SHIPPENVILLE — Opening a new business in the midst of a global pandemic, especially one aimed at having customers sitting for a spell as they socialize and enjoy a beer, is definitely not an ideal situation. Nonetheless, that is the situation in which Mallory and Jared Griebel, owners of Lost in the Wilds Brewery, found themselves.
Precluded from opening their taproom to the public as originally scheduled in April as a result of Governor Tom Wolf’s statewide stay-at-home orders, the Griebels adjusted and adapted, selling their craft beer on a to-go basis starting in early May.
“We were supposed to open the first weekend of April and everything came to a screeching halt,” noted Jared Griebel. “Then they started easing the stay-at-home orders and letting people come out wearing masks and distancing. We had the facility space that we were able to have customers come in for takeout cans and growlers.
“A lot of the industry got forced to go that route, we just happened to be at the critical stage of opening our doors for the first time.”
The brewery, located off Route 66 in Shippenville, was finally able to open its taproom, patio, and expansive backyard to customers on June 5. With the implementation of Wolf’s new targeted mitigation mandates Thursday, however, the Griebels have once again had to abandon on-premise seating and revert to walk-in sales.
A unique feature of the brewery is its backyard. Abutting the Rail 66 County Trail it provides a bucolic setting where customers can set up their lawn chairs or lay out blankets to relax and enjoy a beer. Noted Griebbel, “We’re located right along the bike trail, really accessible to that. We have a really big, open outdoor area that sets us apart from a few of the breweries around here. People can spread out and enjoy the rural location.”
As with any similar establishment, Lost in the Wilds’ draw is the beer it brews on-site. “We have a good variety. We have some lighter stuff for people that are new to the craft beer scene, then we have some darker stuff and some IPAs,” Griebel said. “We kind of touch every base of the craft beer area, but nothing super crazy and wild.”
In addition to the beer, the Griebels point with pride to the fact that the brewery is not only family-owned, but family-built. “My wife and I and our immediate family pretty much built the facility. We’re here every day, pouring your beers, cleaning the glasses, doing the daily work. We’re basically independent family-owned,” he said.
Griebel’s wife and business co-owner, Mallory, said “I am very proud that we’ve done everything from the site work to the building. We’ve done everything here ourselves.
“I feel really good that we’ve had such a great response from the community and the travelers in the area.”
Lost in the Wilds is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.