Small-batch brewing has gained popularity and with the opening of Roots Brewing Company on Main Street in Oneonta, local residents can taste innovative microbrews.
Partners Jason Parrish and Russell Scimeca have been brewing beer for years. Parrish, who holds a doctoral degree in chemistry from Purdue University, worked as the head of product development at Brewery Ommegang before opening Roots Brewing Company. Scimeca was brewing homemade beer for many years before partnering with Parrish.
“We felt there was a need for a brewery in Oneonta,” Scimeca said Friday. “We brew what we think tastes good. I would say we brew in the English, American and Belgium styles, but we do not limit ourselves to tradition. Chefs have been doing fusion foods — like Asian-American fusion — for years and it works. We are blending styles and we come up with some really good beer.”
Roots Brewing Company is a brewery and a bistro. The brewing is done on premises and a menu of locally grown and processed food is paired with the beer. In addition to finding locally grown fruits and vegetables, Parrish and Scimeca purchase sausage, bratwurst and kielbasa from Larry’s Custom Meats in Otsego County. The desserts are made by local cookie company, In Good Company; offerings include a bacon chocolate cookie and a malt-infused cookie.
The brewery features local artwork on the walls and some of the equipment was made by a local artisan. Scimeca said they intend to add a community day that will open the space to community instructors who may wish to reach the population with instruction as diverse as parenting classes and weaving lessons.
“That is what we are; we believe in the community and we want people to feel part of something wonderful,” Scimeca said. “We are putting down roots in a wonderful place and we are tapping into a lot of local talent.”
The restaurant site at 175 Main St., which previously housed a natural food store and a yarn shop, was the site for meetings of a local beer enthusiasts’ club a decade ago.