Chestnut Brew works is moving across the river.
What do you get when a craft brewer who’s outgrown his space becomes friends with a construction contractor who loves beer? Keep your eyes on the Westover end of the bridge, where, in the not too distant future, Chestnut Brew Works will be setting up shop.
If you drink beer in town, you know Chestnut Brew Works—its Halleck Pale Ale is in restaurants all over. CBW’s small brewery on Brockway Avenue has earned an outsize reputation, tying for Best of Morgantown Best Brewery in 2022. Owner Bill Rittenour says he needed more room almost as soon as he opened at that location, his second, in 2015. “Within the first six months,” he laughs, “I was like, ‘It’s too small!’”
But he’s since become friends with Phil Weser, co-founder of construction contractor March-Westin Co. They talked about a bigger operation and, around three years ago, toured a building by the bridge in Westover. “We both said, ‘Wow—this is the place,’” Rittenour recalls. “We’re both really excited about the potential for efficiency, being able to receive the grain on one end of the building and ship the beer out at the other end.”
CBW will be able to quadruple its production, and that means not only more beer, but more kinds of beer. “We don’t do a lot of new beers now because there’s not much parking at our taproom—if we tried to do something fun, I see people getting frustrated accessing it. There, we’ll be able to welcome anyone who might be excited about drinking special one-offs.”
On-site, the partners plan to start with 10 or 12 taps, up from usually six now. The taproom will spill out onto a patio with a stage and riverside views. “You look across and there’s the Wharf District, the university, and Reynolds Hall,” Rittenour says. A menu of small plates will complement the libations—“tasty treats, foods you can share that are house-made and good.”
Off-site, the ambition is distribution statewide and beyond.
The partners don’t have a target opening month yet—it will depend on supply chain disruptions and other factors. Let’s cross our fingers for a fall opening. And are you thinking what we’re thinking? It’s going to be a highly walkable three-quarters of a mile between Mountain State Brewing Co., Morgantown Brewing Co., and Chestnut Brew Works. Sounds like a great new craft beer crawl.