Photos by Andrew Dominick
Two friends debut a brewery and taproom in Mount Vernon, where they serve everything from crisp IPAs to brown ales and sours.
It may have taken Jordan Hahn and Tom Ryan awhile, but they’ve finally brought a brewery to Mount Vernon. Located in an early-1900s space across from the Metro-North station, Alternative Medicine Brewing Co. quietly opened its taproom a week before Christmas — two years after the considerable volume of blood, sweat, and tears the duo shed getting the place ready to brew beer and serve pints.
“[The brewery] was built in 1903,” Hahn says. “It was a manufacturing company, a car dealership, and most recently a Portuguese restaurant. This was their event space. There was lots of rust, yellow paint, and four-inch-thick Spanish tile on the floor. We hauled out 10 dumpsters full of garbage.”
One remnant from the previous occupant is a stone “cave” area of sorts, which might have been a wine cellar but will become a “little VIP room,” according to Hahn. The rest is reminiscent of a classic watering hole, with high tops and sit-down tables, and plenty of bar seating in a room decked out in brick and wood.
Hahn kept making beer, and his friends kept enjoying it. Even with full-time jobs, Hahn and Ryan decided to team up to open their own brewery in Mount Vernon.
Oh, and if you’re waiting for a tall tale of how two buddies from New Jersey opened a brewery, there isn’t one. They simply wanted to.
“We’ve known each other for about 15 years; we met through Tom’s younger brother,” Hahn says. “We both moved to the city, then Tom bought a place in Yonkers. I had lots of homebrewing equipment in my apartment and asked him if I could move all my beermaking stuff into his house. He said it was cool as long as I made beer.”
Hahn kept making beer, and his friends kept enjoying it. And even with full-time jobs (Hahn is a software network engineer, while Ryan is an audio engineer for TV shows and movies), they decided to team up to open their own brewery.
Hahn’s recipes scaled up for the public to enjoy: AMBC NY State, a light, smoky cream ale; and Juice Cleanse, a hoppy, tropical, hazy New England-style IPA. Additionally, there’s a house-made, refreshing soursop hard seltzer on tap, some wine, and six carefully crafted cocktails.
Down the pipeline, Hahn mentioned he’ll have a red ale, a West Coast IPA, a rye brown ale, and simple kettle sours come springtime. Eventually, stouts will appear because it’s Hahn’s favorite style.
“Last time I brewed my imperial stout that’s about 14% ABV, everyone liked it,” he says. “I’m working on a barrel-aged version of it for our one-year anniversary. I’m gonna hit up my friend who works at Black Dirt Distillery in Warwick for bourbon barrels. The beer will have notes of dark chocolate, a hint of coffee, and some bitterness.”
Alternative Medicine Brewing Co.