An Aurochs in Emsworth: Aurochs Brewing Co. Finds a Great Home

Now, a quick break from beer and gluten and brewing for an update about our progress. We officially have a spot for the Aurochs Brewery! We’ve selected a building in Emsworth, PA, a small community about fifteen minutes down the river from downtown Pittsburgh. The spot is perfect, giving us the space and amenities we need now, as well as plenty of room to grow as we increase our output. But that part’s up to all of you! Our brewery’s marked by the small aurochs in the map above.

With a few relatively painless cosmetic modifications and a bit of good old fashioned elbow grease, the space will be more than brew-ready soon. That means we’ll pouring out beer very soon, as soon as we finalize our brewery license. Check out our pictures of the space below:

Aurochs Map

8321 Ohio River Boulevard, Emsworth, Pennsylvania. Our brewery’s located in the upper left of the map, with Pittsburgh in the lower right.

Brewery facing west

Our brewery, facing west. These photos were taken a few weeks ago, and we’ve already moved much of our equipment into the space

Brewery Facing East

Our brewery, facing east. The garage door’s going to be perfect for moving in raw materials, and already made moving in the equipment a breeze (relatively speaking).

Brewery Serial

Our brewery, with our co-founder Doug looking like a serial killer. What a creepy photo!

Emsworth is a perfect home for the Aurochs Brewery, with our dedication to bringing the wilderness back to beer. For thousands of years, Emsworth was nothing more than rolling wilderness, on the headwaters of one of the largest rivers in in United States. Nestled in the Appalachians, formed by glaciers, the land provided fertile soil for evergreens, underbrush, and wild grains.

This land was purchased by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from the heirs of William Penn in the mid-1700s, but was not settled until the Revolutionary War. In the year 1802, the settler John Cheney arrived at Emsworth and  built a large, water-driven grist mill on the banks of the Ohio River. Grist, as you may know, is nothing more than ground grains formed by milling, one of the first steps in the brewing process. Over the following years, the land around the mill was settled and farmed, and families slowly moved into the area.

As nearby Pittsburgh grew, so too did Emsworth. In the 1850s, railroad lines were built through the sleepy town, and everything began to change. A hospital was constructed (named after Dorthea Dix,  who fought for hospital reform) and following the Civil War, the farmland began to be converted into residencies. By the turn of the centuries, several hundred people lived in Emsworth and the surrounding area, and the town was shortly incorporated thereafter.

Around this time, the industry in Pittsburgh began to rapidly expand. Just across the river, on Neville Island, forges and factories sprouted up to process the iron and steel moving through the city. Emsworth became home to steel workers and shipbuilders, who moved there to support the naval yards commissioned by the US government around the time of the first world war. This was only the beginning of military construction in the area. In 1922, the Army Corps of Engineers completed the Emsworth Lock and Dams, a three-year project that served to balance the needs of man and nature, allowing the water to flow down the mighty Ohio while raising the waterline just enough to allow for commercial naval traffic.

In 1931, development of Emsworth accelerated due to the construction of the Ohio River Boulevard, on which our brewery is located. This new road stretched from Manchester to the McKees Rocks Bridge, and eventually much further. Over the following decades the population of the town grew to over 3000 people and welcomed steelworkers, doctors, mechanics, teachers, and even the astronaut Michael Finke.

We can think of no better home for Aurochs Brewing Company than Emsworth, borne of the mighty Ohio River and the Pennsylvania wilderness, formed by grist and steel, supported by dams, roads and rails, and providing safe haven for settlers, engineers, and astronauts.

Emsworth, we lift our beers to you!