Amidst the scattered sea of boxes, equipment, and cars, in what otherwise would seem like an overflowing storage facility rather than the new headquarters for an emerging brewery, lies the mold for the Bronx Brewery’s push from local brewer to a national giant, and they are eager to get started.
Even with the previous tenant still moving out of the warehouse, just east of the Sheridan Expressway, the Bronx Brewery, which has been rapidly expanding since its founding in 2009, has already begun making plans for the site. Bringing in architectural teams to survey the site, the Bronx Brewery is set to include everything from a full production and bottling lines to a tasting room to the four 20 barrel brewhouses and fermentors that are set to arrive from Prince Edward, Ontario six months from now. The company is also planning to expand the building’s current administrative space and even find room for a dog run for the workers’ faithful on-site canines.
The 9,000 square foot facility will be a major advancement for the Bronx Brewery, which until recently had been operating out of a 2,500 square foot portion of a Pawcatuck, CT brewery. “It’s a huge step!” says Head Brewer Damien Brown. Brown, an alumni of the prestigious UC Davis Brewmaster Program, jokes about the company’s prior facility and distribution methods, “Up until last year we were brewing our beer then distributing it ourselves in a van throughout New York City.” Luckily, the company has now partnered with a regional distributor to handle the growing distribution market.
This transition couldn’t have come at a better time for the Bronx Brewery, which has just released the highly anticipated canned version of their popular flagship Bronx Pale Ale that was formulated by Brown. Prior to the release of the cans, the company offered its beer via draft only at select bars throughout the region. General Manager Chris Gallant, previously a Heineken business manager, says the can’s full scale release throughout the Tri-State area will likely be completed by the end of April.
The Bronx Brewery has also been hard at work to offer their fans a larger selection of seasonal beers to compliment its mainstay Pale Ale. Those set to be released will include a Belgian Pale Ale for Spring; Rye Pale Ale for the Fall; and a Black Pale Ale for the Winter. However, Gallant will hold off on naming the beer style set for the Summer seasonal saying “Let’s just say it’s yet to be determined.”
The Bronx Brewery will also be releasing a selection of small batch craft brews. “We’re experimenting with some really unique variations”, says Brown, which include a system in which the beer is brewed in barrels previously used in wine production. This means beer with hints of zinfandels, chardonnay, and many others.
It’s not bad for a brewery that was founded only in 2009 and at the height of a recession. “It really stands as a testament to the company as well as the borough it’s named after—they’re both resilient. It’s just what the Bronx is about,” says Gallant. And as for all the time and effort in getting the young brewery to this point, “It’s definitely been interesting,” says Brown.