Interview-Sobel’s Obscure Brewery

Interview-Sobel’s Obscure Brewery. They are located in Jeannette, PA at 108 South Fourth St. Sobel’s Obscure Brewery is owned and operated by father/daughter team, David & Jackie Sobel.

Let us step away from all the Covid-19 talk for a few minutes. Sure, it’s there, and sure we discuss it minimally here.

However, let’s talk BEER instead! Firstly, it’s NO SECRET that we love our beer here at double 7’s! Secondly, we admit that we have always fantasized about developing a solid relationship with a local brewery. We believe that we have established that relationship.

It helps tremendously that we truly LOVE their beer too! In other words, believing in the product or service plays a large part in marketing. If your marketing team doesn’t believe in your business…RUN! They are probably in it for the $$$$.

For that, we are excited to bring the Interview-Sobel’s Obscure Brewery to our small business blog series.

Sobel's Obscure Brewery beer cans of 4 different varieties.
Just a few varieties of Sobel’s beers.
Question 1:

77 Design Co: Tell us a little about Sobel’s. How’d you get started?

David Sobel: So, this all started probably eleven to twelve years ago. Initially my son and I started home brewing and writing a book about beer. As a result, we researched about four hundred different types of beers. I made a first batch with him and…it was terrible! This first batch exploded on us.

So, we tried again. Consequently on our next batch we went to Duncan Hardware here in Jeannette and picked up a kit. They helped us get started and offered advice. Furthermore, another important influence for us was Terry from Beer Arena in Greensburg. I figured we’d better follow the directions closely this time. This batch came out great!

He and I started taking courses and grain brewing. Friends and family members began telling us we should get into the beer making industry.

However, we decided to go into the business slowly. We didn’t want to rush things. I looked into mass production, but due to the massive $4.2 million dollar estimate we decided to start small. We needed to get the beer out into the marketplace first. Eventually we got distributors on board, knocked on doors, did promotions, and giveaways. Everybody seemed to really like it. So, that’s pretty much how we started. My son bowed out because of the time involved, but my daughter and I continued.

Portrait of David Sobel in brown jacket and Jackie Sobel in red jacket.
David & Jackie Sobel.
Question 2:

77: How do your beer products differentiate from other local breweries?

Jackie Sobel: Notably we aren’t big IPA makers. Our popular styles are wheat. Honey Blossom Hefeweizen is our big seller. We also have a berry series line.

DS: I’d like to add, we also have German Pilsner. Not many breweries around make that.

JS: Yea. Another thing that differentiates us is our business model. We are opposite because of our distribution wholesaling. We have contracts with thirty-six counties in PA. We’re also in the process of building a taproom. Most start with a taproom and then expand.

Interview-Sobel's Obscure Brewery. Jackie Sobel laying on a case of beer in a black sweater and jeans.
Jackie hamming it up for the camera.
Question 3:

77: Covid-19, it’s on everyones minds. How has it impacted your business?

JS: It’s impacted it greatly! Wow! Yea, due to the wholesale side of things with bars and restaurants being closed. We’ve lost a majority of business. We also had to lay off our sales reps. Didn’t want to, but had no choice. However, we are developing strategies to increase sales where we can, to get through this.

Interview-Sobel's Obscure Brewery. Image of cases of Peachy Pilsner stacked upon one another with a black border.
Cases of beer!
Question 4:

77: What is your business doing to combat the Covid-19 shutdown?

JS: Well, <laughing> thanks to the expertise and help of 77 Design Co (their words, not ours) we have pivoted our social media marketing strategies. Our goal now is to be more consistent and on the top of minds for our consumers. We’ve done so by taking a more comedic approach to postings. We’re making more little videos to better engage too. We’ve been given the OK to just be ourselves. To just have fun. We’re trying to make it more fun because, well…beer is fun!

Check out the humorous video in the link:

Interview-Sobel's Obscure Brewery. Jackie Sobel in a red tossle cap and red coat. David Sobel in a tan jacket with a beer wearing a mask to protect for Coronavirus.
Having fun and selling beer!
Question 5:

77: How can the community support the brewery during this shutdown?

DS: Actually we’ve been getting tremendous support from the local community! We thank them all. Especially everyone who bought an Adult Easter Basket with beers for Easter. That was a promotion we ran the last two weeks. We’ve opened the warehouse for retail sales. Customers can come purchase (at a social distance) six packs, growlers, or cases.

Interview-Sobel's Obscure Brewery. An image of Highborn Hefeweizen beer.
Question 6:

77: We are all about positivity. How has any of this positively impacted either (or both) of you professionally or personally?

DS: On the positive side, it opens up our ideas to market our product differently. Likewise, we’ve seen a huge positive by the strong community support we’ve received during all of this!

JS: This has given us time to analyze where we are. I have time to sit back and plan the next year and beyond. Normally we are so busy we were often just reactionary. It’s nice to be able to sit down and formulate a forecast. Also, we’re working more on beer and label development.

DS: Personally, my wife has been more supportive and has been a huge help behind the scenes. We’ve all pulled together during this crisis.

JS: Yes! We support one another and lift each other up!

Final Thoughts:

77: Anything you’d like to add?

JS: When the world opens again, we’ll be opening up our pop up tap garden at the warehouse. We’ll have food trucks, live music, and of course…beer!

DS: We are also continuing construction on the main brew pub.

JS: We appreciate the community support. We also want everyone to stay healthy.

A beer glass being poured into from a Sobel's bottle.
Grab a tasty case of beer from Sobel’s Obscure Brewery.
A Word From 77 Design Co:

77 Design Co would like to thank David and Jackie for their blog Interview-Sobel’s Obscure Brewery. The Interview-Sobel’s Obscure Brewery, gives us a little look into what they are dealing with as a brewery during these unprecedented times.

We can say, this father/daughter duo truly loves beer and does their best to provide customers with a top quality product. They have fun, enjoy what they do, and make great beers. If you haven’t tried their beers yet, go grab a case. You can’t go wrong with any of the varieties. They are all delicious!


77 Design Co. is committed to helping small business succeed. We want to keep their doors open, and keep roofs over their family’s heads. Keeping your business alive during this mess is crucial.

Finally, contact us if you own a business, or know of a business owner that needs marketing help. We are volunteering work at heavily discounted rates (or in some instances free) to keep business stable in our county and local area. Any way we can help, we will.

Additionally, here’s our services:

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