Bridge Brew Works Brewery takes over Black Sheep


Megan Osborne

Black Sheep Burrito and Brews, located at 1555 Third Ave., offers a selection of 14 beers on tap.

Bridge Brew Works Brewery’s Brewmaster Nate Herrold had a Tap Takeover Monday at Black Sheep Burrito and Brews to showcase the brewery’s current, seasonal beer selection.

Bridge Brew Works Brewery located in Fayetteville, West Virginia, has been in operation since Jan. 1, 2010, brewing more than 40 different flavors since opening its doors.

Herrold and his business partner, Ken Linch, are the only two employees of Bridge Brew, doing everything from sweeping the floors, to brewing the beer and everything in between.

“It’s only a two person show,” Herrold said. “It’s fun to come and do an event like this, once spring hits were pretty ‘balls to the wall’ production wise, since it’s only a two person show.”

Herrold has been brewing beer since the early 90s, starting with home brewing, then moving on to volunteer and work for the West Virginia Brewing Company, where he learned the entirety of the brewing process.

“I got to see everything from the start of the brew all the way to the finish,” Herrold said. “Where as in most of your breweries now, if you were to take a job, you would just be a seller person or your sole job would be to keg beer, or your sole job is to bottle beer, or brew. So it was nice to see everything from start to finish and then also work with distributors.”

Herrold said the duo likes to brew the styles of beer they are happy drinking and are less concerned about meeting trend demands or fads.

Even though they might not be completely onboard with the taste of the beer they’ll support it just because of the fact that it is supporting local breweries and helping the economic flow of our local area.

— Victoria Williston, bartender

“When we started six years ago there was a hop shortage so it was really tough for us to make a really hoppy IPA so we were kind of thrust into making lagers,” Herrold said. “Which is good, I mean you’re looking, 80 percent of the craft beer drinkers are lager drinkers, but if you cater to one particular style, you cut that other market out of your consumers. Our favorite style is the one we haven’t brewed yet.”

They try to choose flavors to complement their Long Point Lager, offering three different draft beers at one time. They also offer a variety of bottled beer.

Harrold said each and every brew has a special place in his heart, but none more than the Momma Rye IPA, which is released around Mother’s Day every year.

“That was my mother’s maiden name, and she past away from ovarian cancer so the proceeds from that beer go to ovarian cancer awareness,” Herrold said. “That one is really special.”

The growth of craft breweries will continue with the positive feed back from the local craft beer consumer community. They are more knowledgeable about the process of brewing beer and the styles and flavors they want to see.

“I think the continual growth will always be there, but its putting quality before quantity,” Herrold said. “Its having consistency in your product. It’s kind of fun for us as a brewer and an industry to also think outside of the box to spark that interest again.”

Victoria Williston, bartender at Black Sheep, said she sees the sales of local beer as having a positive effect on the local community and economy.

“It is helping people see how it is effecting the economic role in our local community and they really like that,” Williston said. “Even though they might not be completely onboard with the taste of the beer they’ll support it just because of the fact that it is supporting local breweries and helping the economic flow of our local area.”

“Meet the Brewer Monday” is a growing trend at Black Sheep where the community is able to come face to face with the people behind local beer production and learn about the process of brewing beer and taste the variety beers the brewery has to offer.

Kelsie Lively can be contacted at [email protected].