ince Paul ’85 and Eric John ’89 graduated from
Lycoming, they have been busy. What began as
purchasing Ritz-Craft Corporation, the family modular home
business, has turned into an entrepreneurial adventure.
Ritz-Craft Corporation is a $125 million company that builds
high-end modular homes and is among the nation’s top 200
largest builders. Paul John has the title of president/CEO and is
in charge of corporate operations and finance, and Eric John,
an equal partner, is vice president in charge of all production
After starting several businesses to support their modular
home business, everything from Legacy Crafted Cabinets to
Ritz-Trans delivery trucks, and expanding to 29 states and
Canada, Paul and Eric decided it was time for something new.
“Craft beer is in high demand, we have the space, and the
community has expressed interest,” Paul said, “so we thought,
Paul and Eric dedicated time to visiting a few dozen
breweries and meeting with their owners to learn more about
the logistics of opening and running a brewery. They started
at Selinsgrove Brewing Company, a brewery they have enjoyed
from the time it opened. The breweries they visited welcomed
them with open arms, which made Paul and Eric even more
excited to continue on their adventure.
Rusty Rail Brewing Company, expected to open in January
2015, is located on North Eighth Street in Mifflinburg, Pa. in a
large, two-story brick building from the 1800s. It includes two
floors with two full bars, a stage for live music, a game room, a
lounge and a 300-person banquet hall.
“We hope to create a destination for craft beer drinkers, not
just a stop along the way,” Paul said.
Rusty Rail Brewing Company has been serving a few of their
beers at brew festivals from Johnstown to State College. Those
who have not had a chance to try their beer yet are in luck,
Rusty Rail, along with Troegs, will be supplying the beer for the
5th Annual Beer & Pretzel Tent at homecoming.
Among the beers they are brewing for homecoming is an
oatmeal stout. This particular beer will be brewed with some
of the college’s new Warrior One coffee, a sustainable coffee
initiative that will be launching at the college this fall.
“Lycoming taught me that if you dream big and you’re
motivated, you can do anything,” Paul said, “and for us, that
includes opening a brewery.”
Rusty Rail Brewing Company is expected to open in January
2015 with an eclectic menu to accompany the ten beers on tap.
Visit their website,www.rustyrailbrewing.com
, to sign up for
their mailing list, and find them on Facebook to follow their
LYCOMING COLLEGE 2014 FALL MAGAZINE
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