Fat Jimmy’s Outfitters and the Olde Bedford Brewing Company will be collaborating businesses when the brewery officially opens for business on March 6. A Grand Opening Ceremony and Ribbon Cutting are planned.
Both Jim and Perci Fungaroli of Fat Jimmy’s and Dave and Mary Heller believe their separate companies are perfect complements to one another. The result is an exciting new destination for visitors and Bedford County residents alike.
Fat Jimmy’s product lines include superior quality bicycles, kayaks and a host of other outdoor equipment for the active lifestyle, the adventurous and the family-focused lovers of the outdoors.
Olde Bedford Brewery will serve locally crafted beers that are enhanced by their deep connection to the history of Bedford and surrounding counties, particularly focused on the Whiskey Rebellion in which Bedford played a key role. Patrons will be immersed with the sights, sounds and smells emanating from the open brewing area.
“We believe that bikes, boats and beers go together,” said Fungaroli. “After a day out on the lake or river, or after a ride or hike, a family can relax at Olde Bedford Brewing with a local beer brewed on site.
The new brew pub is located in a modest, yet comfortable, section of Fat Jimmy’s retail space.
“We really like this hybrid model of complementary businesses,” explained Heller. “Our interests are aligned.”
Seen as a fresh approach to the standard business model, the Fat Jimmy’s-Olde Bedford Brewing arrangement combines 21st century technology in its outdoor gear, with Colonial times. It brings together agriculture, manufacturing, retail and other economic sectors, including –it is hoped — tourism.
Step into Olde Bedford Brewing’s pub and you are immediately struck by its authenticity. You are transported back to an earlier time in Bedford’s history when the young George Washington may have stopped in for refreshment. “In Colonial times, people gathered at places like ours,” said Heller.
“It all began five years ago,” Heller continued, “When my wife gave me a beer making kit.” The kit led him to grow hops on their Bedford County ranch. Some specialty beers will include water from a spring on their property. “It is a beautiful spring and we will try to capture the essence of the way they brewed in Colonial times. We are the first brewery to be licensed to operate in Bedford County,” he continued.
With the establishment of Olde Bedford Brewing, the microbrewery revolution has now reached the Bedford County region. It is an enormously popular business in the western United States and in many areas of the east.
“We hope to make this brew pub a destination, a place that people will visit as part of their time in Bedford County. We plan to market to a 75-mile area. We are not a bar, we are a place for families to come to have a nice evening. They can have food delivered here for a meal.”
Gaze across the half wall that separates the brew pub from the outdoor shop and you travel from the 18th century to the 21st. Fat Jimmy’s offers state-of-the-art equipment for sale and rental.
“I fell in love with the cycling culture,” stated Fungaroli “Now it’s something my family does.”
He expressed his passion for the outdoor lifestyle.
“For me, working with people, getting them into sports –with the proper equipment, especially bikes — is very satisfying. Riding gives me great personal satisfaction. I enjoy the technology. This venture is a wonderful contrast of cultures, cutting edge technology and history.”
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