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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,

why not?”

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,

, to sign up for

their mailing list, and find them on Facebook to follow their

latest updates.


By Elizabeth