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The tanks are in the window. The grain is in the basement. And Andrew Rutherford is itching to bring brewing back to Market Street. He is preparing for the opening – now just a few weeks away, honest – of Stitch House Brewery.

In time, a Stitch will serve nine … beers on tap, that is. “I'll just be trying to fill the taps as quickly as possible,” said Andrew, Stitch House's head brewer. Even if he doesn’t get to nine, he hopes to still have a good selection available by the time the doors open in late February or early March, the expected launch window. We caught up with Andrew inside the still-active construction zone of the brewery this week, on an important day in Stitch House history…

“We just got our license today. I should be brewing first thing tomorrow morning.”

“I really like lagers. I just think it's a crisp, drinkable beer that you can have a lot of and not fall over, you know what I mean? It's something that you can drink with people, and it's a social thing. I worked at Yards Brewing for 10 years, and we didn't get to make lagers – it's more of an ale brewery. So I'm going to try to do a lot of lagers – Helles, Vienna and dunkel lagers, pilsners.”

“Now, initially, we're not going to have a lot of that. I'm kind of under the gun to fill all these tanks and get her all ready, and lagers take longer in fermentation. So I'll probably only have one initially, with stouts, pale ales, IPAs, a lot of those things going in there, and hopefully some Belgians in the mix eventually too.”

“I started working with Yards after college. My degree was in information science and technology, so I would be in khakis and a button shirt every day. When you work at an IT job, you just keep getting tickets. But beer is something you can create from the start, see to the finish, see a customer sit down and enjoy it. I fell in love with the work, and the people I was working with. I already liked craft beer, and did a couple home brews, and I just moved over to the brewing side.”

“Since we started doing work in the brewery, because we're all windows right now, people can see everything I'm doing. There will be people in front of the windows cheering me on. A couple police officers came in and spoke to us, excited to talk, to see how things are going. I still live in Pennsylvania, but I think if things go well, I might put down some roots here. I'm learning a lot about the city and the people and I'm really liking it, and I want to be part of the rejuvenation, and see how things go.”

“Tomorrow, first thing, I'm going to see if the plumber has the water turned back on. You can't do much without water. And then I'll probably lug about eight bags of grain up from the basement, so I can mill it in. As soon as I get my water to temp, I'll mash in. And I'll start making beer.”

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