Brewery gets state grant to expand operations
JERSEY SHORE –A $1 million state grant has been secured to help a Jersey Shore-area business become one the state leaders in the nation’s craft beer industry, a state lawmaker and its co-founder said.
Bald Birds Brewing Co. is the recipient of the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant, according to state Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, who advocated for the grant from the state Office of Budget of Gov. Tom Wolf.
The funding will help the facility, located in Porter Township, transition to a 153,000-square-foot brewery and events center, Yaw said.
At the core of the project is a state-of-the-art manufacturing, product-packaging and shipping enterprise, he said.
“Upon completion, the facility will be unrivaled in our region, and likely statewide,” Yaw said.
The funding will help speed up the site’s development and equipment purchases, as well as the economic opportunity within the community, he said.
“This grant will be a game-changer in advancing the development of Bald Birds Brewery’s Jersey Shore facility,” said Joe Feerar, the business co-owner.
“It will give us the ability to fast track the large-scale brewing and packaging operations, and with that, create new jobs and economic opportunities for the local community,” Feerar said.
The facility is in the midst of developing a manufacturing facility. The project will include a brewery and production area that will be a part of 91,000 square foot space that will house brewing equipment for large, medium and small batches with capacity to brew for 75-plus contract customers a month, Feerar said.
It includes investment in parking and storage space, he said.
A Brewpup and Taproom will be built to accommodate 150 table-top seats and 40 bar seats, an events space for receptions, conferences, and special events and entertainment space, he said.
The plan is to have an on-site brewing school complete with a brewery lab, classroom, and continued education space that will provide hands-on learning opportunities and partnerships with higher education institutions, Feerar said.
“Our vision for this project was to help make it a regional destination and something the local community could be proud to call its own,” he said, adding his appreciation to the senator for his advocacy on the grant.
Yaw said the project represents a significant local investment that will provide returns for the state and region.
Jason Fink, president and CEO of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, noted his appreciation to Yaw, to state Rep. Jeff Wheeland and Gov. Tom Wolf for their bipartisan support of the grants heading into Lycoming County for the brewery and other recipients of the grants awarded in this round.