With our fifth anniversary just around the corner, we’ll be taking the next five weeks to share collections of five things that have made their mark on our past, present, and future. First and foremost among these: five ways Braddock has shaped who we are as a company.
1. LOCAL GUIDANCE
From the moment we first arrived in Braddock, our neighbors have played a crucial part in helping us define our role within the local ecosystem. Organizations such as the borough management, the Volunteer Fire Department, and the Braddock Library have lent a massive degree of support (especially during our rookie year) as we navigate the complexities of municipal operations. These are the people who keep the gears of the town turning.
2. FELLOW BUSINESSES
Similarly, the local businesses that have weathered the course of history help provide context to our own business. Our advantageous proximity to Mele Florist, for instance – in business on the Avenue since 1955 – has afforded us our signature move of having fresh flowers to transform our taproom and all of our offsite events. Newer ventures such as The Hollander Project (a group providing workspaces and coaching to women-owned startups) give us hope for the town’s future and provide the opportunity to pay forward some of the guidance we have been so graciously afforded.
3. A RICH HISTORY
To the extent that Braddock’s multilayered history has impacted our own company’s development, it has had a far broader impact on the course of history for Pittsburgh, the nation, and the world: from its earliest beginnings as the site of a disastrous battle that radically altered one of the largest clashes of civilizations in history (and established the obviously consequential military career of one Lieutenant George Washington), to its Gilded Age zenith as the epicenter of Andrew Carnegie’s steel empire, to the industrial collapse and subsequent renaissance that shaped the identity of the entire Pittsburgh region. With such a vibrant past, it’s humbling to be part of whatever the future holds.
4. CONTRASTING BEAUTY
Throughout town, colorful patches of graffiti, murals, street art, and painted signage (much of which has been done by our good friend Tony Purcell, who collaborated with us on the General Braddock’s mural on the side of our brewery and with whom we’re working on a project for our upcoming outdoor space) peek out from the overgrowth and crumbling masonry. As nature slowly reclaims dilapidated structures, the bones of Braddock’s industrial past seem proud to have served their purpose while new construction looks on. This contrast between a bygone era and life anew, growing warmest at dusk, has majorly impacted our brewery’s aesthetics and design approach.
5. ENDLESS POSSIBILITY
One of the most important factors when it comes to Braddock’s future is its inherent sense of possibility. With so many residential and commercial vacancies left in the aftermath of its tumultuous second half of the twentieth century, ample room exists for inclusive revitalization. Just as a destructive flood can leave the land more fertile in its wake, Braddock overflows with opportunities for creativity and commerce.