Sandfly Brewing Company
It was just so much of an easier process because The Progress Fund has funded breweries like this and knows the process that we needed to go through. It’s not like you’re trying to tell a banker, who has probably never been to a brewery, why this is a good idea.
What are the odds that two engineers, living in Punxsutawney, would independently dive into homebrewing? Jason Huffman and Matt Koppenhaver each heard that the other was perfecting beer formulas, and decided to join forces. Matt brought expertise in process (and stouts), while Jason added mechanical mastery (and lagers). They formed a homebrew club and their beers got great reviews at festivals. There wasn’t a brewpub in or near Punxsutawney. The two resolved to change that.
The Punxsutawney Chamber of Commerce steered Jason and Matt to The Progress Fund, which connected them to the Small Business Development Center at PennWest Clarion for planning help. The Progress Fund and North Central PA Regional Planning & Development Commission each loaned $86,000 to anchor Sandfly Brewing’s financing package.
Punxsutawney — a name derived from the Native American for “sand fly place” – draws crowds once a year, when its famed groundhog emerges. The conversion of a former car wash to Sandfly Brewing marks the growth of Punxsutawney towards a year-round tourism destination. Sandfly, says Matt, serves “the best beer you’ve ever had,” whether your tastes run Strawberry Blonde or Sandfly Sour. By using locally sourced grains and inviting food trucks to flank the patio, they’re sharing the buzz. Says Jason: “Punxsutawney needed something like this.”View Story as PDF
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