Former Nike Missile Command Center in Collier transforming into Grist House
This is going to take some time to transform.
The owners will definitely need a beer after they are done.
Fortunately, for them, lots of fresh suds will be ice cold and within reach.
Grist House Craft Brewery is in the process of turning a former Nike Missile Command Center in Collier into a brewery. There is no definite timetable for the opening. A lot more work needs to be done.
“It is such a unique building,” said Brian Eaton, who with wife Krystleco-own the company with brother-in-law Kyle Mientkiewicz and his wife Colleen. “The view from up here is amazing. It has so much history, and we believe this will be the only brewery in a former Nike Command Center. We want to save as much historical stuff as possible and keep this historical aspect of the place alive.”
Owners toured the media Monday around will eventually become a production facility and taproom. The 55,000-square foot building is part of the business’ expansion, which includes retail space.
The command center was built in 1957 and became an operational missile command center in 1960. Grist ownership, which began as home-brewers, plans to preserve original equipment and incorporate part of the history into the new place.
The name Grist comes from the technical name for the cracked or milled grain during the brewing processed. Pittsburgh had grist mills which supplied grain to brewers.
“More and more people are shopping locally and they care about what they are putting in their bodies and they want to know where their beer is made and who is making it,” Brian Eaton said. “Pittsburgh has so many communities and they like to have a local brewery they can go to.”
Eaton said they have talked with people from the Senator John Heinz History Center in the Strip District and the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle about ways to preserve the story.
“It’s a sturdy building because it was built to be able to take a hit from a missile attack,” Brian Eaton said.
There will be a spacious parking lot, and a deck with plans to create an outdoor space on the roof. A working kitchen is a future endeavor.
Customers can follow the work inside the space on the brewery’s blog on its website.
The Grist House’s Millvale location on Sherman Street, a dog-friendly space, will remain in operation.
Grist also sells to 30 bars and restaurants in the city.
JoAnne Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062 or [email protected] or via Twitter @Jharrop_Trib.