Our Story

Mike's story

The History of Starview Brews


Where it All Began

Mike Knaub our Founder and Head Brewer had his first introduction to home brewing way back in 1978. Mike’s brother, Bill Knaub, bought a homebrew kit and brewed a European style Lager beer. This started Mike’s journey into the world of seeking better beers since what was mainly offered at the time was regular commercial brewed American Lagers. 

In the beginning, he didn’t know his home well water wasn’t too good for brewing. He tried three beers without making anything very drinkable, so he quit trying. Several years later Mike refinanced his home and found out about the well water issues with his water. He corrected that issue and then attempted brewing beer again.

Mike started brewing again around 1985, with good water he had a lot more success. Mike joined a local homebrew club called HAHA, the Harrisburg Area Homebrewers Association.

He started reading everything he could about homebrewing, starting with Charlie Papazian’s book the The Joy of Homebrewing. Charlie is considered the Patriarch of bringing homebrewing to the general public and his passion inspired many homebrewers who went on to form the early microbreweries that are so popular today. Back then there wasn’t an internet to just look up everything at your computer. You actually had to read magazines and books to get your information and learn things. Today so much info is available right on the internet.

The Next Phase: HomeBrewing Beginnings

Mike started a homebrew shop behind his home in 1993, teaching others about homebrewing and selling supplies. Mike and Vince Shumski, Jeff and Becky Kelly formed York’s very 1st homebrew club called YAHA, York Area Homebrewers Association. The Club met once a month in his homebrew shop to share their beers and discuss about making beer. Mike kept reading everything he could about brewing beer. 

In the National Club Competition of 1994 Mike’s IPA won 1st place in the annual Hail to Ale club comp for YAHA for his IPA. In 1995 it placed 2nd for YAHA. This was a version of the old mid 90”s West Coast style Red IPA’s. This was long before anyone knew what an IPA was. 

At the National Homebrewers Conference in Baltimore 1995 Mike had an American style Barleywine win a Bronze Medal. This was when micro breweries were still just more for a much smaller group of people that were enjoying much more flavorful beer. Mike went on to place well in a lot of other local homebrew comps around the Philadelphia area.

Mike studied for and became a BJCP beer judge in 1996 and became a Certified Beer judge. Which meant he was now a Certifiable Beer Nut to judge beers 😊. He also had his first foray into a beer business as a Contract brewing company called Starview Brewing Company. 

He introduced his Chickies Rock Cream Ale in 1995 selling it in the local York, Lancaster and Harrisburg market through local wholesale distributors. Mike spent four years working on this business while still working fulltime at a job as a Toolmaker. After trying for several years to raise the Capital to build a brewery in Marietta Pa, Mike wasn’t able to raise the funds so he gave up on his 1st dream of owning a brewery.

Starview Brews Is Born

It was around 2013 when Mike began thinking of opening a brewery again. He had joined the Lancaster Area Homebrewers club and was on a train trip to Philly for the 2013 National Homebrew Competition. Mike was talking with club members Mike Campion, Scott and Michelle Shertzer that he wanted to try and open a brewery again. 

He spent 4 years seeking investors and wound up getting an old friend and original investor in his 1st attempt, Mike Keller to become a partner. Mike Keller became the bank and Mike Knaub became the designer, General Contractor and all things required to make the brewery become a real entity. This was a low budget, lot of friends helping and hiring subs when needed to make the brewery a reality. 

The brewery officially opened on Jan 27 2022. They opened up with 5 main beers that will be available all the time. Long Level Lager, a German Dortmunder style. Chickies Rock Cream Ale, an old pre pro version, different than a modern day Genesee style. Pinnacle Pils, a Czech style pils. Columbian Red IPA , a mid 90’s version west coast Red IPA style. Chickies Rock Iron Brown Porter, an English Brown Porter style. Mike has brewed well over 25 different styles of beer over the years. 

Starview Brews is going to have a great variety for you to drink as we grow and expand our taste options for you to try. Stop in at 224 Locust St Columbia Pa and taste and enjoy the warm and comfortable atmosphere of our Brewery.

Come visit and stay a while!

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