Craft beer in Westchester
By Megan McCaffrey, LOHUD
In the spring, we previewed four new craft breweries about to open in Westchester and Rockland: #Freedom, Broken Bow, Kuka Andean Brewing and Yonkers Brewing. Fast-forward a few busy months? All four are now brewing, bottling and distributing.
You can sample these newest craft brews at the brewery tasting rooms, at local restaurants and at several coming fall festivals like the Best and Wurst Craft Beer Festival on Saturday in Yorktown Heights.
Yonkers Brewing, which had been making its beer in Connecticut, has found a home, downtown near the Yonkers train stop and X20 Xaviars on the Hudson. For a brewery without a permanent home, it was able to establish a substantial presence in the area.
So while their new, long-awaited space is not yet open to the public, owners John Rubbo and Nick Califano are eager to move in. Community Capital NY provided a $50,000 loan to John and Nick to make their goals possible.
And #Freedom in Buchanan is also brewing and bottling. It doesn’t yet have a public tasting room, but owners Barry Hansen and Harris Decker came up with a fun way for people to get involved.
“We bring in pizza, wings, soda and our beer, and people help us for about two hours bottling, putting taps and labels on,” says Decker, also #Freedom’s director of marketing. “They just want to get involved in craft beer.” The weekly bottling session happens at 6:30 every Wednesday. Join the online mailing list to sign up.
Yonkers Brewing Co., Yonkers
After months of contract brewing in Connecticut, Yonkers natives Nick Califano and John Rubbo finally found a home in their downtown namesake. Their new brewery and tasting room is at 92 Main St., walking distance from the Yonkers train stop. Want to help get the ball moving? They’re about to launch a Kickstarter to raise funds for their new brewery. Contributions will go to everything from chairs to drought systems. Visit their website for more information.
Where to get it: More than 40 bars, restaurants and markets across Westchester, Rockland and New York City. Yonkers created specialty house beers for Pinch and Dan Rooney’s at Empire City. Check them out at The Tapp in Tarrytown, Butterfield8 in White Plains, Bourbon Street of Nyack, as well as the Mickey and Molly Spillane’s restaurants. The website has a complete list.
The beers: Yonkers Lager, a smooth, golden beer that’s refreshing and not too hoppy or bitter; IPA, West Coast style, meaning there’s a stronger hops presence; Honey Blonde, malty with a touch of Hudson Valley honey is warm and stands up throughout the seasons; Vanilla Stout, available both on Nitro and regular draft, and brewed with traditional English malts; Summer Wit, a Belgian style wheat beer made with pear juice; Belgo, a hoppy pale ale brewed with fruity Belgian yeast; Irish Style Red Ale, a full-bodied, sweet and malty brew.