Pour Man’s could be hopping by summer

By on January 24, 2018
Pour Man’s brewery partners James Stauffer (left), Sam Son (center) and Ryan Foltz celebrate zoning approval for their new brew pub in Ephrata by lifting small kegs called “sixtels.” Photo by Bonnie Adams

Pour Man’s brewery partners James Stauffer (left), Sam Son (center) and Ryan Foltz celebrate zoning approval for their new brew pub in Ephrata by lifting small kegs called “sixtels.” Photo by Bonnie Adams

New brew pub gets zoning board approval

Three beer-savvy friends have gotten the go-ahead to open the taps at Pour Man’s Brewing Co., with hopes of making the borough a craft beer destination.

Co-owner Ryan Foltz credits other breweries with helping them launch their idea that won Ephrata Zoning Board approval last week. The new brew pub plans to open this summer.

“Ephrata was really receptive,” Foltz said. The board granted a special exception for Pour Man’s to open a brewery/taproom at 284 S. Reading Road.

The vacant space is a short distance from Foltz’s home. He and fellow brewer, Sam Son, crafted their business in the garage, joined by partner James Stauffer. They said St. Boniface Craft Brewing Co. in Ephrata was among those who offered advice in transitioning from home to commercial brewing.

“They’ve been a big help to us,” Foltz remarked. Pour Man’s will become the third brewery operating in the borough, joining St. Boniface and Black Forest Brewery. Foltz said the zoning office also helped him navigate the application process.

St. Boniface co-owner Mike Price said he and Foltz had met to discuss Pour Man’s plans. Price indicated he doesn’t consider another brewery as a threat to his own business.

“We had a lot of help when we started. It’s passing it along,” Price commented. “It’s a tough business to be in and it’s a very complex business.”

He helps run St. Boniface full time, but the Pour Man’s partners all work in automotive-related jobs and will take turns manning their brew pub three days a week.

Stauffer, 34, and Foltz, 27, met at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology in Lancaster. Pour Man’s future location is a blank canvas and they have asked their former school if students would be permitted to help with renovations.

Stauffer, who operates ASAP Automotive near Stevens, noted the partners don’t plan to get a loan to renovate, furnish and equip the brewery that adjoins Rita’s Italian Ice. “We’re going to do as much out of pocket as possible,” he said.

They scouted locations from York to Berks counties, but liked the layout and location of the site they chose along state Route 272. “The traffic flow is great,” Stauffer said.

Foltz is a territory manager with Mister Oil Change Express. He and Son, 30, met while working at a garage in western Lancaster County. They started home brewing separately, then joined forces four years ago. Their brewing operation was originally called Poor Man’s. According to Son, that’s because they were “too broke” to start a business.

But the name transformed into Pour Man’s. “The pun stuck,” Foltz said. Their home brew competition successes encouraged them to go commercial. Penny Pinchin’ pale ale won first place in the American pale ale class at Lancaster Iron Brewer Homebrew Competition and their Goin’ Broke IPA won third place overall at the Lititz Craft Beef Fest, both in 2016.

The partners said patrons will likely see more cash-related brew names at their taps. “We’re going to try to keep that theme along those lines,” Foltz commented.

All three men said their wives have been very supportive. “They’re good taste testers too,” Foltz remarked. But they noted that Stauffer’s wife is out of the running for now because she is expecting a baby.

“I’m not much of a drinker,” Stauffer said. As a business partner, he’s happy to have Son and Foltz handle the actual brewing.

With the zoning approval and federal paperwork completed, the partners will apply for a Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board license. They would like to open in July, but said licensing and inspection could push that further into the summer.

They said their brewery, like others in the area, plans to help community charities with fundraisers such as a beer of the month. They will brew small batches for consumption on site and for take-out in 64-ounce glass growlers and 32-ounce aluminum crowlers. Those will be filled as customers order them to go. “We want customers to have it fresh,” Son said.

They will also have a “guest tap” dedicated to other Pennsylvania craft brews, just as St. Boniface and other brew pubs offer. Price noted that craft breweries have a community feel and help each other with equipment and advice.

“There’s a real sense of working together,” he said.

Bonnie Adams is a correspondent for The Ephrata Review.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *