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Downtown Reflections. Photograph by Brian Cohen.
Downtown Reflections. Photograph by Brian Cohen. | Show Photo

Innovation

How Penn Brewery was saved. The "ladies of lager" tell their story at Chatham this Friday.

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It’s a refreshing story just waiting to be told--how two smart Pittsburgh businesswomen came to the rescue of the Penn Brewery on the North Side. 
 
Sandy Cindrich and Linda Nyman had successful careers in corporate America. Nyman worked in marketing and brand management for corporate clients like HJ Heinz and Sara Lee. Cindrich specialized in software engineering and project management for USX Steel Corporation and BNY Mellon.
 
Their husbands, business partners and craft beer drinking guys, were looking at real estate when they noticed the brewery, which was about to be shuttered and closed. The year was 2009.
 
“It was serendipitous,” says Nyman. “We were not looking for it. It came out of the blue.”
 
With the help of two other partners, the women purchased the brewery and embarked on a new path in an industry that has been traditionally male. Since then, they have rehired several of the original brewers and rebranded and created a new craft beer line.
 
The brewery is back in production on the North Side and the restaurant is again open for business.
 
“Penn was one of the first craft breweries on the scene in the entire country,” adds Cindrich. “When it closed down, people felt they were not only losing a beer they loved, but a piece of Pittsburgh history.”
 
Now they are ready to tell their story. This Friday the “ladies of lager” will speak at Chatham University’s Women Business Leader’s Breakfast Series. The event gets underway Jan. 10th from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
 
“Neither of us is the type to crave the spotlight,” says Nyman, explaining why they chose to quietly go about their work without fanfare, until now. “As much as we’d love to believe Pittsburgh adores us, we know it’s all about the beer!”
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Linda Nyman and Sandy Cindrich
Photo courtesy of Becky Thurner
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