By Marah J. Morrison
The paladin-themed bar and brewery named after noble knights and heroic champions, Paladin Brewing on Mahoning Avenue in Youngstown, released its new Pumpkin Ale on Oct. 11.
Husband and wife John Chandler, owner and brewer, and wife Abby Chandler, event coordinator, have lived in Youngstown their entire lives. John Chandler said the brewery started about three years ago.
“I got into the industry mainly for the love of craft beer and the camaraderie that’s amongst craft brewers,” he said. “It’s a very friendly work environment.”
John Chandler said he brewed the Pumpkin Ale between 2015 and 2017. He said he’s done this two to three times on a very small scale, so he would have five gallons of beer and be one-and-done in a night.
“People would come in, they would drink it, they love it … This year I want to make enough that more people [can] enjoy,” he said.
John Chandler said he reached out to Molnar Farms to see about getting some pumpkins and how soon he could get them for the ale.
He purchased 200 pounds of pumpkins from Molnar Farms and took them to his mother’s church. Along with his aunts and uncles, they cut all of the pumpkins up, fire roasted them for an hour, let them cool and used them the following day.
“It [got] mixed in with all the grains,” he said. “That actually sucked some of the pumpkin flavor out of the pumpkin pieces and puts it into the beer. I also [added] in some traditional fall spices but not too many, so it’s not overpowering the pumpkin.”
John Chandler said according to the industry, the brewery is a little bit late in releasing their Pumpkin Ale, but he thinks it’s the perfect timing.
“Pumpkin beer should be released in October and November to celebrate Halloween and then also Thanksgiving,” he said. “Unfortunately, the industry is already now starting to see Christmas ales out.”
John Chandler said his favorite thing about being a part of this industry is sharing the beer with the people who come into his tavern and receiving their feedback. He said if all goes well, the Pumpkin Ale will be gone by Christmas.
“People can come in. If they love it, they can get beer to go and take it home to share it with their friends and family,” he said.
Abby Chandler said she does a lot of different things for the brewery. She said she did all of the design work inside, including the pillars and the woodwork on the bar, which she cut and installed herself.
“When we opened, my husband was very sick,” she said. “There was a lot that I handled as much as I possibly could.”
Abby Chandler said she had a big part in the creation of the Pumpkin Ale. She said was able to help brew the ale, which is something she normally wouldn’t do.
“I’m super proud of my husband and what he’s accomplished,” she said. “To be able to be a part of that with him is immeasurable.”
John Sferra, bar manager, said the Pumpkin Ale is very fun because everyone is going to love it. He said he enjoys serving beer to people who love it.
“By far, it’s the most labor-intensive beer he’s ever made, that I’ve seen him make,” he said. “It’s tremendous.”