State College area: Brewpub opening soon at nearly 200-year-old barn

The inside of Happy Valley Brewing Co. has a sign hanging above a future bar area that says “Klinger Farms, 1897” — a tribute to the building’s original use two centuries ago.

Happy Valley Brewing is renovating the barn and its grounds for a brewpub that developers hope to have open by the first home Penn State football game Sept. 7 against Eastern Michigan.

The brewpub, at 137 Elmwood St., is located in a barn that was originally built in 1814, according to a report from College Township.

“We still have a lot to do, but we’re doing all we can to recycle some pieces from the original barn,” said Jamie Homan, a foreman with Christopher Kunes Construction.

He said Scott Lucchesi, one of the brewpub’s owners, has been collaborating with the construction workers to maintain the barn’s authenticity.

Lucchesi owns several bars around State College, including the American Ale House, Champs and the Phyrst.

His partner at Happy Valley Brewing, Greg Somers, founded and operated the State College Microbrewers and Importers Expo.

They purchased the building in 2011 for $440,000, and got township approval for their concept in March 2012.

“The hardest part so far has been framing the beams to keep that barn look,” Homan said. “Other than that, things have been relatively smooth.”

According to the College Township engineering office, the barn was most recently used by Alden House Furniture sales store and sits on 1.09 acres of land accessed by two driveway intersections with Elmwood Street.

Construction began in November.

Wood from the outside of the barn has been assembled in a bar area in the lower level of Happy Valley Brewing. Homan said the lower level of the barn will be used for a brewpub and casual restaurant seating.

Homan said the restaurant will offer dining space, in addition to two bar areas — one upstairs and the other downstairs — and a microbrewery facility in the rear of the barn.