Bed-Stuy, Brew or Die! New Beer-Maker Arrives in Neighborhood

By Paul DeBenedetto on February 27, 2013 6:59am 

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Bedstuy Brewing Co., a new brewery from the owner of Alewife in Long Island City, is coming to a bar near you.

Patrick Donagher, who owns Alewife and founded craft beer organization Get Real NY, joined with friend Manny Calderon to launch the brewery, something Donagher said the two have wanted to do for years.

And they decided to pay homage to Calderon's birthplace, Donagher said.

"We're definitely going to build in Bed-Stuy," Donagher said. "Manny is from Bed-Stuy. He has a very close attachment to that neighborhood."

The two met 10 years ago. Donagher, who had already been making his own homebrews, wanted to eventually open his own brewery. Over a few beers at Alewife, Donagher discovered that Calderon, who worked as a distributor, was also interested in expanding into the brewing business.

"We said, 'What the hell? What's the worst that could happen?'" Donagher said.

The duo is less than two months from manufacturing their own IPA and witte beers, Donagher said, and they intend to expand to as many as 30 different styles of beer.

Although the plan is to eventually open a Bed-Stuy location, the brewers will for now contract their beer out of the Kelso brewery in Clinton Hill, on Waverly Avenue between Fulton Street and Atlantic Avenue, Donagher said.

"Obviously we really want our own brewery to do our own thing and be creative," Donagher said. "We thought the best thing to do is get our brewer, get our recipes, and once we get our recipes we'll go from there."

But the two will sell, market and distribute the beer through Donagher's Get Real brand, he said. They've already started outreach, and said they've accumulated close to 100 accounts in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Many of those accounts have come through connections the two men made through their years working in the beer business, Donagher said.

"We know the beer industry pretty well," Donagher said. "There is so much love in this industry."

Ultimately, Donagher and Calderon said they hope to make an impact in a continually growing craft beer community in the city.

"Local beer in New York is kicking off," Donagher said. "And I think we're going to be a nice addition to it."

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