Drive down Washington Avenue in Endicott, N.Y., and you will pass various shops, restaurants, banks, a movie theater and more. It seems like a neighborhood that is in the midst of a revitalization project. Across from a florist whose façade stepped out of the 1970s (or perhaps even earlier!) is The North Brewery. What started as a home-brew shop in July of 2012 has blossomed into a full scale brewery with its grand opening this past February. The brewery is run by Zach, his father Eric, and their brew partner Joe. Eric had been home-brewing for 25 years before he and Zach decided to move into the public eye.
Talking to Zach is a real pleasure. He is passionate about his work and proud of the beer he makes, as well he should. Currently they run off a 1.5 barrel system and have about 50 recipes to work with. Zach plans on having over 100 recipes by the end of the year! The brewery is looking to upgrade to a three barrel system in the near future which will certainly be a necessity for the diversity they are looking to create. All the beer is distributed locally for now, with some making its way over to Binghamton. Zach’s favorite styles to work with are stouts which, unfortunately, were not available to taste when I was there. The most popular is Cerberus, a chocolate oatmeal milk stout. Of course, I will have to make a return trip in the fall to try this and more!
Zach is always looking for ways to use local ingredients. The North Brewery will be making a single malt beer with malt from a nearby malt farm. They also utilize New York rye and hops from nearby hop farms. The brewery will even be using New York apples for another beer in the works.
As head brewer, Zach is strongly influenced by Dogfish Head, Southern Tier, Mikkeller and many more. This eclectic mix of breweries leaves its mark in the wide range of concoctions that they produce here. Zach is not afraid to try new things and has a lot of fun making creative beers. In fact, he was even inspired by Genesee Cream Ale!
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