah, when I moved back here from college, we didn’t have a homebrew club in town like we did in Morgantown (WVU, where he fell in love with homebrewing), and I figured I might as well start one.
HTN: Is that where you fell in love with (homebrewing)?
Justin: I was bored, and I needed a hobby. I literally Googled “hobbies”, and saw “beer brewing” and thought “Well, I could do that”. I’ve always liked making things with my hands. That was just a natural interest of mine. So I went down to the home brew supply store, and literally put everything on a credit card. I was brewing the next day. Every since then I caught-I call it- the “Brew Bug”. I just fell in love with it. And once I moved back here, I just wanted to keep it going.
HTN: And now Dan Curtis was also a part of the club with you right?
HTN: So neat.
So one of the things I saw in one of the news stories I’d read about the PBC is that you’re proud of having 6 main brews, and they’re all brewed here, exclusively. And you don’t plan on carrying the more, um…
Justin: The macro brews? The Budweiser, Miller…
HTN: Is that what they’re called? (Truth moment, I’d never heard this name before. I learned so many things, this day. And in hindsight, it makes perfect sense, now).
So I know that your goal is to help bring something special to downtown-not just a really cool place for people to hang out, but something they can’t find in other places (like with their signature brews). Say though, say there are people in the area who are interested in trying the microbrews but they’re nervous about it. Say they are a diehard Budweiser drinker, or a diehard Heinekin, whatever…could you make suggestions, based on those “standard beers” to what they may want to try, here?
Justin: Absolutely. Because part of the barrier to entry for people who are into craft beer, it the price. You go into a store, you see 16.00 for a 6 pack…you’re not gonna try it. You’re not gonna pick up the whole thing, and frankly, some of them, you’re not gonna like. Part of coming to a brewery is, we’re here to explain that to you. We’re here to give you options and talk to you. “What do you normally like to drink? What do you normally like to EAT?” Because eating is a big segue. Because if you like certain types of foods, we can take certain beers and pair with those foods, and you can have a better appreciation in that way.
Also, we have beer flights. So you get to try all the different beers, all the different styles, and not pay 16.00 for a 6 pack (a flight at PBC is 13.99). You can try them all and find out what styles and flavors you like in a beer, without spending a ton of money.
HTN: Cool. I know for now, you have a somewhat limited menu (although it’s bigger than it was when I last heard of the offerings, and I feel it may grow, rapidly). Have you considered doing any pairing classes, or anything like that?
Justin: At this point anything’s on the table, because we love connecting with other people in that way… We love offering things that educate people in craft beer.
**No known offerings are currently scheduled, but possibly in the future**
HTN: So if someone says “I’ve only drank Budweiser my entire life, but hey, microbrew sounds kind of fun. If I go there, they’re gonna take care of me, they’ll point me in the right direction, and I won’t feel like an idiot asking”…
Justin: Yes. (He was confident in this, and then enthusiastically showed me a copy of the new menu) This is something we’ve really thought out, and really wanted to show people. Normally when you go to a brewery, you’ll order a flight of beer, and they’ll set it down on the table, and that’s it. When we give you a flight, you’ll be able to read through this. And this is actually in order-clockwise on the flight paddle. So you’ll be able to follow along…you’ll be able to read about each beer, And there’s tasting notes in there. So, you’ll really be able to connect with what you’re tasting.
HTN: So you’d also mentioned online…I know on opening night, there’s going to be a band. One of the other things we’d talked about was that the goal was to focus (with re: to music) on quality over quantity. Have you considered bringing more local musicians in? Maybe a once-a-month kinda thing?
Justin: I’d say at this point, it’s probably a once-a-month kinda thing. We want to bring bands in, but we want to find the right people and the right bands. We don’t want to just have a band for the sake of having a band. We want to have a band because they’re good, and people want to listen to them. We want people playing their music, their original music, and we want to keep it local (Ohio/WV artists). Thats a big thing to us.
HTN: When it comes to bands, will there be a certain vibe, a certain genre you’ll be going for when looking for bands?
Justin: We like sticking with blues and, we haven’t seen a lot of (local) bands that do this, but we like swing music, the Rat Pack. We want to stick with that type/vibe of music. It’s something all of us (at PBC) like, and it goes perfectly with (the feel of) this place.
HTN: It does kinda have a lounge-y feel.
Justin: Yeah, exactly.
HTN: So you’ll have merchandise available at the opening and beyond, if people want to buy it?
Justin, Yeah, we’ll have shirts, glassware, and we’re really excited about the crowlers (large, 32 oz. cans that can be sealed on the spot) available.
**The Parkersburg Brewing Company is thee first location in the entire state of West Virginia to have it’s own crowler machine. How cool.**
**Also, I geeked out because I had to charge my phone while I was there, and they have THESE cool charges built in to the sides of the bar. Woah. They’re called “Bar Juice”. PBC is also the first bar in WV to have this charging system, developed for the Department of Defense with an ingrained security feature that prevents people from stealing your information through the cords. Want your own cord (or don’t have a USB style charger)? Not to worry. They’ll also have a selection of cords available for purchase behind the bar, so you never have to leave.
I for one, can’t wait to check out all of the beers and food, and learn more about one of my favorite beverages. But first, one more question:
HTN: So since Hold the Note is music based at heart, if there were musicians reading this that were interested in playing here, how should they do so?
Justin: Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org That’s the best way to get a hold of me (and send links to your music in the email).
Be sure to stop by the Grand Opening of the Parkersburg Brewing Company, 707 Market St., this coming Saturday, from 4pm-12am. Clarksburg’s own Dennis McClung Blues Band will perform from 7-10pm. Bring the kiddos, too. They’ll love the PBC root beer, and root beer floats.