Simple Motive Brewing. Photos by Ryan Noel
Simple Motive Brewing Co. serves up crisp, finished beer inside a historic landmark located in the Yonkers Arts District.
Simple Motive Brewing Co. is Yonkers’ second brewery, and one with a mission to bring clean, balanced beer to Westchester residents. The brewery features a seven-barrel system, which is where the magic happens. There, the team diligently crafts the beer, which has a smooth taste, and serves pints in the lively taproom.
“The people of Yonkers were looking for something new, a thing of their own, and we’re very much trying to fill that void,” says co-founder and NYC firefighter, Andy Galagarza.
Prior to its opening on June 3, Simple Motive Brewing sat in the planning phase for six years. Longtime friends Matt Williams and Galagarza toyed with the idea of opening a brewery, until one day, Williams recalls, they formally began planting the seeds.
“We had zero clue what we were doing. It was just me going to conferences,” says Williams. In the beginning, the team scouted out locations in Atlanta, where Williams and his wife, now event manager and COO Ladys Guerrero Williams, lived at the time.
For years they met with challenges, whether it be COVID, lack of rental space, waiting for approvals, or other variables that prolonged the process. Eventually, Williams and Galagarza partnered with experienced brewer and co-founder Kevin Glessing, and things began falling into place.
Things started to look truly positive in 2019 when the trio locked down their current space at 222 Lake Avenue in the Yonkers Art District. The brewery resides in a 150-year-old historic building known as The Mills, which was in shambles after a fire gutted the 55,000-sq-ft warehouse back in 2017.
The team salvaged wood from the fire to use within their build. The wooden beams that line the taproom are made of the original wood from The Mill.
The city took this disarray as an opportunity to rebuild the former carpet manufacturing mill and reinvent it as a commercial space for artists, film and TV production, and offices. Fashion designers, photographers, painters, and brewers – an artist’s hodge-podge, if you will – occupy the studios.
“It’s fitting that we’re in here with them [artists], because this is artistry. It’s handmade, it’s a craft, it’s like culinary, as sophisticated as wine, and it’s hard to do,” says Galagarza.
Now, the sizeable brewery – with its impressive wall of foliage – is a cozy place to relax and sip on a brew with your friends.
Simple Motive currently sells eight beers: a Kölsch, two IPAs, a pale ale, porter, stout, and extra pale. “Our palettes all agreed with each other, which was pure luck,” says Galagarza. They all gravitated towards the same kind of beer, which helped them craft the initial eight. However, the crew members are still finding their sea legs and anticipate an expanded catalog in the upcoming months – with a few currently in the pilot system.
“Not to harp on the word simple, but there’s nothing to hide behind, there’s no extra ingredients, no adjuncts in it,” says Galagarza.
Glessing, the head brewer, joins the team with 15 years of brewing experience under his belt from companies like Maine Beer Company and Hidden Cove Brewing. “Kevin has a very distinct style about his beers. They’re very clean, very finished,” Galagarza enthuses.
The brewer’s sweeping expertise has earned his beers nearly perfect ratings in reviews from Beer and Brewing Magazine, Rate Beer Reviews, and Beer Advocate Reviews.
“It’s exciting to see the reactions of customers and how much they seem to enjoy our beer. We have new things in the works and plans to continue to grow and make great beer,” says Glessing.
What you taste is truly craft. “That was the only thing driving us, to create a distinctive type of beer that we like to drink, and hopefully everyone else feels the same,” says Galagarza.
Beer lovers should head to the brewery and try for themselves. After all, there’s no need to head north or south of Westchester to savor this type of experience when it’s right here in your backyard.
Plus, the brewery holds trivia nights on Wednesday, live music sessions, and even more special events. Be on the lookout for its latest creations on social media and the next time you stop by the taproom.
Simple Motive Brewing Co.
222 Lake Ave, Suite 1B, Yonkers; 914.968.1406