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September 19, 2019
Fresh Face: Lost Tavern Brewing
Honor the past, craft the future. It’s not just a slogan for Lost Tavern Brewing. It’s a true philosophy, lived every day at the Main Street Hellertown craft brewery and taproom. It all began with a shared vision that childhood friends Rob Grim (President) and Tony Gangi (Head of Operations & Brew Master) had to turn their love of homebrewing into a business. It wasn’t until 2015 when Rob and Tony partnered with Ken (CEO) and Kenny Rampolla (VP of Sales & Marketing) to help make the dream of opening a brewery & taproom a reality. Their beautiful and bustling Hellertown space sits under RMI’s office, which is Ken’s steel marketing company that he’s been leading for over 30 years after his time at Bethlehem Steel. Kenny works both upstairs [at the steel company] and downstairs at LTB, but he’s also behind the scenes managing the brewery’s growing social media channels. With the brewery’s consistently increasing fanbase, this Lehigh Valley-born-and-built business is looking to what’s next.
What’s next is the contemporary and modern Bethlehem Lost Tavern taproom, now open in the newly renovated Moravian Book Shop in a shared space with Dave’s Deli & Gelato. “We’re blessed to have a very eclectic group of customers and patrons,” says Rob. “Really great, genuine people.” Those patrons have come to expect a certain experience at the taproom in Hellertown, and it’s a priority for Lost Tavern to give the Bethlehem location that same feeling—welcoming and unpretentious, and of course, excellent craft beer. “The staff knows beer and they’re happy you’re here,” says Ken. “It is the bedrock of the Bethlehem taproom experience as well.” And it’s thanks to the same staff and crew, who’ve helped in creating the Hellertown culture, that they can now share it across locations.
“I like watching the three of these guys grow,” says Ken, who has been (literally) watching them grow up—he’s Kenny’s father, and his daughter Liz is friends with both Rob and Tony from their days at Saucon Valley High School. Now they’re all in business together, “helping put Hellertown on the map” and bringing that same energy to Downtown Bethlehem. They are proud members of the Lehigh Valley Brewer’s Guild and an active part of the vibrant local craft brew community. They’re thankful for their success, and for the whole team—including nearly two dozen staff and incredibly loyal customers. “It’s an added blessing,” says Rob, “to work with people who feel like family.”