From the high-capacity BrewHub to the high-tech experimental Labrewatory, brewery incubators across the country are helping new breweries share best practices and take advantage of communal buying power.
New York State’s introduction of the Farm Brewery License in 2013, paired with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration’s pro-brewery stance, have encouraged small and nano-scale farm breweries to open in the Hudson Valley.
The distance between Peekskill’s old and new homes is only two-tenths of a mile, but their differences are dramatic. The latter features a 15-barrel brewhouse and a 16-draft taproom on the first floor, with a 65-seat restaurant and another 16 drafts pouring on the second floor.
Locally brewed beer returned to Syracuse in 1991 with the Syracuse Suds Factory. The arrival of Empire Brewing and Middle Ages Brewing helped to revitalize the industry and put Syracuse back on the map.
The recent boom in new breweries has come with a secondary phenomenon: the growth in smaller scale commercial brewing equipment. Today, it seems, almost no one runs a commercial brewery without a pilot system.
If craft production is going to double in the next few years—per the Brewers Association’s goal of a 20 percent sales share by 2020—farmers will need to plant and harvest about another 18,000 acres of hops just to meet demand from craft brewers.
As smaller, independent breweries have steadily chipped away at the market share held by larger national or multinational competition, they’ve also found ways to move into spaces formerly controlled by Big Beer—like Major League stadiums.
Scott Vaccaro learned to brew like a pro at the biggest institutions in California brewing, but the Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, which he founded nearly eight years ago, is strongly rooted in his Westchester County, N.Y., hometown.