When we last heard from Couch Brewery last October, part owner Cary Shaffer told us they would not tolerate any “beer pretentiousness.” Sure, he and fellow brewmaster Mike Pearrow can talk IBUs and ABVs for as long as it takes to barrel-age, but their first priority is creating a comfortable place where visitors can kick back and enjoy a beer with friends and neighbors. Hence the name:
“There’s no better place to drink a beer than on your couch,” says co-owner and CEO Darren Gailey.
Gailey and crew have known each other since the ’90s when they all worked together at WWCP-TV in Johnstown.
Tragically, a fourth member of the ownership group, Barry Himes, died in a multi-vehicle car accident in 2015. Himes was an Emmy-nominated freelance videographer and head of his own production company, Diamond Video Production & MultiMedia.
The remaining partners received the paperwork for their LLC at Himes’s wake.
“We decided to keep moving on,” says Gailey. “It’s what he would have wanted us to do.”
True to their word, Couch’s new home along Washington Boulevard in Larimer possesses a casual vibe. With overstuffed armchairs, retro board games and Zeppelin on the stereo, it’s like stepping into an alternate universe where the craft brewery boom kicked off in the 1970s.
Eight beers will be on tap for Couch’s grand opening this Saturday reflecting a variety of styles to suit any taste. There’s an IPA, Belgian wit, and a popular sweet and smoky oatmeal stout known as Raspberry Duvet. The bar, built in 1942, came from Sallade’s, an old Italian bar in Tarentum that’s now a soup kitchen.
Couch has a seven-barrel fermenter capacity that allows them to double brew on their three-barrel system. If beer isn’t your thing, Couch offers a cocktail menu and full-service bar filled with PA-manufactured wines and liquors. Food trucks will be on hand to satisfy any hunger pangs.
“Our thing is, we want everyone to come and enjoy themselves,” says Gailey. “If you want to judge us on [popular beer app] Untappd, that’s great. We just want people to have a good time.”
Couch Brewery is located at 1351 Washington Blvd. in Larimer. Hours are Thursday-Friday, 4 p.m. to midnight; Saturday, noon to midnight.