Tag Archives: SingleCut Beersmiths

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

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Image via Instagram/@queensbeerweek


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.


LIC Flea & Food beer garden offers drinks from six Queens breweries

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

As the weather is expected to hit the 70s this weekend, what better way to cool down than with a cold drink from the LIC Flea Beer Garden?

The popular Long Island City flea market celebrated its opening weekend last week, filled with sunshine and visitors from near and far.

LIC Flea & Food is located at an outdoor lot by the waterfront at the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, and offers items for sale including food and drinks, collectibles, antiques, arts and crafts, handcrafted jewelry and fashion, and much more.

Along with over 80 vendors each day, the market also has a beer garden, exclusively serving beers brewed in Queens from local breweries including Rockaway Brewery, Queens Brewery, Finback Brewery and SingleCut Beersmiths. The LIC Flea is the only location to carry beer from all six breweries. The bar will also offer a great selection of wines.

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

For updates on the LIC Flea & Food market, follow on Facebook.com/LICFlea, Instagram.com/LICFlea and @LICFlea on Twitter.

Applications from potential vendors for the new season are still being accepted by registering online at www.licflea.com.


Sweet time at the Flea

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


Visitors at the LIC Flea & Food were in for a sweet time this past weekend.

The popular Long Island City market, located at the outdoor lot on the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, hosted a Sweets Festival highlighting vendors that hit every visitor’s sweet tooth.

During the festival, LIC Flea vendor Ice & Vice was awarded the judges’ pick, and vendor This Pie Is Nuts! was picked as the visitors’ favorite.

The LIC Flea Beer Garden, which is set up along the basin in the back of the market with views of the Manhattan skyline and outdoor seating, continues to offer beer selections from SingleCut Beersmiths, Queens Brewery, Finback Brewery and Rockaway Brewing Company.

In addition, visitors will now also be able to enjoy New York-made red and white wines, as well as mimosas made using lemonade from LIC Flea vendor Frittering Away.

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. The LIC Flea Beer Garden is open during the hours of operation of the flea market.

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


Home run at the Flea

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


The LIC Flea & Food will hit a home run this weekend with a super sweet lineup.

First, the popular Long Island City market, located at the outdoor lot on the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, will continue to celebrate the opening of the LIC Flea Beer Garden.
Beer will be available for $2 from 4:30 to 5 p.m. with an LIC Flea purchase. The beer garden, which offers selections from SingleCut Beersmiths, Queens Brewery, Finback Brewery and Rockaway Brewing Company as well as wine, is set up along the basin in the back of the market with views of the Manhattan skyline and outdoor seating. Beer enthusiasts will also have the ability to meet the owners of the local breweries featured and learn about the beer-making process.

For sports lovers, former Mets player William Hayward “Mookie” Wilson will be at the flea market signing and promoting his book “Mookie: Life, Baseball, and the ’86 Mets.”

HGTV will be making its return the LIC Flea to film another episode of its show “Flea Market Flip” with host Lara Spencer, co-anchor on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Each week on the show, contestants, who participate in teams, are given $500 to explore items at different flea markets. The participants search for objects they can buy, fix and then “flip” for a higher selling price. By the end of each show, the contestants display their transformations and battle it out to win all the profits earned.

Finally, to end the weekend on a sweet note, the market will host a Sweets Festival with voting by judges and LIC Flea visitors to name the best sweets vendors. So far, participating vendors include A Spoonful of Brownies, Brookies Cookies, Bibingka-esk, Ice & Vice, Mom & Popsicles, Petalouda Bakery, Sweet Muse and Cassey’s Cookies & Cobblers.
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.


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.


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.”


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. 


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.


Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup


Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 51. Winds ENE at 10 to 20 mph. Thursday night: Mainly clear. Low 36. Winds ENE at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Happy Hour with QNSMADE & SingleCut Beersmiths

Come hang out at SingleCut Beersmiths in Astoria and try some locally made Queens craft beer. QNSMADE’s mission is to give a voice to the people that make up this borough and provide a space to bring together all the amazing things that are happening in the many pockets of Queens. With seven days left to go on its Kickstarter,  let’s come together and make this happen. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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First Queens Beer Week to showcase borough’s best

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Image Courtesy of Queens Beer Week

The city will raise a toast to Queens in the borough’s inaugural beer week starting Friday.

Since 2009, more than half of the city’s breweries have opened up in Queens, with a total of seven breweries in the borough, according to Astoria resident Dan Bronson, organizer of the first annual Queens Beer Week.

The nine-day event, which begins Friday and runs through Sunday, April 27, celebrates the best beers, bars and breweries the borough has to offer. Queens Beer Week will bring together over 60 bars and restaurants for a week of promoting the rapidly growing craft beer scene.

“We thought it was time that Queens got its own beer week to share its own achievements,” Bronson said. “We thought it was time to have a week of our own.”

On Friday, the borough’s newest brewery, Transmitter, will make its debut at Crescent and Vine, located at 25-03 Ditmars Blvd. in Astoria.

The official kick-off for Queens Beer Week will take place during an open invitation party, 21 years and older and no tickets needed, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Singlecut Beersmiths, at 19-33 37th St.

The Taste of Queens party will feature all of the borough’s breweries, local vendors, music, and the debut of the event’s exclusive “Queen of Tarts” ale from Barrier Brewing Company.

Queens Beer Week will then continue with a week of more than 40 innovative beer-centric events, spread across the borough, including event pairings of beer, wine, chocolate and music.

“It is a great week to go explore the bars and breweries in Queens,” Bronson said.

For more info on participating venues and up-to-date notifications of events going on during Queens Beer Week, visit the event’s official website or follow @QueensBeerWeek on Twitter.



Music festivals to raise money to save Steinway Mansion

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of The Friends of Steinway Mansion

The music will play on to help the Steinway Mansion survive.

The Friends of Steinway Mansion was recently created with the goal to preserve the icon that sits atop a hill at 18-33 41st Street in Astoria.

In order to turn the mansion’s 27 rooms into museum space or a teaching and learning center for small concerts and workshops, the coalition has turned to music to help raise the $5 million needed to purchase the historic local landmark and its property.

On Saturday, September 28 the group held the first of nine performances for The Friends of Steinway Mansion Music Festival at Singlecut Beersmiths in Astoria. The evening began with supporters rallying to save the mansion and was followed by a performance from indie rocker Dru Cutler.

Photo courtesy of Gary Vollo

“This was something that our community spontaneously put together,” said Bob Singleton, coalition founder and executive director of the Greater Astoria Historical Society. “It was really nice to see people come to the brewery. It was like a festive occasion, it was almost like a party.”

The traveling festival will bring together the community at local venues with music from local bands each week of October and into November. The next concert will take place on Friday, October 4 at Raven’s Head Public House.

“Every person has their own unique taste in music but the love of music really unites us as a species,” sad Singleton. “Our community, not just Astoria and Queens but New York City and beyond, believe this place would be a great teaching facility.”

The mansion was built in the 1850s by Benjamin Pike and was later sold to the Steinway family as a summer home around 1870. The Steinway & Sons piano factory was built decades later only a few blocks away. In the 1920s, the home was sold to the Halberian family and has stayed in the family ever since. It was later selected as a New York City Landmark in 1967.

“Steinway & Sons has met with The Friends of Steinway Mansion and is fully supportive of their efforts to preserve this landmark,” said Anthony Gilroy, director of marketing and communications for Steinway & Sons. “The mansion predates even our Long Island City factory, which goes back to the early 1870s, and such a historic building deserves to be restored and made accessible to the general public – which is the goal of this newly formed group.”

Although the last performance is scheduled for November 16, the group hopes to continue raising public awareness on the mansion and gathering funds to purchase the historic property.

“Its fate really is going to be a reflection of our community. The Steinway Mansion is a place for all people of the world,” said Singleton. “The Astoria community is really the caretaker of what happens to this place.”

If you are interested in hosting a future event email steinwaymansion@gmail.com. For more information on upcoming performances visit astorialic.org.



SingleCut Beersmiths celebrate grand opening

| aaltman@queenscourier.com


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

Cuomo signs tax exemption for state breweries

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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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



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.”