Good Life

Elk Creek’s head brewer will help prepare the next batch of ale-makers

Tim Yarrington is helping to develop the embryonic brewing and fermentation program at the Pennsylvania College of Technology.
Tim Yarrington is helping to develop the embryonic brewing and fermentation program at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. Photo provided

Tim Yarrington is not in the business of replacing Tim Yarrington — although an understudy or two couldn’t hurt.

Unfortunately, the brewery situated at the back of Elk Creek Café + Aleworks doesn’t actually offer much in the way of waiting in the wings.

There’s a bit of a space issue — mainly being that there’s only a very small bit of it left. Most of the real estate has already been claimed by a cadre of hulking machinery, which in turn is part and parcel of a much grander and mysterious process, the end result of which we call “ale.”

There isn’t a step in the process that isn’t significant.

Tim Yarrington

Yarrington is the head brewer at Elk Creek, meaning it’s his standards and protocols that drive whatever is going on in the tanks, which thanks to a certain high-tech sheen is opaque but probably important.

“There isn’t a step in the process that isn’t significant,” Yarrington said.

That’s actually the basic thrust of his newest venture, the thing that will see him taking on more of an advisory capacity at the cafe in favor of molding the next entry-level crop of brewing industry professionals at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Yarrington has been helping to develop the embryonic brewing and fermentation program for the better part of a year and will be among the faculty on hand when the first class bows next fall.

It’s about enabling them to be immediately productive members of just about any brewing team.

Tim Yarrington

Students will gain practical experience in labs, visit active breweries and interact with industry professionals.

“It’s about enabling them to be immediately productive members of just about any brewing team,” Yarrington said.

This is of some importance to a man who has hired his fair share of employees and values a ground-up approach to the making of ale.

When it comes to beer, the whole is only as good as the sum of its parts.

”I think that knowledge and expertise can only strengthen our industry,” Yarrington said.

Frank Ready: 814-231-4620, @fjready

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