Tag Archives: beer

Queens Beer Week to kick off second year with over 70 venues


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Image via Instagram/@queensbeerweek

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO AND ANGY ALTAMIRANO

Something is brewing in Queens, and in just two weeks you’ll be able to get a cold glass of what the borough has to offer.

The second annual Queens Beer Week will kick off its nine-day celebration of local breweries on May 8, with the final event on May 17.

According to organizer Daniel Bronson, a beer enthusiast and manager of Crescent and Vine in Astoria, this year’s event is expected to be bigger and better than the previous year, celebrating nine local breweries at over 70 borough-wide participating bars and restaurants.

The celebration will include brewery tours, home brewing demos, tap takeovers, food and beer pairings, pub crawls, and more.

“Queens has such a rich and diverse beer scene,” Bronson said. “We’re a borough home to some of the best neighborhood bars in the country. And although we have more breweries than any other borough, it was hard getting New Yorkers, even us here in Queens, to appreciate that.”

This year’s Queens Beer Week kicks off on May 8, with the official launch of Queens’ newest brewery, LIC Beer Project, at Crescent and Vine, located at 25-03 Ditmars Blvd. in Astoria.

On May 9, Rich Castagna of Bridge and Tunnel Brewery will host the Ridgewood Beer Bar Scavenger Hunt at various bars throughout Ridgewood. Players will search for clues and hidden items at local hot spots such as Julia’s Beer and Wine Bar, The Monk Ale House, Onderdonk & Sons, Bleachers Sports Bar and Queens Tavern.

The official Queens Beer Week Kick-Off Party, which is already sold out, will be held on May 10 at 4 p.m. at LIC Landing, located at 52-10 Vernon Blvd. in Long Island City. The event will feature samples and tastings from all of the Queens breweries, including Queens Beer Week IPA, a special collaboration beer made specifically for Queens Beer Week by SingleCut Beersmiths and Barrier Brewing Company.

On May 14, the film “Blood, Sweat and Beer,” a documentary by filmmaker Chip Hiden chronicling the evolution of two start-up breweries, will premiere at SingleCut Beersmiths, located at 19-33 37th St. in Astoria. In addition to pours of SingleCut beer, viewers will also be treated to beer-inspired popcorn from Ma and Pa Kettle Corn Co.

Long Island City-based breweries such as LIC Beer Project, Big Alice Brewing, Rockaway Brew Co. and Transmitter Brewing will offer tours and beer samples throughout the day on May 16.

Queens Beer Week 2015 wraps up on May 17, with the celebration of Finback Brewery’s one-year anniversary. Their new Barrel-Aged Plum and Proper, described as “a smoky sour dark ale brewed with fresh plums,” will be available in Finback’s taproom, located at 78-01 77th Ave. in Glendale.

For the latest information and Queens Beer Week schedule, visit www.queensbeerweek.com.

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New LIC brewery to open taproom featuring experimental beers


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos by Jamie Lefkowitz Photography

A trio of beer lovers have come together to begin a project in Long Island City that will bring new flavors to Queens.

Daniel Acosta, Damon Oscarson and Gianni Cavicchi are the guys behind the LIC Beer Project, a new brewery expected to make its official launch during Queens Beer Week, which is set to kick off on May 10.

The idea of the brewery was born after Acosta took a backpacking trip through Europe in 2004 and fell in love with Belgian beer. He had already been interested in craft beer, but while overseas, he was able to visit well-known Belgian breweries. When he came back to the United States he tried some Belgian beer at a California brewery and from there started brewing at home.

At the time, Acosta was working in the construction industry and this got him interested in the process portion of making beer and how breweries are built.

“I had all of that behind me to help drive having the idea to start a brewery,” he said.

He later attended the Siebel Institute of Technology, an accredited brewing school, and received an education in brewing science. For the next eight years he studied and traveled around the world visiting breweries. 

With the idea of starting a brewery already in his head and wanting to create Belgian-inspired beers and American wild ales, he just wasn’t sure where he would call home. Then, three years ago, he met Oscarson, who had also been home-brewing beers, and Cavicchi, a wine and beer sommelier, and the idea of the brewery became a reality. 

The brewery is now located in Long Island City at 39-28 23rd St. and its site is slated to open in June, although LIC Beer Project will officially launch with three to four of its beers next month. 

“I felt there was really a need for these styles of beer here in the city so we all converged and wound up here in Long Island City and this is where it is beginning. We’re on a crazy journey here,” Acosta said. “We felt that [LIC] was a real up-and-coming area and we are very close to Manhattan, close to Brooklyn, so we felt that it was at the center of something big to happen.”

The idea of the brewery is to create different types of beers, using various techniques, and all shooting to be dry, allowing for people to enjoy more. The main set of beers will go through weeks of fermentation, a second style will be brewed with wild yeast called brettanomyces, naturally occurring on fruits, and another batch will go through what is known as the coolship method.

Through the coolship method these beers spend time in an open vessel, allowing what is naturally occurring in the air to ferment it, and then will be transferred to oak barrels. Through this method, which takes from six months to two years for beer to be ready, the brewers hope the beer will be exposed to the Queens air and have its own kind of “local touch” to it. 

“The reason we call it LIC Beer Project is because we have several different types of beer we’re going to do here starting from more traditional Belgium-inspired beer with their own American twist on them and then they’ll go through an evolution,” Acosta said. “So as we go through the different beers they’ll get more complex, more difficulty in brewing process, more complex yeast characters.”

Coolship located at the site of the LIC Beer Project.

Coolship located at the site of the LIC Beer Project.

Along with being home to the LIC Beer Project, the 23rd Street location will also serve as a taproom expected to be open to the public Fridays through Sundays starting in June. 

The taproom will have 10 beers on tap, which will constantly rotate in order to try different experimental beers and get feedback from visitors.

The site will include seating and food, and tours of the brewery will also be given, in order to provide an educational portion. Visitors will also be able to walk around the 5,550-square-foot facility and get a firsthand look at the brewery’s production.

“We’re going to make it a pretty interesting place for people to come and try something new,” Oscarson said. “We wanted to give people an experience when they come here and enjoy the beer as well. We wanted to give them an experience when they are drinking the beer and take them to a different place, so we wanted to do same thing with the taproom and brewery itself.”

For now, the LIC Beer Project has three beers — Ardent Core, Evening’s Empire, and one yet to be named — ready to be released to the public, and after Queens Beer Week these selections will be available at various locations in Queens.

Acosta added that the ultimate goal for the brewery would be to become a nationally known boutique brewery, sold at various markets around the country, but for now they will let the beer take them forward.

“We’re going to keep evolving, keep working. We’re on like a beer odyssey. Sometimes things might work out and sometimes not,” Acosta said. “At the end of the day everything that we do is all about the beer.”

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Queens Brewery hoping to host parties ahead of grand opening to raise money


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Queens Brewery

The grand opening ceremony for Queens Brewery’s new Ridgewood location probably won’t be held until after renovation is complete in September, but there may be parties at the space before that this summer.

The brewery is interested in renting out the outdoor space of its new home for events and parties to raise money to complete interior renovation of the facility.

“Building out a space does cost a lot of money and we want to raise it to get it done,” said Jason Wolf, who handles marketing for the brewery.

As part of its effort to raise money for construction costs, the brewery will also launch a Kickstarter campaign by next month. Wolf couldn’t say how much the they needed to raise yet.

After nearly two years and hundreds of thousands of pints of beers, the Queens Brewery recently announced that they were moving into a Ridgewood warehouse at 1539 Covert St., not far away from the L train Halsey Street station.

The new space boasts 2,500 square feet in two floors. The entire second floor will be used for beer production.

15-39 Covert St.

15-39 Covert St.

The first floor will be used for retail and leads into a huge backyard, which will be transformed into a beer garden.

Queens Brewery’s beers have been on tap in many bars citywide and even in Citi Field, but in the coming weeks the brewery will be introducing cans, which will be sold at grocery stores in the city, according to Wolf. Prices will vary, but they could retail for about $9.99 for a pack of four.

Wolf couldn’t announce which stores would sell the beers, but he added, “You’ll know the stores. It’ll be very easy to find these beers.”

Interior renovations for the Queens Brewery is expected to begin next month.

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Brewery in Ridgewood seeks Beer Week prize


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Ridgewood’s Bridge and Tunnel Brewery will be launching a new beer at a gala event next week as part of the annual New York City Beer Week “Rupert’s Cup” events.

The beer, aptly titled “Bound By Chains,” is a tribute to legendary illusionist Harry Houdini, whose famous gravesite is located in nearby Machpelah Cemetery off Cypress Hills Street.

As a tribute to Houdini, the special event — which will take place next Wednesday, Feb. 25, at Houdini Kitchen Laboratory — will also feature local performers from the Coney Island Sideshow. The live performance will include a live straightjacket escape, sword swallowing, The Human Blockhead, various feats of strength and The Human Pin Cushion, which involves a perilous bed of nails.

The event is a collaboration between Bridge and Tunnel Brewery founder Rich Castagna, Houdini Kitchen Laboratory founder and chef Max Bartoli and Nao Matsumoto, co-owner of the Lorimoto Gallery, located at 16-23 Hancock St. in Ridgewood.

“I’m hoping the event will be an introduction to Decatur Street for people in the neighborhood,” Castagna explained.

Bridge and Tunnel Brewery recently found a permanent home on Decatur Street, down the block from Houdini Kitchen Laboratory, and is slated to open to the public later in the year.

“Bound By Chains,” described as a double rye IPA, was created specifically for this special event. According to Bridge and Tunnel, the beer itself is one of many “NY S.M.A.S.H.” (New York State Malts and State Hops) beers launching during NYC Beer Week by breweries in all five boroughs.

“There is going to be a vote at the end of NYC Beer Week for the best event launched. The winner gets a trophy called the Rupert Cup,” Castagna explained. “Maybe we can win it for Ridgewood?”

The Rupert’s Cup is a “people’s choice” voting competition and fundraising event. According to Bridge and Tunnel, participating breweries are required to host a “value-added event during the 2015 NYC Beer Week highlighting something like an extremely rare beer release, a beer dinner or a Meet-the-Brewer night.” The winner is voted “Best Brewery at NYC Beer Week.”

Votes cost $5 each, with all proceeds going to City Harvest. According to its website, City Harvest estimates that each $5 donation could feed roughly twenty people, with every dollar donated feeding four people per day. Anyone can sign up to vote at www.rupertscup.com.

In addition to the new beer launch, event goers can also sample some of the many unique pizza offerings at Houdini Kitchen Laboratory. For $6 at the door, patrons can choose a 16 oz. pour of “Bound By Chains” IPA or pizza samplers from Houdini Kitchen. The website eventbrite.com also offers a package of four tickets, good for four beer or pizza offerings.

According to Bridge and Tunnel, the event will also include a short presentation on pairing beer with pizza by Braving the Brew founder and sommelier Joanna Carpenter.

“Other surprises are in the works as well,” Castagna said.

The “Bound By Chains in Ridgewood” beer launch event will be held on Feb. 25 from 6 to 11 p.m. at Houdini Kitchen Laboratory, located at 1563 Decatur St. Click here to find out more about this event.

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Ridgewood may soon be home to a full-scale brewery


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

The Queens Brewery could be hopping over to Ridgewood.

A new lease could be signed sometime this week by Nelson Rockefeller, the owner of the Long Island City-based Queens Brewery, for a warehouse building in Ridgewood, close to the Bushwick border, Community Board 5 District Manager Gary Giordano said during a board meeting Wednesday night.

If plans go through, this would be the first full-scale brewery, producing beer for distribution, to open in the neighborhood. Bridge and Tunnel Brewery, more of a brew pub, recently opened in Ridgewood.

Giordano said that Rockefeller wants to use the space for brewing and to offer beer tastings.

Rockefeller’s signature beer, Queens Lager, is currently produced at a brewery in Saratoga Springs even though his headquarters and most of his customers are in Queens. The Maspeth resident has always had a love for beer, which motivated him to first open up a micro-brewery in Long Island City. He has since expanded to brewing for commercial distribution.

Rockefeller could not be reached for comment, but in a previous interview with The Courier, he described his interest in the borough.

“Queens is forgotten. We’re bringing back Queens,” said Rockefeller. “You take care of your home base first.”

His first line of beer distributed was coined Queens Lager, which can now be found in over 40 bars around Queens.

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New Ridgewood bar entices customers with Belgian beer selection


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Salvatore Licata

Ridgewood just got a little more Belgian.

The Monk bar, located at 68-67 Fresh Pond Rd., opened on Dec. 6, and owner Joe Figliolia is looking to expand the tastes of customers who may not be familiar with the uncommon names and styles of beers and ales they serve.

“Ever since I tried my first Belgian beer, I fell in love,” said Figliolia. “They aren’t the types you chug. It’s more like a fine wine you sip and enjoy.”

The bar had eight varieties on tap and over 25 types of bottled beers. Figliolia and co-owner Dan Berkery handpicked each beer themselves based on which brand they think tastes best for whichever style it is representing.

Moreover, The Monk has designated each of their eight taps to a different style of beer. Berkery said the names on the taps will change from time to time but that he wants his patrons to have a chance to always have their favorite style of beer on draft.

“Sometimes you walk into a regular bar and they have three of four of the same style of beer on tap,” said Berkery. “We wanted to make sure we had a mix here so everyone can enjoy their beer freshly tapped.”

Figliolia and Berkery chose to go with strictly Belgian types of beer because they feel it is the best type out there. They said the Trappist monks were known for making the best beer and that each is made with natural yeast, not cultivated, and Belgium-grown hops.

They’ve only been open for about two weeks now, but are already impressed with the knowledge of beers many of their customers have.

“A lot of people really know what they’re talking about over here,” said Figliolia. “I tell customers about beers and some of them teach me a thing or two.”

Figliolia lived in Ridgewood in the 1980s, and he and Berkery were childhood friends. He reminisced on the solid neighborhood Ridgewood was when he was growing up there and said it has only gotten better since. He talked about how the new, younger crowd coming in, mixed with the older generation, makes the neighborhood diverse and welcoming.

He wants his bar to have the same feel. There is no TV, just background music so that people who come in can have conversations and get to know one another.

the monk1

the monk2

“I want this bar to be a welcoming place for all who come in,” Figliolia said. “People can try new beers and have some fun while doing so.”

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Bridge and Tunnel microbrewery expanding to Ridgewood


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Rich Castagna

A Queens microbrewery is planning a big move.

Bridge and Tunnel Brewery, a “nano-scale” brewery in Maspeth, signed a lease for a warehouse space in Ridgewood, the brewery announced.

Currently, the brewery has been operating through a tiny 150-square-foot space, but the new 2,300-square-foot building will “allow for more production” and be home to a brewery that patrons can visit, owner Rich Castagna said.

Castagna founded Bridge and Tunnel and received a license to operate in 2012. It has been a one-man operation and distribution system since the brewery’s inception, but Castagna is now planning to hire some employees to help with the expanded brewery.

The new location will be around the intersection of Decatur Street and Wyckoff Avenue, near eatery Houdini Kitchen Laboratory, which already carries some Bridge and Tunnel beers. There could be collaborations with the restaurant in the future.

“We have a pretty good working relationship,” Castagna said. “We’re kind of both excited about things we can do together.”

Castagna is happy Ridgewood has become a more desirable neighborhood recently, but wants the brewery to be a place where people who have known the area for a long time can enjoy the history of the neighborhood.

Ridgewood is where he had his first beer, attended grammar school and high school and played little league, among other firsts.

“It’s where my roots are,” Castagna said. “This is where I’m supposed to be.”

Castagna didn’t give a specific time for when the new brewery location will open up, but said he will begin moving into the space shorty.

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Ridgewood resident starts beer society in neighborhood


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

He’ll drink to that.

One Ridgewood transplant has such a love for beer that he decided to start a group for its appreciation.

Stephen Calebro, 40, just moved to Ridgewood from Bushwick in July. He has always been fond of the drink and wanted to see whether others in the neighborhood shared his interest.

Out of that idea came the new group, the Ridgewood Beer Society.

“The older I got the more I started to pay less attention to the popular art and music of the times and started to appreciate food and drink more,” Calebro, who works in a beer café in Hell’s Kitchen, said. “So, I decided to throw the idea out there to others and from that came the beer society.”

Started in August, the beer society has more than 130 “likes” on Facebook. Calebro has already put together three events for people in the society to come together, get to know each other and find out more about different types of beers.

Calebro is planning events and meet ups around many of the local bars in Ridgewood as well as breweries in Brooklyn and Queens.

“The local bars and stores here have a great selection of beers that you wouldn’t really find in a lot of places,” he said. “I want to focus the events around this area of Queens in general and then branch out from there.”

Beyond the social events in bars and breweries, Calebro is hoping to expand the group to food appreciation. He even has an idea of doing the first beer and bagel pairing because of the variety of both products.

He also wants to host bottle sharing events, which is when people from the group bring their own cup, a bottle of their favorite type of beer or one that is not mainstream, and share it with the group.

Calebro welcomes all people of Queens and Brooklyn, from beer enthusiasts to those that just enjoy a drink.

“The group is very laissez-faire, if you could make it to an event great, if not, no problem,” Calebro noted. “I just want people to come and hang out with others who want to have fun and drink beer.”

To find out more about the group, visit www.facebook.com/Ridgewoodbeer.

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Beer garden coming to LIC Flea & Food


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File Photo

Visitors will now be able to raise a glass at the LIC Flea & Food.

This Saturday, the popular Long Island City market, located at the outdoor lot on the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, will debut the LIC Flea Beer Garden with outdoor seating set up along the basin in the back of the market with views of the Manhattan skyline.

rockaway

Only artisanal beer made by Queens breweries will be served, along with wine. The breweries include SingleCut Beersmiths, Queens Brewery, Finback Brewery and Rockaway Brewing Company, which is located just across the street from the LIC Flea.

FINBACK_logo_A2“We are really excited to showcase all that Queens has to offer from amazing vendors to now breweries that are making top-quality beer right here in the borough,” said Joshua Schneps, LIC Flea & Food president. “This fits in with our mission to attract people to Long Island City and Queens.”

QUEENS BREWERY 3

The LIC Flea Beer Garden will be opened every Saturday and Sunday during the hours of the flea market. Astoria Flea & Food has moved to Long Island City through the end of the year.

For beer enthusiasts, owners of the local breweries featured will be on hand to talk about the beer-making process. 

SINGLECUT

This weekend, Sept. 13 and 14, beer will be $2 from 4:30 to 5 p.m., while supplies last. 

LIC Flea & Food is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will run through the end of the year.

For more information visit www.licflea.com or www.facebook.com/licflea.

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Street Talk: What is your favorite summertime beer?


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

street talk

CHRIS BUMBACA

“I like Bud Light, because it’s cheap!”
Tom Twist

“Curious Traveler Summer Shandy, it’s really good, and only available in the summer.”
Eric Berman

“Victoria beer, for the taste.”
Paco Castillo

“I like Sol beer, because it’s light and a good alternative to Corona.”
Ryan Gamble

“I like Sol, too, because it’s light and refreshing.”
Cheyne Gamble

“IPA Sam Rebel is nice.”
Joe Brandon

“Amstel Lite, for the taste.”
Eddy Filangeri

“I like Brooklyn beer, because my son introduced me to it.”
John Clark

 

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Woodhaven’s New Pop’s Restaurant gets new owner


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

New Pop’s Restaurant, a diner that has been in Woodhaven for more than 20 years, is set to open on Father’s Day weekend after having been closed for more than a month, according to the diner’s new owner George Alexiov.

“I like this neighborhood,” Alexiov said. “I’ve been trying to find a business to run for the past seven years and now I’m very excited that I will be serving the people here.”

Alexiov has kept the interior design the same and in the last two weeks, after signing a 20-year lease on the Jamaica Avenue storefront, he’s been busy restoring the walls and tiles in the diner.

The menu, which is traditional diner fare, also hasn’t been altered. To mark the grand opening, Alexiov said he plans on giving customers a free glass of wine or beer.

“Looking forward to see what the new owners do,” Grace Cangiola said on Facebook about the new management. “I haven’t been there for quite a while. There’s not a lot of choices to eat at on the [a]venue, it will be nice to have it back.”

Alexiov, who is originally from Greece, has had experience with running food businesses in Brooklyn and said he plans on hiring six workers.

 

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Glendale’s Finback Brewery to launch beer at local bars despite setbacks


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Finback Brewery

Glendale’s Finback Brewery won’t open for a few more months, but the beer is finally coming to the surface.

The brewery, which was originally supposed to open in November last year, has been delayed by construction issues, but founders Basil Lee and Kevin Stafford are introducing three Finback beers at three bars around the city.

The brewery will have launch events for the beer at The Owl Farm bar in Brooklyn on Wednesday, Jimmy’s No. 43 in Manhattan on Thursday, and Forest Hills Station House in Queens on Jan. 28.

The three beers are Pilot X IPA, a citrusy drink filled with Summit, Chinook and Columbus hops, and hints of pink grapefruit; Puffin Smoked Porter, American porter filled with roast subtle hazelnut aroma and a smoky backbone from cherry wood smoked malt, and hints of chocolate; and Double Sess Wit, brewed with Szechuan peppercorns, ginger and chamomile.

The pair hopes to introduce the beer at other bars in the city, including The Queens Kickshaw in Astoria, and are shooting to open the brewery’s tasting room in late February or March, according to the owners.

“We’re working hard to finish the tasting room and open the brewery for beer and tours,” the owners said in an email. “We wish we could welcome you all to the brewery right now, but alas, NYC contractors have their own way of working, or not working…Rest assured we’re busy making beer and getting it out to our favorite local watering holes. Hopefully we’ll get the tasting room open in the next couple months.”

 

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Cuomo signs tax exemption for state breweries


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

beer gardenhttp://queenscourier.com/wp-admin/media-upload.php?post_id=82870&type=image&#

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation recently that gives small breweries in New York state an important tax exemption and waives an annual state liquor authority fee.

In April, a similar state tax break ended after a Massachusetts-based beer importer, Shelton Brothers, filed a lawsuit.

The state, which last year launched an “I Love NY Brew” campaign to promote locally-made beer, moved quickly to reinstate the exemption.

“In addition to producing some of the finest beer in the world, New York’s craft breweries are creating jobs, supporting our state’s farmers and hops growers, as well as bringing in tourism dollars in local communities across New York,” said Cuomo.

Any brewery that produces 60 million or fewer gallons of beer in New York will now be eligible for a refundable tax credit applied against New York state personal income and business taxes. The legislation also exempts breweries in and outside of the state that produce brands of 1,500 barrels or less annually from the $150 annual brand label fee.

In an effort to promote locally grown farm products, the legislation also creates a “Farm Brewery” license that will allow craft brewers that use products grown in the state to operate in a similar fashion to the state’s farm wineries.

The legislation is good news for Rich Buceta, president and owner of SingleCut Beersmiths, Queens’ first brewery in decades, which will open this fall in Astoria. His business will qualify for both the tax and brand label fee exemptions.

“Starting out a brewery is a very expensive proposition with all the equipment, licensing and everything we have to pay,” he said.

When the law changed it was a real shock, Buceta continued. Though it wouldn’t have greatly hurt his brewery, it still would have impacted its revenue stream and made it difficult to pay off his debts.

 

First Queens brewery in decades opening soon


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

SingleCut

BY ASHLEY WELCH

Queens will soon be home to its first brewery in decades with the opening of SingleCut Beersmiths in Astoria later this year.

The company’s president and owner Rich Buceta said that the new brewery, which will be located at 19-33 37th St., is a natural fit for the borough.

“Queens has not had a brewery to call its own in a very long time,” said Buceta, 48, who was born in Jamaica.

SingleCut will feature a Tap Room with beer tastings and a stage for live musical performances, Buceta said. Visitors will also be able to take home half-gallon growlers. Though there will be no bar on the premises, Buceta said he may consider that option in the future and will hold several events a year utilizing the 5,000-square-foot-space and its stage.

If construction stays on schedule, Buceta plans to begin distributing beer throughout New York City in September.

The borough housed several breweries before the Prohibition era with Ridgewood being the most prominent neighborhood, according to Richard Hourahan of the Queens Historical Society.

“From 1905 to 1920 there were five within five blocks,” he said.

Bob Singleton, executive director of the Greater Astoria Historical Society said that although the establishments still may have brewed beers illegally during Prohibition, brewing officially stopped once it was banned.

According to Singleton, another brewery may have opened in Queens after the ban lifted. Several years ago, he found labels on eBay with the name Burke’s Brewery at an address in Long Island City.

“We don’t know though if the brewery was in Queens or if the labels were just printed there,” he said.

For his part, Buceta is excited to bring a suds factory back to the borough — and so is the community of Astoria.

“The local support has been very enthusiastic,” he said.

Five years ago, the Upper East Sider left his career as an advertising executive to pursue his passion of craft beer. He had been brewing in his home for some time and soon found a job cleaning kegs at Greenpoint Beer Works in Brooklyn.

“I went from a corner office to the brewery equivalent of being a dishwasher,” he said with a laugh.

After quickly moving up in the ranks, Buceta decided to take his career to the next level.

“Once I felt I knew my trade well and had all the contacts, I quit to start my own brewery,” he said.

SingleCut will specialize in lagers, ales and hoppy beers, Buceta said. He emphasized that SingleCut will be a “real local brewery,” meaning beer will be brewed in Astoria and only Astoria.

“We will never have our beer brewed anywhere else,” he said. “If demand becomes too great in the future, then we just won’t take on new business. That’s how important quality is to us.”

St. Patrick’s Day around Queens


| brennison@queenscourier.com

iStock_000011916111XSmall

Queens’ St. Patrick’s parades have passed and for those that want to avoid the madness of Manhattan there are a plethora of options right here in the borough. Bars around Queens borough are serving up St. Paddy’s Day specials, so revelers can save some green.

Here are some spots around the borough to celebrate:

Austin Ale House, Kew Gardens:

Live music Friday and Saturday with a complimentary corned beef and cabbage buffet from 3-5 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day and food and drink specials all day.

Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, Astoria:

Receive a St. Paddy’s Day mug with unlimited refills on select beers for just $15. There will also be live music, $4 shots of Bushmills, $5 shots of Jameson, $6 Jager bombs, $7 Irish car bombs and $10 corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and carrots.

Bourbon Street, Bayside:

Friday the restaurant will feature a pre-St. Patrick’s Day happy hour drink specials and “green” giveaways. On St. Paddy’s Day watch the parade from the bar with live music, free corned beef and cabbage from 3-5 p.m. For those suffering a post-holiday hangover the bar has a Sunday brunch with Bloody Mary drink specials.

Donovan’s, Bayside:

The New York institution since 1966 will be serving up a traditional Irish breakfast on St. Patrick’s Day between 9-11:30 a.m. Live Irish music by The Sporting Paddies will be performed between 5-8 p.m.

Gibbons’ Home, Maspeth:

The recently reopened Irish pub will feature live Irish music Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Strawberry’s Sports Grill, Douglaston:

Darryl Strawberry’s restaurant will be featuring drink specials all day including: $2 Coors Lights, $3 domestic drafts, $3 green Jell-O shots, $4 Guinness drafts, $4 Killian’s, $5 Jameson shots and $7 car bombs. Fill up with smoked corned beef and coleslaw specials all day.

Studio Square, Astoria:

Enjoy a free corned beef and cabbage buffet between noon and 5 p.m. Wash that down with a pitcher of Killian’s Irish Red and three shots of Jameson for $18 or $2 Jameson shots.

Safari Beach Club, Bayside:

The bar will open at 8 a.m. and feature $5 Irish coffees. There will be free shots for ladies between 2-6 p.m. and live music beginning at 11 a.m.

Woodside, once the heart of Queens’ Irish-American community, still maintains a strong presence of Irish pride and features some of the best Irish pubs in the city. Stop by Sean Og Tavern, Saints and Sinners, Donovan’s Pub, Molly Blooms in neighboring Sunnyside, amongst a host of others for an authentic pub experience.