Tag Archives: brewery

Future Ridgewood brewery site begins transformation


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre

A few days after announcing the leasing of a Ridgewood warehouse for the new home of Bridge and Tunnel Brewery, the owner has begun moving into his new digs.

Queens native Rich Castagna, who founded a 150-square-feet Maspeth microbrewery a few years ago, has already moved some vats, many kegs and tons of other equipment into the 2,300-square-foot site of the brewery’s future home near the intersection of Decatur Street and Wyckoff Avenue.

The father of three, who has a day-job with a shipping company, is working on the brewery with a little help, but is aiming to set up and begin brewing from the new site within six months.

“The priority is to get beer flowing out of the doors, because I have to offset the rent,” Castagna said.

There is still much to be done with the new space though.

Castagna is hoping to soon bring a boiler, two fermenters and two stem jacketed kettles into the brewing section, which will be located at the back of the building.

The front part will become home to the bar and the tasting room. He already has long wooden beams in the site that he plans to fashion into tables.

Following the expansion, he hopes to bring beer to new outlets that he couldn’t serve before because of the limited brewing capacity at the former site.

“If I can get this thing up and running there are a lot of other accounts that are frankly waiting in line for me to add them,” Castagna said. “In the nano system it’s kind of like I’m busting my pants. I’ve outgrown my school uniform.”

Take a look at the gallery below to see the future brewery in progress.


RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

 

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.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

SingleCut Beersmiths celebrate grand opening


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF PETER VALLONE

It was suds heaven for Astoria beer drinkers.

Over 1,000 guests crammed their way into SingleCut Beersmiths on Saturday, December 8 for the grand opening of the borough’s first major brewery in decades.

“It was fantastic,” said SingleCut spokesperson Brian Dwyer. “We were bursting at the seams. It was excellent. We had a great response from everybody.”

The staff offered patrons free tastes of two beers — the “19-33 Lagrrr” and the “Dean Pacific Northwest Mahogany Ale.” Around 3:30 in the afternoon, SingleCut sold out of their take-home growlers — a huge sign of success for any business of brew.

Even Councilmember Peter Vallone showed up at the opening event to cut the ribbon and welcome SingleCut into the neighborhood.

“It was a huge community response which is exactly what we were hoping for,” said Dwyer. “The majority of the people there were from the neighborhood and they said they’d be back again.”

Queens’ first major brewery in decades opens


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alexa Altman

Bubbling plans for a Queens brewery are finally on tap.

On Saturday, December 8, SingleCut Beersmiths will welcome the public into their den at 19-33 37th Street in Astoria for a cold pint.

“Queens has not had a brewery to call its own in a very long time,” said the company’s president and owner, Rich Buceta.

In celebration of its grand opening, SingleCut is offering fans of the froth a taste of five new beers available year round: 19-33 Lagrrr!, Bob Sunburst Finish Lagrrr!, Dean Pacific NW Mahogany Ale, Billy 18-Watt India Pale Ale, and Billy Half-Stack India Pale Ale. The shop will also carry an arsenal of seasonal ales for beer drinkers of every ilk, rotating every few months.

SingleCut’s facility will feature a tap room with scheduled beer tastings and a 5,000-square-foot stage for live musical performances. Patrons may take home half-gallon growlers of their favorite suds.

While currently SingleCut is the only major brewery in the borough, Queens housed several breweries before the Prohibition era – mainly around Ridgewood. According to Richard Hourahan of the Queens Historical Society, between 1905 and 1920, there were five beer makers within five blocks.

Bob Singleton, executive director of the Greater Astoria Historical Society, said it’s probable that several brew hubs continued the craft even after the booze ban. Several years ago, he spotted labels on eBay for a business called “Burke’s Brewery” at an address in Long Island City. Singleton said he was unsure if the brewery was in Queens or if the labels were just printed in the neighborhood with a highly industrial past.

- Additional reporting by Ashley Welch

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.”