About The Brewery
As true natives of West Virginia, it had long been stepbrothers Brian Arnett & Willie Lehman’s dream to bring quality, hand-crafted beer back to their home state. In October 2005 – founded on the basis of easy drinking, well-rounded session style ales – they did just that.
Originally from Elkins and Helvetia, they were raised on what was around – light beer and homemade wine. Curiosity eventually got the best of them, and their first collaborative batch of home-brew was conceived in the early 90s using old brewing equipment, books and some ingredients handed down from their parents’ home brewing days in the 70s. The idea to open a distributing microbrewery in West Virginia was cultivated independently, and after teaming up founded Mountain State Brewing Co. in beautiful Thomas, WV.
At over 3,000ft in elevation, Mountain State Brewing Co. sits at the top of the watershed, allowing beer to be brewed with the purest water possible. Starting with just a 3-barrel brew system, the brewhouse quickly needed to expand to more than double that capacity to meet increasing demand. Since then they’ve established one of the largest microbrewery distribution footprints in the state of West Virginia.
In 2008 Mountain State Brewing Co. opened their first of two brew pub and restaurant locations in Deep Creek Lake MD, with a location opening in Morgantown shortly thereafter. The restaurants specialize in artisan flatbreads using fresh, high-quality ingredients and baked in hand-built 12ft diameter wood-burning pizza ovens.
Established on the cusp of an ever-increasing nationwide craft beer moment, the years to follow have shown considerable growth. In 2013 Mountain State Brewing Co. erected a 20ft trellis system, planting their own whole acre of Cascades and Willamette hops. In 2014 came the introduction of MSBC brands in 12oz cans to the West Virginia market. And in 2015, expansion began that will more than triple capacity to a 30-barrel brew system, and see the installation of a full-scale canning line.
Each summer since August 2012, Mountain State Brewing Co. holds their annual Brew Skies Festival in Canaan Valley – a celebration of West Virginia craft breweries, live music and the great outdoors. Over the years the festival has grown considerably, showcasing in upwards of 25 musical acts over the course of two days, drawing thousands of people from West Virginia and surrounding states.
Attached to the Thomas brew house is Mountain State Brewing Co.’s tap room and music hall. Seasonal kitchen offerings, brewery tours, a live music & events schedule and the freshest brews available make MSBC a destination stop for locals and travelers alike. Complete with a dry stacked stone base and copper top bar, locally sourced hand-hewn locust posts and original sawhorse bar stools, much effort was made to create a genuine comfortable atmosphere for family, friends and pub patrons.
We installed the brewery equipment ourselves, built a lot of the building, the inside work, all the stonework is from fields and old foundations in the area…and that’s a West Virginia trait – being totally self-sufficient, and relying on yourself. – Cofounder, Brian Arnett
Mountain State Brewing Co. currently brews four flagship ales year round that are readily available for tasting in the tap room during pub hours, as well as growler sales to go. Visit our calendar of events page to see what’s coming up at the brew house or pub locations in the coming months. For brewery tap room or restaurant location hours visit our locations page. To find Mountain State Brewing Co. products near you, contact your local wholesaler!
To learn more about Mountain State Brewing Co., see “Our Story” – West Virginia Born & Brewed.