Editor’s Note: Weelunk is pleased to announce a partnership with Carenbauer Distributing. As you already know from this article, Carenbauer’s is a great Wheeling company and has stepped up to support Weelunk’s mission of making Wheeling and the Valley an even better place to live. In exchange, we will be periodically highlighting some beers and brewers that our readers may be interested in. As such, this is a paid piece, and now you know.
By Erin Carenbauer Ball
Cheers to Weelunk on your new adventure from a company that’s been doing business in Wheeling since 1946. Being an established company in the area, it’s a pleasure to associate ourselves with a young, new concept like Weelunk! When it comes to selling and distributing beer (and drinking beer too), it’s our job to stay in “the know,” and we count on venues like Weelunk to help us out.
Starting now, we are pleased to pass on new brews available to the Wheeling market through Weelunk. We may also supply information on their breweries, how they are brewed, their taste profile, a good food pairing, and most importantly, where people can pick up a six-pack or drink their suds locally. With our ever-growing portfolio, we intend to do this monthly. Believe me. There will never be a shortage of information to deliver. We introduce numerous brands and/or packages monthly, building our portfolio to over 100 different varieties of beer and cider.
Let’s get started! This month we are focusing on our good friends from Mountain State Brewing Co. in Thomas, W.Va. Since pouring their first beer in 2005, Mountain State Brewing Co. has grown to be West Virginia’s largest distributing full-scale brewery.
What makes the beer so special? Some say it’s the water (the majority of all beer is water). At 3040 feet in elevation, Thomas is the second highest incorporated township in the state. The seven-barrel brewhouse is located at the top of this watershed, giving the ales the purest base possible in West Virginia. And some say it’s the people (including us). Stepbrothers Brian Arnett and Willie Lehmann started the brewery out of the pure love of beer and their previous experience from home-brewing and other microbrewies. Brian and Steve Dilettoso, Mountain State’s marketing guru, came to visit us back in early 2013 about distributing their beer in Ohio and Marshall County. Of course, we were psyched! Who wouldn’t want to distribute new W.Va. beers? But their laid-back personalities, their quirky humor, and their sheer excitement for their brews are what we loved the most. When someone is so proud of the product they have created, it makes you want to sell it even more! Their passion was contagious!
Mountain State has four signature brews: Cold Trail Ale, Almost Heaven Amber Ale, Seneca “Indian” Pale Ale, and Miner’s Daughter Oatmeal Stout. All of their brews are cleverly named after a West Virginia pastime, heritage, or history, and contain only 5-5.6% ABV, so you can enjoy more than just one.
Cold Trail Ale, named after the “cold tracks” while hare hunting, is an easy-drinking American blonde. The grist bill for this beer includes a healthy dose of wheat and oats.
Seneca IPA, named after the Seneca Indians who roamed West Virginia before the 1700s, is a moderate-bodied beer that is tuned perfectly to provide the hop explosion that IPA fans seek without the lingering bitterness.
Miner’s Daughter Oatmeal Stout is coal black and creamy smooth. Named after the hard-working coal miners, this beer holds a light tan head and is surprisingly light in body, so it won’t fill you up. It’s brewed with whole grain oatmeal-roasted barley and black and chocolate malts.
Almost Heaven Amber Ale, a tribute to the beauty and uniqueness of the state of W.Va., is nut brown in color and lightly hopped with Willamette. This beer is dominated by a pleasing caramel finish that is darn close to heavenly.
Want to pick up a six-pack? Visit Kroger’s in Wheeling, Riesbeck’s, Smoker Friendly (Island and Highlands) or call us for other locations.
Want to try a bottle or draft at a local tavern? Cold Trail is on tap at Wild Wild West, Wilson Lodge’s Glassworks, McGovern’s, and Wheeling Jesuit’s Rathskeller. You can get a bottle of Cold Trail at the Alpha and Uncle Pete’s, and TJ’s has Seneca IPA available.
If you are traveling, Mountain State also has pub locations in Thomas and Morgantown, W.Va., as well as Deep Creek, Md. The unique design and construction of the Brewhouse and Brewpubs are also from the creativity of Brian and Willie. For more information on Mountain State Brewing Co., check out this video.
For more information on where you can find product in Wheeling, call us at 304.232.3000.
Until next time… Prost!