Focus shifts to Peddler brewery restaurant

Word from Huntington, WV, is good news for craft beer fans. With Drew and Megan Hetzer’s Backyard Pizza and Raw Bar now open for business, the couple’s focus will turn to building out The Peddler brewery and restaurant in the space next door.

Interior of Backyard Pizza
The striking, space-themed interior immediately catches your eye as you enter Backyard Pizza and Raw Bar in downtown Huntington, WV.

Both Backyard Pizza and The Peddler had been closed since a July 2014 fire damaged the 4th Avenue building in which they were formerly located. To reestablish the businesses, the Hetzers leased the Vandalia 833 Building at 833 Third Avenue. For the past several months they have been busy at work to get Backyard Pizza reopened first.

The two businesses will be located side-by-side inside the Vandalia Building.

The Vandalia Bldg. at 833 Third Avenue in Huntington
The Vandalia 833 Building at 833 Third Avenue in Huntington will hold both Backyard Pizza and The Peddler brewery and restaurant.

The old Peddler was a restaurant-only operation—the brewery portion was in its final planning stages when the fire hit. When the Hetzers open the new Peddler, it will open as a complete brewery restaurant.

The Peddler brewery equipment already delivered

Over the next six months, The Peddler will take shape. Interestingly, the brewhouse and fermentation equipment have already arrived and are being stored on-site. The brewery is based around a 10-barrel brewhouse with plenty of fermentation space. The long lead-time currently required for ordering new craft brewing equipment will not be a hold up here.

View inside the front door of The Peddler brewery
A view from The Peddler’s front entrance shows the brewhouse will apparently greet guests as they come in the front door. The restaurant will be located behind the brewhouse area.

Co-owner Megan Hetzer said they wanted to get the equipment in place so they could do the build out at their own pace. As the brewery is installed and set up for production, The Peddler’s kitchen and interior will also be built out.

The brewhouse area at The upcoming Peddler brewery restaurant.
Another view of the brewhouse area at the upcoming Peddler brewery restaurant.

Hetzer said they will not rush the buildout because they want to get it right. They have a brewer selected who will oversee the set-up of the brewing equipment. It certainly does take a lot of time and funds to install the specialized plumbing and electrical required for brewery operation. Licensing can take a while too. A six-month time period would not be unusual or unexpected.

Several fermenters and serving tanks are sitting along the sidewal
Several fermenters and serving tanks are stored along the sidewall of the building. Getting ahead of the game, most of the brewery equipment has been delivered and is ready to be installed.

The Peddler restaurant-side will continue the gourmet-burger-themed cuisine of the original Peddler. We expect the brewery will make a variety of compatible beer styles, though the owners have not yet disclosed what folks can expect the opening line-up to be.

Moving fermentation upstairs

Fermentation tanks located on a mezzanine level.
Fermentation tanks will be located on a mezzanine level.

To open up more floor space for restaurant tables, the brewery will utilize a mezzanine level for its fermentation tanks. The stainless steel fermenters will be visible to the restaurant floor below.

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Another view of the mezzanine loft space.

As the brewery buildout is completed, we’ll be looking for more information on the styles of beer they will feature. If the Backyard Pizza tap selection is any indicator, the Peddler brewery will be producing a variety of popular craft beer styles.

The draft system at Backyard Pizza and Raw Bar has 16 taps.
The draft system at Backyard Pizza and Raw Bar has 16 taps.

The Peddler will be the first commercial brewery in Huntington since River & Rails closed in 1998. With its opening, expected in the first quarter of 2016, it will bring a welcomed end to an 18-year dry spell.

Additional Information

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Backyard Pizza Facebook Page

The Peddler Facebook Page


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