His name is Greg Whiting, but he says most people know him by Hightower because of his 6′ 7″ and 300 lb. size. As you can guess, that’s where he got the name for the brewery.
Hightower Brewing Company opens today at Rayland, Ohio, which sits near the Ohio River about 10 miles north of Wheeling, WV. It promises to be a tall addition to the local brewing scene.
As a brewery pioneer in his area of the Ohio Valley, Whiting has been thinking about founding a brewery for a while.
“About 6 years ago I realized there was better beer in the world and started getting into craft beer,” he said. “I used to go to some local bottle shops on the weekend and would spend a lot of money on beer. So I got to thinking one day about brewing beer.”
He started with 5-gallon extract kits and fell in love with the process.
“I quickly upgraded to a three vessel, all-grain setup doing 10 gallon batches. I was just doing it for fun, though, but eventually I got into building recipes and doing competitions.”
Once he started doing well with brewing, the idea of starting a brewery came to him.
“I figured if there is ever a time to take a chance in my life it’s now when I’m 30, instead of 50,” he explained.
So he founded Hightower Brewing Company. He is starting out with a 2-bbl electric brewhouse. He has 5 fermenters, 1 brite tank and a small canning line. He is kegging and canning all his beer.
Initially, he plans to start self-distributing to a handful of small stores in the area with hopes to grow.
“I’m opening with five beers,” he said.
He has a Double IPA, IPA, Porter, Pale Ale, and Blonde Ale. Coming over the next few months will be a New England IPA, Amber Ale, Wheat beer, Imperial stout, and Pumpkin Ale.
Hightower is a to-go brewery only, with no on-site consumption. It offers 6 packs, mixed 6 packs, 32 and 64 ounce growlers and growler fills, as well as 1/6th barrel kegs.
The brewery will have a few specials for opening weekend. If you buy a growler and get it filled, you get a pub glass or can glass for free. Also if you buy two cases of canned beer, you get a free shirt.
Brilliant Stream welcomes Hightower Brewing Company to our upper Ohio Valley region. Let’s get over to see Greg Whiting and give his brews a try.
(Near Route 7)
All photos in this article provided by Greg Whiting.