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Brewing company to open its doors in Selinsgrove
Jan 15, 2018
The owners/brewers at the Isle of Que Brewing Company Jeremy Boyer, Jason Kinney, Sean Walburn and Mike Salter stand behind the bar.
SELINSGROVE — A group of friends have taken their love of craft beer and turned it into the Isle of Que Brewing Company that will open for business Friday at 6 University Ave.For years, Mike Salter, Jeremy Boyer, Jason Kinney and Sean Walburn have been brewing beer and selling the ale at festivals and other events. In the past year, Jerrel Boyer has joined them in the enterprise.
Inside of the Isle of Que Brewing Company on University Avenue in Selinsgrove.
With an eye on opening a permanent outlet to serve the refreshment straight from the tap, the men launched a fundraising effort to renovate the University Avenue space and purchase brewing equipment about three years ago.
"We did it all ourselves," said Kinney, standing inside the cozy bar that accommodates 61 people and features two large screen televisions and items from their neighborhood, Isle of Que, including a bicycle affixed to a wall and a 17-foot aluminum canoe hanging above the bar area.
Walburn thought the canoe might be "obnoxious" until several visitors expressed surprise when it was pointed out. "People don't even notice it," he said.
The establishment also features a stage where local musicians will provide live entertainment on occasion. Runaway Stroller will perform on opening night.
In addition to craft beer, the drink menu will include wine from Whispering Oaks Vineyard in Sunbury and Civil War cider from Lewisburg. Patrons who get peckish will be able to order from nearby restaurants, including the Wicked Dog Grille, Taste of Philly and Bella's.
"They can focus on the beer and let the (restaurant) professionals focus on the food," said Kim Olson, co-owner of Taste of Philly.
Four of the many beers served at the Isle of Que Brewing Company: Kinney's Red, Stymie 75 IPA, Animal 54 Tripel and Peanut Butter Pale Ale.
The partnership should benefit downtown businesses, said Domenico Napoli, owner of Bella's pizza shop and Isabella's, a fine dining eatery in Selinsgrove.
"I think it's a good concept. The Brew Crew are a good group of people with a great idea," Napoli said.
The Isle of Que Brewing Company will open to the public at 4 p.m. Friday, with Runaway Stroller taking the stage at 8 p.m.
For more information about business hours, visit www.quebrew.com
Jason Kinney, one of the owners of the Isle of Que Brewing Company, pours a drink inside the Selinsgrove establishment.
SELINSGROVE (Daily Item) — Four longtime friends who have made craft beer in their homes for years are now ready to establish a business where they’ll be able to serve their brew directly from the tap to the public.
They have created about 18 styles of craft beer and a business plan and have leased a building, but Mike Salter, of Selinsgrove, and Sean Walburn, Jeremy Boyer and Jason Kinney, all of Isle of Que, need about $8,000 more to get the Isle of Que Brewing Company open for business at 6 University Ave.
Known as the Isle of Que Brew Crew, the quartet is appealing for donations on the crowdfunding website, Indiegogo, to raise money for building renovations and to purchase larger brewing equipment. They raised 10 percent of the goal in the first three days last week.
"We’ve built a brand, so it’s not a matter of getting people in, it’s just a matter of getting the doors open," said Salter.
The brew crew has been offering their home-brewed beer at local and regional festivals and industry events to rave reviews for four years.
"We got tired of getting the same question, "Where can we get this?," Salter said.
Besides the beer, they are often recognized at events from their podcast, "The Craft," which features live entertainment and the friends, including local musician Becky Blue, hanging out.
It’s clear that craft beer is more than a hobby for the men, who have full-time jobs, so they decided to put together a business plan that marries their passion for brewing beer and their appreciation of local talent.
They’ve received help from other brewers like Free Will Brewing Company, The Civil War Cider Company and Rusty Rail Brewing Company and have worked closely with the borough council, Keystone Innovation Zone, Rural Business Innovation Incubator and Small Business Development Center of Bucknell.
To date, they’ve invested more than $30,000 and done a lot of work to turn the vacant space at 6 University Ave. into a place where patrons can hang at the bar with a drink, watch the brewing process and enjoy occasional live music, comedians and other entertainment.
The crew has reached out to nearby restaurants, like Taste of Philly, which has agreed to deliver food to their patrons.
Carol Handlan, president of Selinsgrove Projects Inc. which has sponsored the popular Hops, Vines & Wines Festival in the borough for the past eight years, is eagerly anticipating the new business.
"Que Brew has been a contributor to the success of (the festival), introducing us to some of the most outstanding craft brews in central Pennsylvania. We are thrilled that they will be opening their brew pub in downtown Selinsgrove," she said.
Craft brewers are a close-knit group and Walburn said their new business venture is getting support from others, including Steve Leason and Heather McNabb, owners of Selin’s Grove Brewery, a few blocks away at 121 N. Market St.
"The whole industry is exploding," said McNabb. "I think bringing more business into town is a great idea and more reason for people to come here."
SELINSGROVE — Disgruntled with the hurdles they’re facing trying to establish a new business in town, the owners of the Isle of Que Brewing Co. took their complaints to the Borough Council on Monday.
“It’s been a little frustrating, quite frankly,” said Jeremy Boyer, who is proposing to open the craft brewery at 6 University Ave. with friends Mike Salter, Sean Walburn and Jason Kinney.
They have been giving away their craft beer for four years at local and regional beer festivals and events and decided to establish a fixed location to serve their 18 styles of ale. They’ve leased a building and begun renovations to create a space where customers can enjoy a cold drink and listen to live music.
Council President Marvin Rudnitsky assured them that the council is looking into complaints regarding borough zoning regulations that appear to put roadblocks up to business and homeowners.
Though he’s still not sure if the problems are real or perceived, Rudnitsky has tapped Main Street Manager Mary Bannon and Rural Business Innovation Corp. Executive Director Kelly O’Brien Gavin to guide new entrepreneurs through zoning approval.
“We’re looking to expedite the process,” he said, telling members of the Isle of Que Brewing crew that the council will meet with them to discuss their issues.