EBC Expands to Little Valley
Little Valley Welcomes Ellicottville Brewing Company
By Kathleen McCarthy
Knowing that he needed more bottling space after renting a 7,000 square foot building by Fitzpatrick & Weller in Ellicottville, Peter Kreinheder, owner of Ellicottville Brewing Company, looked around the area for additional space to move forward with his strategic plan for the business. He discovered the old Salamanca Beverage/King Windows building in Little Valley and purchased it in August of 2015. In 2013 the Ellicottville Brewing Company had expanded its food and beverage space in Ellicottville, increasing the need for even more brewing and bottling space. The opening of EBC on Chautauqua in 2016 added to this need, as well as the ongoing business of EBC in Fredonia.
Shortly after purchasing the Little Valley space, EBC began using it for shipping and receiving, box erection, and packaging. Work continued to clean up and design the 75,000 square foot space in Little Valley to accommodate many more aspects of this growing business. The renovations and construction are underway for this new production facility to support EBC’s increasingly popular, award-winning craft beers.
This old industrial building is located just eight minutes from the Village of Ellicottville. A popular route for skiers and summer visitors from Ohio, Pennsylvania and the Chautauqua region brings over 600,000 cars passing by annually. This huge building sitting on eight acres of land is nestled right up to the side of a hill. Kreinheder says “We’ll open it up for conferences, weddings, and concerts. There will be space for additional snowmobile tracks as well as the ability for mountain bikers and horses to come to the facility from the Pat McGee trail.” The Pat McGee trail is a multi-purpose 12.2 mile trail which connects seven municipalities together. You can hike, bike, ride a snowmobile or a horse on the Cattaraugus County trail system. The bio-diversity is amazing and interpretive educational signs are placed along the trail, making it a learning experience. A stop at EBC sounds like a perfect day, after exploring the woodlands, wetlands and green-space of the county.
The Little Valley location is a 4-vessel (tank) facility compared to the 3-vessel (tank) facility in Ellicottville. Kreinheder says, “this gives the brewers an extra two hours of work a day, exhumes efficiency, boasting bigger hop dosers, a yeast propagator and an Economizer.” He does not run a third shift as he feels fatigue and inattention affects workers on a night shift.
Plans are underway for a public pub and tasting room with a limited farm-fresh kitchen menu to complement the beers, with seating both outside and inside. Creating another family-friendly tourism hub for the region is the goal of EBC. Tours of the facility will be available, as well as a Science Center to open in 2020. This will be a hands-on, fully functional center to learn about the sciences of brewing beer. This project will be geared to younger people, explaining the engineering involved with valves, pumps and the process of malting, shipping logistics, marketing and promotion. This should enable young people to get excited about engineering and other vocational possibilities.
The most exciting part of this project is the potential economic development for the region. Little Valley, like many small rural towns, has experienced a downswing, population decline and fewer services and businesses each year. In 1865 the County Seat was moved from Ellicottville to Little Valley. The population of the Village of Little Valley has hovered around 1,130 since 2014. Residents have to travel for basic goods, which does not lend to the small town community feel. Kreinheder feels his new project will increase traffic to and from the facility will bring people right into town.
Hiring for all aspects of the business will add 20-25 full time employees and more than 20 hospitality positions over the next five years. All the work that is currently being done is by Cattaraugus County tradesmen, as well as a process piping team from Erie County. Crystal Abers, from the Cattaraugus County Economic Development Office of Planning and Tourism says, “I am very happy this EBC project is coming to town, it is a wonderful addition to Little Valley. I can’t stress enough how important it is for the manufacturing and hospitality industry of our area. The jobs will be a big boost for us and hopefully will encourage others to consider this community for development.”
Mayor Norm Marsh is enthused about the project and what it will do for Little Valley. He says “It’s a good thing, it will bring in jobs and put some new life into our Village. It will become more of a destination rather than just a ‘pass through’. It’s been a few years since we have even had a place to eat out. It will be a great thing for our small, little Village.” Little Valley suffers from a lack of community, which residents of small towns remember from days gone by. The Village has no restaurants and two bars, the VFW and the American Legion. Long time resident and contractor Denny Viereck says, “it is about time something is coming to town. We lost our grocery store, Brooks Market, which was established in 1972 by Thomas Brooks.” He reports Dollar General opened a store east of the Village in January of 2017. Viereck says, “we travel 26 miles to Olean to get groceries at Walmart and for building supplies at Home Depot. “
Kreinheder is hoping to have the Pub open by the summer. “Our centralized location is the connecting point. We are seeing a growth in the 21-30 year old market. In general the craft market has slowed a bit, but we see the desire to socialize in a comfortable setting is what the public wants”.
Follow on Facebook and Instagram for more information and updates : www.ellicottvillebrewing.com