Clearfield County’s Newest Brewery: Doc G’s Brewing Company in DuBois
The history of brewing in DuBois, Pennsylvania, is dominated by the story of DuBois Brewing. Opened in the waning years of the 19th century, DuBois Brewing operated for over 70 years from this small city in Clearfield County. The brewery survived Prohibition as one of only two breweries in the country to never be cited or suspected of breaking the law. However, it was a dispute with Anheuser Busch over the name “Budweiser,” a name they both took from a brewery in the Budweis region of Germany (now in the Czech Republic), that eventually caused them to close in 1970.
For 45 years, DuBois was without a brewery and the original building that housed DuBois Brewing was finally torn down in 2003. However, thanks to Doc G’s Brewing Company, there is finally another brewery producing beer in DuBois.
Doc G’s Brewing Company opened their doors in early December 2015 to revive the tradition of brewing in DuBois. Until recently, the building was home to a heating and air conditioning business, but now is a beautifully decorated brew pub in the heart of the city.
I was fortunate enough to be able to find out more about the brewery and pub from the brewmaster, Virgil Reed, just a few weeks after their opening and learn a bit about the beer that he was planning to brew at Doc G’s.
Reed grew up in DuBois and learned to home brew in 2002 while living in the city. After working for several breweries in Ohio and winning eight regional awards, Reed left brewing. However, the opportunity to bring a brewery back to DuBois was too much to resist. For his assistant brewer, Reed knew who to call upon, and he hired the man who first taught him how to brew beer 13 years prior.
Doc G’s plans to have six flagship beers and two seasonal beers on draft at all time. Unfortunately, when I visited, only three were available: DuBois Blonde, Down with Trousers, and Hardwood Stout. By the time of publication, more should be available.
I had a chance to try all three beers, and I found them to be flavorful, but maybe a little rough around the edges. However, given the beers had only been available for about a week, I’m willing to forgive this based on growing pains. I have no doubt given the brewer’s pedigree that the beers will improve over time as they gain more experience with the particular recipes that they are using.
I also find it exciting to hear that Doc G’s will be regularly featuring seasonal beers and special firkin beers. In fact, they have already featured several special beers, including their Down with Trousers aged in an oak barrel and a Belgian-style IPA aged on locally-roasted coffee beans. I’ve even been told that there may be a Buffalo Chicken Beer in the works. And, while it does sound strange, I’ve been told the recipe has been well-received in the past and even won an award.
While a great atmosphere and good beer is a great start, a brewpub also has to have good food. From sampling two items off their menu (the Philly Cheese Steak and the Ghost Pepper Juicy Lucy), I would say that the food is good, but not amazing.
If I have one criticism of Doc G’s Brewing Company, it’s that my Ghost Pepper Juicy Lucy had no heat whatsoever. I’ve had items with ghost peppers in them before and they have always had at least a decent kick. However, there was no spice to this burger at all. In fact, my wife commented that had she known how little spice it would have, she would have ordered one to split with our 18-month old son. That criticism aside, the Juicy Lucy was quite good and the upgraded fries were delicious. I would certainly recommend it if you are looking for a good burger, but don’t expect a kick unless they reformulate the recipe. On the other hand, the Philly Cheese Steak that my wife ordered was quite good.
Despite what you might think, I actually did enjoy my visit to Doc G’s Brewing Company. The beer and food were both well done, and I have no doubt that this will quickly become one of the best places to eat and drink in the area. I look forward to visiting Doc G’s again the next time I’m in DuBois and trying their food and beer again.
Note: My visit to Doc G’s was hosted by the Clearfield County Visitors Bureau. However, the opinions expressed are my own.
Doc G’s Brewing Company
Hours: Sun-Thurs: 11a-11p
Address: 208 West Long Avenue