Jeff O’Neil to open Industrial Arts Brewing Co.
When Jeff O’Neil announced he was leaving his post as brewmaster at Peekskill Brewery to go it alone, he was pretty tight-lipped about the scale of the project.
O’Neil’s new brewery, Industrial Arts, is slated to open this fall in the Garnerville Arts and Industrial Center in Rockland, and it’s a far cry from your typical craft brewery startup.
He leased three industrial spaces in the building and built an upscale brewery that only a brewer with 20 years of experience could imagine.
“We’re betting pretty big that there’s a thirst out there for what we’re going to do,” says O’Neil.
He spent a year renovating nearly 30,000 square feet in the building – which dates back to the late 1700s – transforming it into a stunning upscale brasserie with personalized touches here and there that made him laugh and pointing fingers like a child in Santa’s workshop. as he showed us around.
O’Neil played the role of engineer in the design of the brewery. On the way to fermentation, its beer will be filtered through a specialized four-tank system that is certain to exist nowhere else in the world.
The Garnerville Arts and Industry Center is a huge historic property that is also home to local sculptors, carpenters, plumbers, photographers and painters. O’Neil signed three leases on the property and renovated each to facilitate his ambitious plans for brewing and canning high-quality, high-volume lager beer.
“I think what we’re doing is really interesting, and hopefully that triggers more of this stuff on this side of the river.”
PREVIOUS: Jeff O’Neil to Launch Rockland Brewery
PEARL RIVER: Gentle Giant Brewing Co. announces its opening
YONKERS: The Waterfront Brewery Comes to Chicken Island
PODCAST: A new brewery for Rockland and the list of summer gourmets
O’Neil guided us on an exclusive tour of Industrial Arts Brewing. Here’s a transcript of our interview with him about the brewery’s design and his plans for a flagship beer.
Tell me a bit about space. I entered the main space, which is still under construction, but eventually it will house the tasting room and there’s a whole bunch of other stuff in that room.
The main space is really in this big boiler building that powers this old fireplace, and we’ve spent a lot of time and energy renovating this building in our welcome center and brewhouse.
This building is crazy old, right?
Yes, of course, this thing was built before the Civil War.
He’s an old fool! What else is there in this space? You have a lot of brewing equipment.
That will be the bulk of our hospitality happening up there. Our brewery is there, our state-of-the-art German brewery with four vats that we designed specifically for our process and intention with our products. So we’ll have capabilities in that side of the production equation that a lot of other brewers don’t.
Guide the people through it. What makes it so much bigger than I thought is this crazy pipeline that goes outside the Main Brewery and down a hallway here at Garner Arts.
That’s right. Our brewhouse and fermentation cellar are separated by about 100 meters and in order to compensate for this we have built an overhead processing pipeline to move the wort from the brewhouse to the fermentation cellar where it becomes de beer.
Wow. So I did the initial tour, and I guess you’re going to do tours for the people who come here because it’s hard to figure out.
Of course, that will be a big part of the experience here. Walk along the pipeline, cross the stream, see how intentional it all is. How we carved out a brewery in this historic space and how we pay attention to the details of the space, highlighting them and really emphasizing the uniqueness of the site.
Throughout the tour you also showed me how you used the original bricks.
We’ve been really mindful in the renovation of being really true to the spirit of the place, and I hope we’re going to be here for quite a while and see things springing up here around us.
Now what people really want to hear: beer. Previously you were at the Peekskill Brewery and before that in Ithaca, and a lot of people started following you for these super juicy lager beers. Is this more what we can expect to see?
I want everyone to understand that we will be the benchmark for freshness. If you really want to savor the aroma and flavor of hops, I think our beers will be designed to showcase that part of the beer spectrum. It’s part of what I’m proud of: access to the best ingredients and the means to know what to do with them. And like I said, we really designed the process around performing this jump character. So if you’re a lager and IPA fan, I think we’ll do something you enjoy.
I know you must have a flagship product that I haven’t (unfortunately) tasted yet. So give me a little teaser.
The flagship product, the working name is Tools of the Trade. We’ve been through several iterations of can and name designs, but I think our family of beers is going to be really pretty straightforward. This Tools of the Trade is an extra pale beer. Very pale, dry, not terribly alcoholic but expressive and complex. And complementing that will be a rotating seasonal IPA called State of the Art, and that plays into the investments we’ve made and the automation technology on the process side, which is a real point of difference with most breweries. at least starting. And that can change seasonally and on a whim. These will be the beers that we are going to try and stay on top of the wave of what people do with hops.
It’s your funny thing.
Yeah, that’s the fun thing. And it will be a little more limited and a little more rotating.
IF YOU ARE GOING TO
Industrial Arts Brewing Co., 55 W Railroad Ave., Garnerville, www.industrialartsbrewing.com. Facebook: Brasserie des Arts Industriels.