These new businesses tap into the thirst for locally brewed craft beer
Rockland/Westchester Journal News
Published Sept. 21, 2022
A recession may be looming, food prices may be rising (and restaurants still hurting from the lingering effects of the pandemic), but one thing is certain: Beer is big. Within the last few months, a mixture of taprooms, nanobreweries and bottle shops have opened in Westchester and Rockland — five at our count — with two more premiering later this fall (shout out to District 96 Outpost in Piermont and Here Coffee & Beer in Ossining). Not to mention Argonne Rose Brewing Company, a new craft brewery and gastropub, coming soon to the historic St. George's Church in Mohegan Lake.
All offer different ways to enjoy beer: In a space where beer is brewed (basically a nanobrewery or brewery), in a taproom (an extension of a brewery where beer is brewed elsewhere), and at a bottle shop (essentially a beer distributor with a full line of beers to go in an intimate space where the staff is knowledgeable and food options are limited).
That's on top of an already robust beer community that offers multiple breweries, beer gardens and stores throughout both counties, such as Captain Lawrence, Broken Bow, Defiant Brewing, Industrial Arts, Half Time and DeCicco's as a few examples.
Tim Shanley, a longtime home brewer, co-owner of Coal's restaurant in Bronxville, and now owner of Run & Hide, a new taproom in Port Chester that features beers he brews in the Catskills (among other spots), predicts more beer venues will open in the lower Hudson Valley as these smaller locations are a nice way for breweries to promote their brands. Plus, he said, folks like the ease and simplicity of a taproom. "They just want to hang out and drink good beer," he said.
As for taprooms, he said they're gaining ground of late because they're way less costly than a brewery. And, they tap into (sorry, couldn't resist the beer pun) a way for brewers to be more in touch with their consumers.
That is one reason Mike O' Brien and his business partner Jordan Beldner opened their two week-old 18th Ward Brewing in New Rochelle. "Having a taproom here allows us to do outreach," he said, "And help expand our market." The pair brew in Brooklyn and Long Island.
He believes taprooms are popular because of all the different styles available. "Beers have been elevated across the board as homebrewers became microbrewers," he said. "It goes to show that there's a demand for something local, something fresh, something tasty and something different."
Cheers to that — and to all the great brewing going on in the lower Hudson Valley.