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Every Home Brewer has a romantic notion to turn their hobby into a business,” says Rod Smith, co-owner of Columbia Kettle Works. For Rod and his business partner Bill Collister, that dream became a reality six years ago. Smith remembers the day he and Collister decided to make it happen.“It was now or never,” he recalls Collister saying to him over a shared craft beer at a bar in town. “It was almost immediately after that conversation when we found a great deal on the perfect property for our brew pub.”
The original Columbia Kettle Works brewpub opened in the charming town of Columbia, PA, which sits along the Susquehanna River just 15 miles outside of Lancaster City, in 2014. The brewpub developed a loyal following for its constantly rotating list of unique, cutting-edge beers. Then, in 2018, Smith and Collister opened 2nd Gear Lancaster Tap Room to serve customers within city limits. Located inside the multi-tenant cultural building located at 112 North Water Street, the tap room shares a courtyard with independent theater Zoetropolis, Cocina Mexicana and Lancaster Distilling.
Two years later, the brew pub scene has hit a bit of a pause. Takeout beer became the new norm for a community suddenly under orders to stay home and restaurants closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve really come together as a community,” says Smith. He recalls the time when a neighboring brewery ran out of crowlers, and Columbia Kettleworks was able to give them their own crowlers to hold them over. Then, when they ran out of crowlers a month later, the favor was returned. Columbia Kettle Works cooked down extra beer into hand sanitizer to donate to local EMT and police units and other frontline workers when the pandemic struck.
This feature is sponsored by Brown Schultz Sheridan & Fritz. Committed to their profession and to their community, BSSF is proud to support Lancaster County breweries, small and large, who are shaping the impact that the craft beverage industry has on the future of this county. BSSF is your premier advisory firm for accounting, assurance, tax, and consulting services. BSSF.COM