New Astoria Beer Shop Helps Locals Tap into Homebrewing Scene

By Jeanmarie Evelly on February 5, 2014 2:44pm 

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 The shop sells homebrew equipment and ingredients.
Astoria Beer & Brew
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ASTORIA — It's a home for the homebrewers.

A new specialty store that sells beer making equipment and ingredients opened in Astoria this week and is looking to supply the neighborhood's DIY-beermakers with all the grains, yeast and hops they need to make their own suds.

Astoria Beer & Brew, at 21-76 21st St. — the first shop of its kind in the neighborhood — also plans to operate as a craft beer and wine bar as soon as its liquor license is approved, according to co-owner Rodrigo Urbieta.

He said he wanted to open a place where customers could drink a great beer, then head home and try to make the same style brew themselves.

"There's nothing more rewarding than actually going through the whole [process], and saying, 'This is my beer,'" said Urbieta, a homebrewer and bartender who opened the store with two chefs, Gary Anza and Evan Orlic.

The store sells homebrew starter kits for $85 that contain all the basic equipment needed to make a five-gallon batch of beer, plus bottles, growlers and caps for storing the suds.

It also sells the necessary ingredients: a variety of different flavored toasted grains, plus yeast, hops and malt extracts, as well as pre-packaged recipe kits from Rogue Ales.

"There are a handful of homebrew suppliers in Brooklyn, but none in Astoria," Urbieta said.

Once the bar portion of the business is approved, Urbieta said they're planning to offer 12 craft beers on tap and to have two or three featured beers each month.

They'll sell matching ingredient packs for each brew. When a rye beer is featured, for example,  a rye ingredient pack will also be offered.

Astoria Beer & Brew plans to collaborate with Brewstoria, a neighborhood club for homebrew aficionados, and will also host brewing classes and seminars geared for beginner and intermediate beer makers.

"It's a very community-oriented thing," Urbieta said.

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