About Big Rail Brewing

The Big Rail Story

All the way back in 2005, we brewed our first batch of beer on an old farmhouse stove. We didn’t realize it then, but the seed was planted for a lifetime of brewing.

Learning to Fly

Through the years, the beer we made on the stove was great, and when it wasn’t, we learned from it. But we knew that if we wanted to brew for a wider audience, we would need professional experience. So starting in 2015, we began brewing house beers for the Harmony Inn restaurant, located in Harmony Pennsylvania. This gave us the opportunity to feature our favorite recipes which we had developed during the previous decade. As we hoped, our beers were well received and kept improving thanks to continual feedback from the public. But in spite of the great connections and impressions we made there, a much more ambitious dream grew in the back of our minds.

Enter: The Property

Inspired by regular visits to the family camp in the Pennsylvania Wilds, we began to envision a brewery tucked away in the woods. So in the Autumn of 2017, when the opportunity arose, we secured the ideal spot near our stomping grounds of Grove City, Pennsylvania: 12 beautiful wooded acres located near the crossroads of Interstate 79 and 80, which we quickly dubbed “The Property”. During the time that’s passed since then, we’ve reshaped the overgrown forest into a comfortable nook where our tap room and brewery will rest. We’ve saved the downed trees for lumber, collected old barn stones, planted hops and new trees, and will continue to reuse and repurpose everything the land gives us.

But you can’t brew beer in the woods.

With construction of the brewery moving much more slowly than we’d hoped, we realized in the summer of 2019 that we needed to take action quickly and get some beer in the public’s hands, beyond the brew fests and other promotional events we’ve done for years. So we set up shop in a small production space in nearby Volant, and that’s where we brew now. But since it’s not open to the public, we’ve also begun hosting regular events at The Property to offer a preview of what’s to come: Check our events page to see what’s happening and join us for Big Rail beer, great food, music, and bonfires in the woods.

Turns out, building a brewery is hard.

While we’ve had to push back the date of our grand opening many times, and though we’re still working towards bringing the brewing process to The Property, we’re happy to say the building construction was finally completed in the Winter of 2024. The newest phase of our vision, the Big Rail tap room, is now open to the public: a cozy, down-to-earth structure where you can enjoy a few refreshing pints in any weather. But don’t worry: developing the beer garden in the woods will always be our focus, so outdoor events will continue to be the cornerstone of what makes Big Rail unique.

Blue Collar Born & Brewed.

Big Rail is a nickname for 155-pound and 152-pound rail — made incredibly strong to handle the immense weight of ore and coal carried through Pennsylvania’s old-growth forests, across her mighty rivers, and over her foreboding mountains. Likewise, Big Rail Brewing was forged in the wilds of Pennsylvania, and we brew our beer to honor all of the unseen blue collar tradespeople who hold up the immense weight of modern civilization.

We Are Independent.

Big Rail Brewing is a 100% independently-owned craft brewery. (What does that mean?)

What’s more, we’re not just the owners… we’re also the founders, brewers and operators.

As natives of western Pennsylvania, we decided long ago that we wouldn’t build our brewery anywhere else.

So when you support us, you’re also supporting our region, rather than lining the pockets of someone you’ll never meet.