It was one of those mid December days in south western PA, cold. We have been pretty lax on the posts lately, so we wanted to do something fun, something......we can relate to. It's sort of been an unwritten rule w/ us at SWPARE. We do a hit, then usually end it w/ a trip to the flea market and pizza and beers . Today, we decided to mix it up a little and hit the beer first.
Stoney's Beer. Say that around your grandmother, and references to your pap, hanging out w/ his cronies down the local beer garden will soon follow. Founded in 1881 by William "Stoney" Jones, the first brewery was in Sutersville, Pa and then moved to Smithton, Pa to these buildings in 1907. There is an awful lot of history to this beer, and a lot of it interesting and amusing, as the story about Stoney winning the brewery in a card game, but I'm going to let the official history page of the Stoney's website do that story telling.
|One of my flea market finds from last year|
A short video below on some more Stoney's information
We headed on down that Friday the 13th, just expecting to get some exterior shots for the FaceBook page, but quickly found out the gift shop/offices were open. As we browsed the shirts and vintage collectables on display, we started talking to Joyce, who works for Stoney's, and she she gave Chip and I a history of the brand. Really nice lady. She invited us back into the taproom, a large "entertaining room" of sorts, done up nicely w/ deep wood tones, to look around. This is the room that would end the tour of the brewery, and you could sample a beer. All sorts of cool old photos, memorabilia and signs adorn this room. It's worth a trip down here just to check that out. An interesting sidebar to this story is, is that Shirley Jones, from TV's Partridge Family, is the grand daughter of Mr. Stoney Jones, and paid frequent trips to the brewery.
|They have a kick ass gift shop known as Stoney's Corner. Great stuff and at a really nice price!|
Stoney's brand beers were produced on this site from 1907, until the plant became too antiquated to be profitable, and was shut down in 2001. From there, manufacturing took place at another Pittsburgh favorite brewery, Iron City, in Lawrenceville, Pa, until financial troubles caused them to move all production to the old Rolling Rock plant in Latrobe, Pa.
|Old aerial shot hanging on the office wall. Looks like from the 70's|
|The Tap Room. After tours, we reckon you could have gotten a nice cold sample here. It still functions.|
Joyce gave us permission to walk about the site for pictures, and as we did, we ran into the current owner of the property, Bob. Bob bought the property a few years back, and told us all the old equipment inside had already been salvaged, and nothing brewery related remains inside. He is reluctantly (in time), tearing the old brewery down to make room for his current undertakings. Before yinz hate Bob for doing this, we have to say, he seems like a really good guy, but as a business man, he recognizes the liabilities old buildings like these can pose. He related stories of people coming in, only to vandalize the place. Places like this would make awesome loft type apartments in the right area but the sad fact is, you can build them but who is going to fill them? It's the same old sad story that a lot of other old buildings and towns face.
|What is not to love about Stoney Jones, riding atop a keg of Stoney's beer? We'd party w/ this dude.|
This whole trip was so inspiring, that I decided that I am going to make Stoney's our official beer here at SWPARE and bought a case of bottles on the way home, one of which I'm enjoying as I type this. I'm sure Chip won't mind. Danielle? She's happy w/ a Sun Drop pop.Man, we gotta work on her!
|More rich wood tones adorning the tap room|
|Stoney's sponsored stock car|
|Visit here! It's great! Open M-F, 9:30A to 4:30P. Just 2 miles off Rt 70|
|Bottling house and walkway|
|Walkway to bottling house|
|This speaks for itself. 15 seconds after I took the picture, these were whisked inside to the tap room, right behind the door. MMMmmmmmmmm......Fresh Beer.....|
|Part of the old production line. All I could think about was Laverne and Shirley.....|
|Back of the brewery, by the CSX tracks. If you look at the old 1970's picture earlier on in the post, this is where the smokestack was. Demo has begun.|
|Stoney's and my favorite, Stoney's Dark, fresh on tap down Bower Brothers bar in Fredericktown, Pa|
|Hey! Smithton has coke ovens too! We need another visit!|
|Great old sign|
|A whole lotta love is what we'll be bringin'....... Stoney Jones' grand daughter, Shirley Jones. We've heard she paid numerous visits to the brewery while it was in operation.|
|Your friend and humble narrator enjoying a Stoney's Dark down Bowers.|