The below interview was published prior to the current situation with COVID-19. Beer Noggin is currently doing curbside pickup of beer and wine.
Westchester’s craft-beer boom over the past decade-plus has translated to more breweries, beer bars, and bottle shops. Doug Cedrone and Brendan Carroll added a couple cars to that brew train with the openings of Beer Noggin, part-taprooms, part-to-go spots in Bronxville and Mount Kisco in 2015 and 2019, respectively.
“While at Muhlenberg College, I studied abroad, in Brussels,” Cedrone says. “I was proud of myself for getting there alone, went to a bar, and said, ‘I’ll have a Stella Artois, please!’ I knew nothing about real Belgian beer.” Later on, a student ambassador took a group, including Cedrone, to a bar to educate them on tripels, Trappists, and lambics. “I took one whiff and sip of that sour, and I was hooked,” he recalls. “I realized beer was interesting and doesn’t have to taste like Milwaukee’s Best.”
Post-Brussels, Cedrone dove into Belgian beers and café culture. He frequented a craft-beer bar near campus to brush up on his newfound interest. “Brendan kind of got into it, more so after college when he worked at UBS in Manhattan,” he says. “I moved to Redondo Beach, CA, worked for the FBI, became interested in West Coast beer culture, and got a part-time job at Select Beer Store.”
Cedrone wanted to move back east and make a career change. Carroll also wanted a switch. They kicked around the idea of opening a bar using Select’s taproom/bottle shop as the model. Instead of rushing in, they researched, got jobs in the beer industry to gain experience, and developed two-year business plan.
In June 2015 they opened Beer Noggin Bronxville, where they’ve established a community environment for craft-beer aficionados. “The goal was to cultivate a third space for people, a Stammtisch [“regular table,” in German], where people know you, you know them, and you feel comfortable,” Cedrone says.
Aside from a friendly atmosphere, expect 12 varied styles on tap with a local focus, plus cans and bottles for on-site consumption or for takeaway. Noshes, like chips, empanadas, and soups from Ladle of Love, are available, but you’re also free to bring a sandwich or order a pizza from a local business.
As for the Stammtisch feel, they’re working to cultivate that in their Mount Kisco location, where they’re just as excited to continue spreading a sense of community. “We try to put people onto local breweries and help others in the industry,” Cedrone says. “We see ourselves as a conduit to breweries. We’re in it for the community of beer. We’re all small businesses, so it matters that we all stick together.”