An amateur brewer for more than four decades, Mike Weisel included his son, Seth, in the process early on when he assisted with small tasks.
Seth’s early career in teaching was short-lived as he soon decided to pursue the passion he’d grown up with. He went back to school, this time to complete the master brewing program.
Today, father and son serve up about a dozen in-house creations at a time, including everything from IPAs to fairly obscure German and Belgian styles. St. Stusan, a unique Belgian-style pale ale, recently took home a silver at the World Beer Cup competition. On the restaurant side, Galaxy uses beer in many of its recipes, even serving pork products raised by farmers who use brewery’s spent grain as feed.
Mike: My grandfather owned a small brewery in the Lehigh Valley until Prohibition came along. My in-laws, my wife’s family, was in the beer distribution business for 3 generations. I was a home brewer for 40 years and Seth started out brewing by helping me.
Seth: My father has been a home brewer pretty much my whole life. I grew up around a home brewer and would help him grind grains when I was young. To be honest with you, I didn’t really take an interest in it until right around probably just before I turned 21. I went to my dad and said, “Hey, can you really show me what it is I’m doing and why?” He showed me the ropes of home brewing and I loved it.
Our tastes are a little bit different. I’m the IPA guy. The IPAs that come out of here are pretty much mine. My father likes the English bitters, the 42 and Belgian beers. Any given time, we have 12 to 13. We’ve got a 12-tap system and then I generally try and do a cast-conditioned ale as well.
Mike: The industry is growing very fast, very fast. Most of the growth is occurring in the very, very small end, what we do, 10-barrel system, a small micro brewery and a restaurant. That’s where the majority of the growth is occurring not only in Upstate New York, but across the nation as well.
Seth: There’s a lot of great brewing going on in New York State and a lot of great breweries and just really proud to be part of that community.