79 years! That's how long it has been since Queens, New York has had its own proper brewery. That's quite a long wait, but fear not Beer Friends Nation, we stopped by SingleCut Beersmiths in Astoria Queens to give you a sneak peak before their grand opening this Saturday.
Rich Buceta, President and Head Brewer at SingleCut, was kind enough to take a few minutes out of his busy schedule of prepping the brewery for the grand opening to chat with us about his new company. Coming from an advertising background Rich graduated from the hallowed halls of homebrewing to the Greenpoint facility to learn the ins and outs of the trade. Working his way up to finally open the Brewery that we found ourselves graciously sampling the almost complete Pilsner and Red Lagers that were in the final fermentation stages for Saturday.
The brewery itself, while still under a bit of construction, looks and feels like what we have come to expect from a brewery that is focused on producing great beer, but doesn't want to ignore the most important part of their business, the Craft Beer Drinker. coming up to the building you can't miss it with the giant words "SingleCut Beersmiths" painted on the sides. on your way into the building you're greeting at the door by Rulpsen, the robotic fermenter mascot for the brewery on the door saying "enter here".
The first thing you see coming through the door makes you feel like you're right in the middle of the process. giant shelves and bags of malts to your right, large tables for relaxing with your newly found favorite beer, the casks set up and ready for the aging process, and the bar straight and to the left. All the surfaces are pristine and well put together, a nice natural wood finish to everything
bringing out a handicraft feeling of building something.
As you make your way around to the right hand side of the building, beckoned by the sight of the shiny stainless steel of the brewing equipment you pass the walk-in refrigerator on your left, just before the space opens up to the large rear warehouse space the houses the center of the brewing operation.
We were greeted enthusiastically by Rich, rubber boots and all, grabbing a taster glass for each of us and offering a quick sample of the two brews they were working on at the moment. Chatting with him and sampling his beer we really got a feel for the direction this place is headed. Rich is driven, he loves beer and he loves making it. I though a great indicator was his push to develop a "hoppy lager" which he thinks is a severely under defined section of the Craft beer market and we are likely to agree with him, although if our tasting was any indication it wont be left alone for too long!
We are extremely excited about the prospects this brewery presents for the city. Craft beer has had a growing presence in Queens for a number of years now and has been gaining traction year over year, but we were always missing that one essential ingredient of a brewery to call our own and brag about to the other boroughs and beyond. If our visit is any indication, this is the best thing that could happen to craft beer in Queens, so saddle up, head over for a fantastic beer, grab a t-shirt or pint glass and let's get the party started!
SingleCut Beersmiths will have their grand opening this Saturday December 8th from 12pm - 6pm.
After that they will be open every Thursday and Friday from 5p-8p and every Saturday from 12p-6p.