HAMILTON, NY — The three-year-old Good Nature Brewing Co. is rolling out a plan to build a much larger brewery and tasting room on Route 12B south of the village where its existing brewery and tasting room are located.
Good Nature, owned by Carrie Blackmore and Matt Whalen, started up in January 2012 with a small craft brewery at 37 Milford Court, just west of the village center. In May 2013, it added a tasting room — with beer for sale to go or by the pint — at 8 Broad St. in the village center.
Now, Good Nature is buying a 5-acre parcel on Route 12B in the town of Hamilton about a mile and a half south of the village (heading toward Earlville and Norwich). That parcel, which was once a garden center and now hosts a community garden, is currently owned by Colgate University.
The new brewery will be much larger than Good Nature’s current operation. The new brewhouse is capable of producing 30 barrels in a batch — the same size as the Middle Ages Brewing Co, in Syracuse. Good Nature’s existing brewhouse makes 7 barrels, or about the same size as the pub brewhouse at Empire Brewing Co, in Armory Square.(Each barrel is 31 gallons).
In its first year, the new Good Nature brewery should produce about 5,000 barrels, Whalen said. That’s much more than the 800 barrels the company made in the past year. Eventually, the brewery could produce about 25,000 barrels a year.
“We are definitely seeing the demand out there and are excited to be able to move forward with a bigger and better brewery,” Whalen said. He said the expansion will allow the brewery o sell beer beyond Central New York — to the rest of the state and possibly New England.
Whalen said the brewery is hoping to break ground by late summer.
The total cost of the project will probably exceed $2 million, Whalen said. Good Nature has been awarded a $350,000 grant for the brewery through the state’s Regional Economic Development Council. Good Nature is also exploring other grants and financing.
When the brewery is complete, Good Nature expects to add about 16 jobs (it currently employs 10 people).
Details of the project — including the design and layout of the new brewery and tasting room — wil lbe shared with the public at a couple of community information sessions in February.
Good Nature was among the state’s first farm breweries, under a change in state law that gives incentives to brewers who use New York state ingredients.