South Hills Brewing Supply was founded by three partners, one of whom, Jon Benedict, is the current Principal Owner/President. Jon had an interest in beer and brewing from an early age–he collected beer cans since the 1970’s and literally had tens of thousands of cans in his collection at one time. When he came of age he quickly gained an appreciation for high-quality imported beers, right around the time the whole craft brewing thing was taking off here in the United States. Eventually Jon became interested in brewing his own beers and decided to open a store, inspired by the craft and home brewing booms of the 1990s. South Hills Brewing Supply was founded in 1994 in an original site which was less than 500 sq. feet (a paltry size compared to today’s site, with more than 2000 sq. feet of store and additional storage off-site!)
The late 1990s brought some growing pains for the business. Two of the original partners exited the scene, leaving Jon with a business that was growing too fast for one person to handle. Around this time, he met Tony Rowsick, who is now part-owner, Vice President, and General Manager of South Hills Brewing Supply. Tony was a customer of Jon’s, who read everything that he could about brewing and wine-making in those early years. He has since become a certified beer judge, and has taught beer- and wine-making through the store and at a local community college. Tony has also spoken on beer and wine at various events–at the local culinary academy, and at the Brewery Collectibles Club of America convention which was held in Pittsburgh a few years ago, to name a few–and has helped several batches of aspiring beer judges from the Pittsburgh area prepare for their exam. Both he and Jon have also won awards for their beers in local competitions. So they don’t just sell product–they also have a passion for beer and wine, and a depth of knowledge of the home beverage making hobby, and have the medals to prove it!
The next addition to the South Hills Brewing Supply family was Steve. Steve was a long-time friend of Tony’s, and they recently crossed paths again, just at a time when Steve was looking for a change in careers and Tony was looking for extra help at the store. Steve brought a wonderful gift for organization and streamlining, so when South Hills Brewing acquired Country Wines (their largest competitor in the Pittsburgh area) in late 2007, Steve was promoted to manage the new acquisition.
Never ones to stand still, South Hills Brewing had another project lined up for summer 2010—expanding the flagship store. Now completed, this new “beer and wine making emporium” is one of the largest of its type in the entire eastern United States, with over 3000 sq. feet of retail space. The product selection was expanded greatly as well, all in an effort to bring you, the home brewer or wine maker, more of the products, information, and services that you require.