Ashley Glensor, Programs and Marketing Specialist at the Lancaster Chamber and Young Professionals Network lead, recently sat down with Rob Tarves, Co-Founder and Head Brewer at Our Town Brewery to learn more about Our Town Brewery and what it has to offer!
Ashley: What inspired Our Town Brewery?
Rob: Growing up in northcentral Pennsylvania, my business partner and I noticed how integral breweries are to the local community. We graduated from Penn State and got jobs at a local brewery in the area. Breweries often demonstrate a level of community engagement and commitment, and, at the time, we were brewing at home. We wanted to bring the concept alive – so, 12 years later, here we are!
Ashley: What prompted you to open Our Town Brewery in Lancaster?
Rob: I moved here in 2012, and I worked at many of our local breweries. We wanted to offer a different model to a concept that is thriving in Lancaster: the pub feel with small batches of brew quickly turning over to produce new, fresh brews. Lancaster is a growing city, but retains its neighborhood and community feel, which is something we wanted to be a part of with Our Town Brewery.
Ashley: Community engagement is a foundational piece of Our Town Brewery. How is Our Town engaged in Lancaster?
Rob: We opened during the pandemic, so the first 6 to 10 months were challenging. We were in survival mode. It was difficult to get involved because our options were limited. We are fortunate that we have partnered with A Week Away to support a week of vacation for individuals with terminal illnesses and their families. We are engaged with clean ups on Walnut Street, as well. Last fall, we supported the American Cancer Society’s bike race and hosted a mini makers market. We’re also partnering with the PA Guild of Craftsmen to offer our space for a few of their artisan classes.
Ashley: What sparked your passion for brewing?
Rob: I always liked creating. I grew up trying new hobbies, from building to cooking, and enjoy the process of seeing projects from start to finish. My brother was brewing in Boston and introduced me to the idea that you can brew from home. I got a starter kit for Christmas, and I continued to grow my skill. I still get excited as a brewer to see the tanks, pallets, and bubbling fermentation. I want everyone to engage in that experience when they walk through our doors, which is why our doors open toward the brewing area. On Fridays, when we brew, we open at noon and you get to experience it firsthand – the smells, the humidity, the steam, and the samples!
Ashley: Thank you so much for your time! I appreciate you sharing more, and it was great to sip on a beer while we chatted! Any final thoughts you’d like to share with our young professionals?
Rob: Our Town Brewery is a brewery for everyone. From a beer perspective, we try to have a variety of options on tap that cater to different preferences. We make the beer right here, and our staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Learn more about the history of our building when you visit. We have seating for families, we offer pub-style service to create a flow in the room and opportunities to socialize, and you can check out our space upstairs. Bring the whole office after work and grab something for happy hour!