MANSFIELD - What started as an idea born in the imagination of a mother of one of the owners - opening a brewery - will come to fruition with the Feb. 7 opening of Yorkholo Brewing Co.
Jarrod York said his mother, Bonnie, who operated a hair styling salon in the 14. N. Main St. building she owns for several years before moving the shop a few years ago, came up with the idea after visiting the Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport.
What followed has taken several years and a lot of "sweat equity" to bring about and now, an anticipated opening date has been set, with a grand opening the following weekend.
CHERYL R. CLARKE/Sun-Gazette
Jarrod York and Ashley Rodgers, co-owners of Yorkholo Brewing Co., stand next to one of five fermentation vessels in the basement of the former Chez Gabrielle beauty salon at 14 N. Main St. in Mansfield. The microbrewery was inspired by the Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport.
York said he came up with the name from the name of his grandfather Ralph York's dairy farm, "York Holo" short for "Hollow," which originally was in Bungy, a hamlet in the eastern part of the county.
"Back then they were only allowed to use a set number of letters to name a farm," York explained, so the name "Yorkholo" was created for the company. York also has his grandfather's likeness as a "profile picture" on the business' Facebook page.
After the interior was gutted, it was rebuilt by Tiadaghton Contractors, of Williamsport, who worked on it for four months, co-owner Ashley Rodgers said.
"They jacked up the floor and did the walls and beams," she said, adding that the bar was designed and created by North Country Woodworking, of Mansfield.
Yorkholo's opening, originally slated for November, was pushed back due to equipment and other delays.
With a lot of help from family and friends, including York's mother, his father Garry, a contractor, and brothers, Thad and Heath, the interior was renovated to provide room for the brew house and equipment needed to brew several varieties of beer - from lighter lagers to the hearty ales.
"You could drink about 10 lagers to three ales, but some lagers, for example, a Bock can be as strong as an ale," York explained.
With opening day arriving in a week, York, 27, and Rodgers, 23, are ready to see the business open and look forward to serving the community they both grew up in.
"It's going to be all about going local," York said, "We also plan to also sell Pennsylvania wines," said Rodgers, who has three years toward a business degree at Mansfield University.
According to York, it takes about six to eight hours to brew a batch of beer, and it will stay fresh for up to three months. One batch will make about three barrels, or 93 gallons, which is considered a small amount.
"Larger breweries, like the Bullfrog, make up to 10 barrels at a time," he said.
York got a lot of experience brewing beer during the time he worked for the Ithaca Brewing Co. for a year and a half, following five months of online schooling and hands-on training in Vermont. Final exams culminated in an internship at Ithaca.
He also has a bachelor's degree in environmental biology.
Using five fermentation vessels, York said his ingredients make a better tasting beer than the large manufacturers, some of whom who use a lot of rice and corn as fillers.
He gets his ingredients from North County Malt, in New York state, including all the malt and barley.
"I use what is called two-row barley," he said, adding that creates a higher quality malt.
In addition to the delights of enjoying brewed on the premises beers with names such as Dead River American Amber Ale, named after the Tioga River, and Coal Miner Black I.P.A., the pub also will sell lunches and dinners, with the emphasis again on staying local for ingredients.
"We already have contracted with Hillstone Farms in Wellsboro and will offer burgers and steaks," he said.
"There also will be sandwiches, paninis and menu choices that will change seasonally," Rodgers said.
Entertainment also is in the works for Yorkholo, starting with its grand opening Feb. 10-12, when local bluegrass band Grass Stained Genes will perform.