After being served all over the Hudson Valley and shooting past their own Kickstarter goal by more than $5,000, the home base of Yonkers Brewing Co. has finally been completed and opened to the public on Saturday, January 17.
As their Kickstarter page puts it, “Like any other great idea, Yonkers Brewing Co. was thought of with a beer in hand.” Founders John Rubbo and Nick Califano both grew up in Yonkers, and the idea to open the first brewery in their hometown came from discussing their experiences helping their grandfathers make wine. While discussing the intricacies of fermentation, Rubbo and Califano decided to follow in their families’ footsteps, but with hops rather than grapes.
As craft beer explodes in popularity—even outselling old standards like Budweiser—Rubbo and Califano are part of a growing trend of local breweries that combine a commitment to making the best beer possible with a sense of community. After a successful shot at brewing in 2009, the pair aimed to “bridge the gap between an everyday beer and a craft beer,” as Rubbo told the Yonkers Daily Voice.
Former intellectual property attorney Sharif Abou-Taleb joined the pair as head brewer after graduating from the Siebel Institute of Brewing Technology in Chicago, America’s oldest beer school.
“I truly think we’re in line with making a beer with local ingredients that people can drink every day,” Abou-Taleb said.
The brewery is located in the Yonkers Trolley Barn, the last remaining trolley barn in Westchester. The introduction of this up-and-coming business is a bridge between the modern and historical styles that characterizes the Yonkers waterfront.
“I really do feel like our beer will help make Yonkers a better place by bringing the community together,” Califano told the Daily Voice.
Daniel Case / Wikimedia Commons
The Old Trolley Barn in downtown Yonkers is where the brewing company will call home.
Yonkers Lager, their flagship brew, is billed as an easy-to-drink, Vienna-style lager. The brewery also will offer a honey blonde with locally sourced honey, a west-coast-style IPA, a smoked marzen with toasted malt, and a Dortmunder gold for a hint of sweetness.
Yonkers Brewing Co.’s grand opening will be held from 1 pm to midnight on January 17. It’s just a stone’s throw from Metro-North, and has partnered with Uber to ensure attendees can get home safe. Buses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 25, 30, 78, and 91 on the BxM3 route run right into Getty Square—a short walk to the brewery. Parking is also available.
See how Yonkers Brewing got their start: