Matt Levy, 24

Head Brewer, Peekskill Brewery

 

In March, Matt Levy took over as head brewer of Peekskill Brewery at the ripe old age of 24. But if his short history is any indication, he’ll more than fill the large shoes of former brewmaster Jeff O’Neil. The first batch of beer Levy brewed as assistant brewer (a title he held since August) at Peekskill—NYPA, an American Pale Ale—won a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival, one of the most prestigious beer festivals in the country. While working at Captain Lawrence Brewing Company in Elmsford, Levy brewed a pilot batch, called Matt the RIPA, which was soon turned into a 1,300-gallon production batch that was distributed throughout the tri-state area. Levy has come a long way from home-brewing in his parents’ garage and begging Scott Vaccaro, owner of Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, for a summer internship. “My job allows me to make a multitude of different styles to keep our 16 tap lines diverse and interesting,” says Levy. “It’s a home brewer’s dream.”

Wunderfacts:

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• Levy left his hometown of Briarcliff Manor to attend undergraduate at the University of Michigan.

• He started homebrewing with a good childhood friend in his parents’ garage one summer because, he says, “Captain Lawrence Brewing Company. When I found out what Scott was doing, there was a light bulb moment where I realized that this is actually something I could do. It ‘localized’ the whole beer idea so it didn’t seem so distant and macro.” But then “a small hobby soon transformed into a passion project. I went back to Michigan for my junior year in college and volunteered at Arbor Brewing Company.”

• Levy’s eight-hour process of brewing includes him “mashing the grains, extracting the sugars, transferring this sugary liquid (“wort”) to the boil kettle where I boil and add a whole lot of hops—then cool it down and pitch yeast.”

 

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