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Two Cheers for the New Beers

We tasted the first batch of our new lager recipe at Two Roads Brewery on Saturday. Back when I started at Yonkers, after tasting our lager that had undergone many iterations, I knew I wanted to focus on a more authentic Veinna style lager.

Vienna lagers are deeply malty without delving into the flavors of highly roasted malt. The balance of the beer is towards the sweet and features subtle hints of toasty, nutty, and chewy malt flavors. The trick with a beer like this is building a full spectrum malt experience without being overwhelming.

We ran a number of trials at the pub, tweaking the recipe and process each time, until we found one that was a true representation of both the style and Yonkers Brewing Company. The final product brings a beautiful rounded maltiness, restrained bitterness, and just a touch of hop flavor and aroma.

We have been sampling this beer at beer bars throughout Westchester County, as well as in our own pub, and the response has been great. We felt ready to take the next step and brew for distribution.

We have been working with Two Roads in Stafford, CT. They’ve been a terrific partner. Scaling up from 3 barrels to 300 barrels (9300 gallons) is a tricky process, even for a brewing veteran like myself. Based on the profile we were looking for, I worked with their brewhouse team, cellar time, and quality team to insure each phase of the process was what we were looking aiming for.

Finally, the beer was ready to package and we were able to taste the product. The moment of truth: will this 300 barrels of beer meet our approval and be canned? We were to taste two samples, our new IPA and the lager. When we walked to the tank and their brewer on duty pulled the sample, it was completely the wrong color for an IPA! This caused an immediate panic. Their brewer left to check what was going on as myself and Nick tasted the sample. By the time their brewer returned, we already knew, this was our lager… and delicious.

We also sampled the IPA as it was coming off the centrifuge. It, too, was wonderful. Nick describes it as very flavorable and easy to drink. The citra, simco, and centennial really shown through at 6.4% ABV it’s really drinkable. The lager is 5.3% ABV.

The beers were canned over the weekend and sent to our distributors on Monday. Looks for these two in our new cans in stores soon!

Cheers.

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By in Yonkers Beer 0

Take-away’s from the CBC

Take-away’s from the CBC
 
20 years ago when I started attending trade conferences, there were four hops distributors: Haas, Yakima Chief, Hop Union, and Steiner. There were fewer of us craft brewers and most of us back then said we just wanted to brew something that wasn’t pale yellow fizzy stuff.
 
I had the honor of celebrating the retirement of John Gorman at the Craft Brewer Conference. As person after person came up to talk about how John had impacted them over the years, I looked around at the legends in the room- Steve Dressler (Sierra Nevada), Kim Jordan (New Belgium), Garrett Oliver (Brooklyn Brewing), and Charlie Papaazian, who wrote one of the first books on home brewing that no doubt influenced a lot of home brewers to become professional brewers.
 
I spoke to the crew from Alaskan Brewing that has been around for 33 years and the next night met the owners of Winchester Brew Works who are about to celebrate their one year anniversary. I raised a toast with Dave Katleski of Emprire Brewing (one of my former employers) and Ian Harbage and Sam Clemmens who stepped into my former role at Long Trail Brewing.
 
I am reminded of the passion, curiosity, tenacity and sometimes dumb luck that we all share in this industry. While it is great to catch up with old friends, former colleagues and classmates, I was really there to learn about what is new and exciting in the industry.
 
Small scale canning is all the rage. There are a number of smaller hop suppliers and a diversity of hop varieties. Malting had a bigger footprint with equipment tailoring to small scale malting. More brewing software is available to make our jobs more effective and efficient. I was impressed with the interesting new styles of pumps. Sustainability is at the forefront of the industry.
 
I was excited to see a packed room for the New York Brewer’s Association meeting. This a strong group of brewer’s committed to making New York craft beer more accessible. Expect to see some fun events. Be sure to download the app and start completing your passport!
 
I would be remiss to not talk about the beer. Brewer’s brewing for other brewers, collaborating, and putting out unique brews makes for some interesting and fun drinking. So I hope you’ll pardon the abrupt ending here, but I think I need some aspirin and a big glass of water before I take a nap!

By in Yonkers Beer 0

My Cans Are Better Than Your Bottles

 
Ever try to do a 3 hour hike with a backpack full of bottles? Well we have and we don’t like it. We aren’t saying that this is the only reason we are stoked to introduce our new and improved brews in cans but it is definitely one of the (top) reasons.
 
Our 914 Vienna Lager features a fresh, full bodied malt profile, with a toasted and very lightly roasted grain flavors and a subdued hop profile. At 5.3% ABV it is a nice counter to all the heavily hopped beers around these days. Not only that, this is the beer you want to sip on when chewing on a burger hot off the BBQ.
 
Hop Runner is our interpretation of the classic American IPA. Coming in at 6.4% ABV this beer is in YO face with citrusy, dank hoppy flavors. It’s bright and dry profile makes it a solid companion for buffalo wings.
 
Instead of us giving our reasons why cans are better, why not hear it from the Chief Economist of the Brewers Association, Bart Watson.
 

CRAFT BREWERS AND CANS

October 19, 2015
 
Given some recent changes in the canning market, I thought it would be helpful to outline the key facts/figures related to craft brewers and cans. For years, craft brewers relied heavily on two package formats, bottles and draught. However, over the past few years, cans have been increasingly integrated into the craft packaging mix. Why have cans increased in adoption, how large can the market for craft cans get, and what are future growth opportunities and challenges?
 
Why cans?
Many of the reasons that craft brewers are switching to cans are now well known.
 
New occasions: from the beach, to hiking, to golf courses, cans often are able to go places bottles can’t. As craft lovers demand beers from their favorite brewers in these occasions, brewers would be foolish not to take the opportunity to expand the places they are offered and the places beer lovers can take their beers.
Sustainability: cans are lighter than bottles, reduce CO2 emissions in shipping and are incredibly recyclable (did you know a recycled can could be back on the shelf in 60 days?).
Freshness: cans block light and are an effective barrier to oxygen, meaning the only thing limiting the freshness of the beer in the can is the time it takes to get from the brewer to a beer lovers mouth/glass.
Innovations: while many brewers previously eschewed cans due to limitations in the technology, new innovations have craft brewers taking a second look. These include new package designs from new lips that accentuate aromatics to removable lids that turn the can into a glass, to new format sizes, and even re-sealable cans.
Changing consumer perceptions/preferences: the root cause of most changes in the marketplace is consumer demand, and cans are no different. Some of these changes have been driving by proactive education from brewers as well as high-profile can-only breweries.
Business innovations: from new companies providing smaller scale canning lines aimed at craft brewers to mobile canners that reduce the capital required to enter canning, numerous supplier industries and business innovations have made it easier for craft brewers to enter the can market.
 
Market size/growth
All of the reasons listed above have combined to drive a sharp increase in the percentage of the craft market occupied by cans. During the previous iteration of Brewers Association benchmarking in 2011, it was estimated that ~2% of craft volume went through cans. Based on the 2014 BOBS data, cans have increased to 10% of total craft volume. Given the overall increase in craft volume over this period, this means that:
 
Craft can volume has increased by nearly 2 million barrels (or ~1% share of the total U.S. beer market)
Cans have contributed a bit less than 20% of the craft category’s total growth from 2011-2014
That 20% of overall growth coming both from new breweries that have packaged almost exclusively in cans as well as brand extensions from companies that previously only used bottles. Although the BA benchmarking survey only found 10% of total volume in cans, the high number of large micros and smaller regionals with greater packaged volume in cans than bottles suggests that this percentage will continue to rise in future years.
 
The vast majority of this volume still takes the form of 6 packs of 12 oz. cans, but there is also increasing diversity in can formats. The chart below shows craft share and growth rates in 2014 based on supermarket data from the IRI Group. Although cans are still a low percentage of overall growth dollar sales, their tremendous growth rates suggest that gap may close rapidly.
 
Future opportunities
There are numerous reasons why I expect the shift toward cans to continue in the medium term. The overlying theme is that the beer business is predominately a can business, and many of the larger trends in craft demonstrate that the craft industry is slowly drifting toward overall industry averages (at the same time it pulls some of those averages closer to craft). 55% of total beer volume going through cans, so as craft occupies a larger share of overall beer and brings more beer lovers into the craft category, it is only natural that some of that growth will come from adopting practices in the larger industry.
 
Beneath this overarching theme there are a variety of places I expect craft volume to increase, and with it the share of craft in cans. These include:
 
The convenience channel: craft has slowly established a foothold in the largest volume channel for beer, and is now seeing rapid growth. As craft diversifies its pool of consumers, I expect its share in convenience to continue to rise. Moving into convenience will also require craft to continue to use new formats, as single-serve larger format cans are a strong player in convenience.
Craft as a sessionable/volume business: many of the fastest growing craft styles mirror the sessionability of the broader beer market. I’ve already highlighted many of these styles (session IPA, pilsner, gose, etc.), but with sessionability comes the opportunity for higher volume sales/formats, many of which will likely be in cans.
Given that these are new opportunities, it is highly likely that much of the growth in craft cans will be incremental, rather than cannibalizing existing bottle cans. Where brewers are able to offer brands in both packages, there may be some trade-offs, but I expect the growth of craft cans to be a net positive for category growth, rather than simply a shift in package share.
 
Challenges
One of the largest major remaining challenges is consumer perceptions. Although perceptions of canned beer have improved among craft lovers, and this was listed above as a reason for can growth, many craft purchasers still view the can skeptically. Based on recent data from Nielsen commissioned by the Brewers Association, the can has a ways to go with many beer lovers to match the bottle as a format synonymous with quality and freshness.
 
“Which reasons would you consider when buying craft beer in a can or bottle packaging?”
 
The fact that 40% of craft drinkers answered ‘cans’ or ‘either’ for each question represents progress, but this data shows a pretty clear tilt toward bottles on both questions. Some of this may be weighted by the fact that many craft brands are still available only in bottles (bottles account for 60% of craft volume versus can’s 10% share). Even so, given these findings, it is pretty clear it will take some time before cans are viewed equally with bottles on quality/freshness for many drinkers. The perception challenge is perhaps one of craft’s own making. By being slow to enter the can format, craft brewers were signaling to craft consumers that fuller-flavored beer tended to come in bottles, versus American lagers and light lagers, which were predominantly in cans. Echoes of this fact are certainly a major driver of current perceptions.
 
A second set of challenges are market access issues. I see at least two major areas here. The first is simply access to cans and the ability to can for many small brewers. In comparison to other materials, craft is still a very small purchaser of cans even within beer (~2% of the total canned beer market, compared to closer to ~20% of the bottled beer market and ~35% of the hop market). When placed in the context of the overall beverage market (including soft drinks, etc.), craft brewers influence shrinks even further. Unlike a raw material like hops, beer producers also compete for access to cans with other beverage producers.
 
In 2013, the Can Manufacturers Institute reported the shipment of 75.851 billion 12 oz. cans. That’s the equivalent of 229 million barrels, or a greater volume than the entire beer industry (which is roughly 55% cans by volume). Total shipments were almost 94 billion cans. In that context, craft brewers use well below 1% of the total volume of can production in the U.S. Consequently, demand shocks to the manufacturing system may leave craft brewers more vulnerable than other larger consumers of cans. This challenge has become particularly apparent in the 16 oz. format (about 12% of total craft can volume according to IRI). Although the package has provided strong differentiation and growth opportunities for many brewers in recent years, its small scale within the overall can manufacturing industry and the increased demand from other beverage products such as energy drinks may limit the ability of smaller brewers to enter into or grow within the 16 oz. can format.
 
None of the above even touches on the difficulty of entering canning for many smaller brewers. Unlike bottling, which can be done by hand and at lower volume, canning requires a level of scale and capital intensity that is above the production levels for many smaller brewers. Although innovations like mobile canning are reducing the barriers to entry, canning will continue to be out of reach for many of the smallest brewers simply due to the costs involved.
 
The second area is access to shelf space. Off-premise retailers are increasingly recognizing the value and dynamism craft brings to the beer aisle. That said, for many smaller brands, it’s going to be a challenge to convince retailers to carry an additional SKU of a craft brand that they already carry in bottles. Although this problem will begin to decline as craft continues its increases in volume and velocity, it may mean that many craft brewers will have to decide “can or bottle” as they move into scale retailers in the short and medium term.
 
To end on a positive note, the data above clearly show that many brewers are happily and successfully choosing “can” as the answer to that equation, and that increased consumer demand, market channels and brewer innovation will continue to provide incremental growth through cans to the craft category.

 

By in Yonkers Beer 0

Holy Water or Holy Beer?

NEW YORK BREWERY MAKES BEER IN HONOR OF CARDINAL DOLAN


Yonkers Brewing Co. Creates a Cream Ale for the Grand Marshal of Yonkers St. Patrick’s Day Parade

YONKERS, NY (March 15, 2017) – In honor of His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, Yonkers Brewing Co. crafted a unique American Cream Ale. This 4.6% ABV brew was created specifically to suit the Cardinal’s palette.
 
“When we reached out to the Cardinal’s team to present the idea they were very enthusiastic,” said John Rubbo, BrewEO, Yonkers Brewing Co. “They explained the styles of beer he enjoys and, with our new Brewmaster Dave Hartmann, we created the perfect twist on it!”
 
Named Cardinal Dolan’s Ale, this American Cream Ale features a crisp and refreshing flavor with almost an evanescent quality to it. A light, malty note at the fore leads to a slight kiss of hops, with a nice dry finish leaving you ready for more.
 
“We’re thrilled that Yonkers Brewing Co. decided to honor Cardinal Dolan with a timely beer,” said Joseph Zwilling, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese. “Their excitement for the special beer is inspiring, and I look forward tasting it this Saturday.”
 
The 62nd Annual Yonkers St. Patrick’s Day Parade on McLean Avenue will be taking place this Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 1 p.m. Cardinal Dolan’s Ale will be available at many of the local establishments celebrating after the parade, including Rory Dolan’s Bar and Restaurant.
 
“Our team is grateful to have the opportunity to create a beer for a respected and influential leader like the Cardinal,” said Rubbo. “He is an icon of New York and being the Grand Marshal for this year’s Yonkers St. Patrick’s Day parade makes it that much more special to us.”
 
YBC-Creme-Ale

By in Yonkers Beer 0

Larkin Plaza development breaks ground in Yonkers

There is so much happening in Yonkers! Thanks to our friend Ernie Garcia at LoHud for this great article!

Larkin Plaza development breaks ground in Yonkers

Ernie Garcia , elgarcia@lohud.com 3:09 p.m. EST December 14, 2016

RXR Realty and Rising Development are beginning construction of the $190 million mixed-use development project with 439 apartments, 35,000 square feet for retail and parking for 539 vehicles

RXR Development Yonkers
Rendering of the new RXR Realty and Rising Development, $190 million mixed use development, called Larkin Plaza in Yonkers, Dec. 14, 2016.
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Developers broke ground Wednesday on a two-tower downtown Yonkers complex near the city’s exposed Saw Mill River.

RXR Realty and Rising Development are beginning construction of the $190 million Larkin Plaza mixed-use development project with 439 apartments, 35,000 square feet for retail and parking for 539 vehicles.

The two towers – one 25 stories and the other 17 stories – will sit at 38 Nepperhan St. across from Van der Donck Park, the exposed Saw Mill River project that city officials had hoped would spark a development renaissance.

“The rebirth of Yonkers that my grandfather always believed would occur is today well underway,” said RXR’s executive vice president Seth Pinsky, whose family ties to Yonkers go back to his immigrant great-grandparents.

AVALONBAY: 609 apartments proposed for Alexander Street

iPARK: 197 apartments proposed for Wells Avenue

Pinsky said that past investments like the uncovering of the Saw Mill River, the renovation of the Yonkers Pier and construction of apartment buildings at the waterfront created the opportunity for RXR to begin building its project.

“It not only benefits from the momentum created by those who came before, but I think it will create new momentum that will propel even more growth and even more opportunities for those who come next,” Pinsky said.

Mayor Mike Spano told the crowd that gathered for the groundbreaking that developers are coming to downtown Yonkers with new projects because they appreciate downtown’s proximity to New York City by rail.

“What’s great about Larkin Plaza is that it’s precisely the type of development we need here in Yonkers to meet the growing demand of people who want to live here: a diverse, urban environment while enjoying the beautiful Hudson River waterfront,” said Spano.

636173216189876451-mv121416rxr08

RXR’s towers are considered transit-oriented development because the site is one block from the Yonkers Station, which has service to Penn Station via Amtrak and Grand Central via Metro-North.

Demolition and site work have been underway for several months. Construction will begin now, with completion expected in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Spano noted that RXR’s investment has already created new opportunities for downtown in the form of new development proposals, including AvalonBay Communities’ proposal to build 609 apartments a few blocks away on Alexander Street and iPark Hudson’s proposal to build 197 apartments at 29, 43 and 57 Wells Ave.

Twitter: @ErnieJourno

By in Yonkers Beer 0

Ask for tasters! It is ok.

A great piece from Jess Baker on CraftBeer.com on why you should taste different brews before you commit to a pint. We here at Yonkers Brewing Co. encourage this. Taste, pick, order, enjoy!

tasters_liimit

“Is There a Limit to Tasters?” and 9 Other Pieces of Taproom Etiquette
November 14, 2016

When you write about beer for a living, you better be prepared to answer a lot of questions about beer: on airplanes when you’re reading beer books; at family gatherings; via text, when friends send you a mammoth beer menu from whatever restaurant they’re at and ask, “What beer should I try?” (#help)

Recently, a really good question came to me from one of my oldest friends at Brew Bus Terminal & Brewery in Tampa. My friend isn’t new to craft beer — the industry is thriving in Tampa, and she happily hits up new breweries with her hubby and friends. (She even introduced me to Angry Chair.) But she still worries there are taproom rules only beer geeks know.

As she sampled her way through a couple tiny Dixie cup tasters, she turned to me and asked, “Is there a number of how many samples is acceptable before I should have a decision?”

I’d never really thought too much about it. I’ve fallen into a comfort zone, for better or worse, and generally I try to keep it low ABV (God bless the return of berliner weisse and gose). But I also vividly remember the first time I took my parents to Atlanta’s Brick Store Pub. Dad asked the server, “What’s the closest thing you have to a Yuengling?” (My personal victory is that time he really, really liked Farmer Ted’s Cream Ale from Asheville’s Catawba Brewing). My step-mom, putting on her best adventurous face, ordered six tastes of craft beer, then went with wine instead. I remember sitting at Brick Store that day wondering, “How many tastes are too many?” making my Tampa friend’s question totally valid.

So is there a rule about how many tasters you should order? Is there other taproom etiquette breweries want us to know?

I encourage people to try a few beers, two to four, before getting a full glass. I would not be offended if they tried all of our beers.

Adam Harrington has worked on different sides of Mother Road Brewing in Flagstaff, Arizona, both on the production side and in the taproom. He recently switched to front-of-the-house and says, “I encourage people to try a few beers, two to four, before getting a full glass. I would not be offended if they tried all of our beers.”

Jon Mansfield of War Horse Brewing in Seneca Lake, New York, agrees. “My advice is always, ‘Give it a try!’ That is what we are here to do — pour and talk about our beers. More than just what the beer is, we try to explain why we make that specific beer.”

After talking to Adam and Jon, I’d say my Tampa friend is absolutely safe to keep asking for those Dixie cup tasters until she finds the beer that excites her (even if it’s her fallback, You’re My Boy, Blue. It is a GABF silver medal winner, after all.)

In terms of etiquette, what else do breweries want us to know? Chris Labbe at Periodic Brewing in Leadville, Colorado, offers nine great things to consider when you’re in a taproom or brewpub:

  • Be patient and provide feedback if the beers are not perfect in a place that is new.
  • Understand that sometimes we are doing things differently for a reason.
  • Beer is not supposed to be served cold (not even an American Lager) or in an iced glass.
  • Think about the difference between “I don’t like” and “It’s not good.”
  • Brewers love to talk about our beer. Ask questions and be prepared to listen.
  • “Have” is a 4-letter word … as in “you have to have pool tables to be a good bar.”
  • There is no such thing as “watered down” beer. Find another adjective to help us understand the flaw you are experiencing.
  • Always drink IPAs last.
  • Understand that we sell high ABV beer in smaller portions because:
    a) They are more expensive to make
    b) We want everyone to get home safely
  • By in Yonkers Beer 0

    Take a tour and don’t be shy with the questions!

    We offer tours every Saturday and Sunday on the hour from noon – 4pm. We also give tours for private events and on the occasional weekday. We have a ton of great questions and I am sure there are some that are not asked. Our advice to you is, “Don’t be shy and ask away!” We want you to walk away feeling empowered. Join us for a tour and brunch one weekend!

    Check out this article from Jess Baker on CraftBeer.com about tours and asking questions.

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    5 Questions Brewers Wish You Would Ask During a Brewery Tour

    Brewery Tour
    November 12, 2016
    Have you ever reached the end of a brewery tour, and there’s that uncomfortable moment when the tour guide asks if anyone has questions — and all you hear are crickets?

    America’s small and independent breweries have stories, personalities and their own set of challenges that you may not hear about in the taproom. A brewery tour is your chance to get to know them intimately — and you want to be asking the right questions.

    “I’d love for our guests to ask more about the breadth of ingredients that breweries are using, and not using, to make the beers they drink,” says Merlin Ward, head brewer at Wartega Brewing, a nano brewery in Brooklyn, New York. “Imagine if you could ask your chef why they chose the ingredients they use to make your favorite dish? During a brewery tour, you get that opportunity.”

    Jeff Stuffings, founder and owner of Jester King Brewery in Austin, Texas, wishes more tour goers would ask, “Are there laws that make it more difficult to operate your business successfully? What can we do to help change them?”

    Alicia Grasso, marketing director at Cape May Brewing Co. in New Jersey, says this is one rarely-asked question that her colleagues would love to field: “Why does Cape May have so many rules: no kitchen, no live entertainment, required tour?”

    I’d love for our guests to ask more about the breadth of ingredients that breweries are using, and not using, to make the beers they drink.
    Here are five more questions brewers wish you would ask during a tour.

    5. “How is your beer connected to the local area?”
    Careful thought often goes into weaving local ingredients and history into beer recipes and beer names. You may never know that the 1903 Berliner Weisse at St. Petersburg’s Green Bench Brewing Co. is named for the year the city was founded if you didn’t ask.

    4. “What’s unique about your beer? Why is it relevant?”
    Each and every small and independent brewery in the U.S. is trying to find a way to stand out, and when you ask what’s different at a particularly brewery, you’re going to learn some very specific techniques your favorites breweries are using.

    3. “Which beer was your first craft beer?”
    This is a question a lot of beer lovers ask their friends, and brewers say they want to tell you about the craft beers that made them fall in love with brewing, too. Everyone wants to share their story about what hooked them, even the people who are making the beer.

    2. “Is working at a brewery different than what you thought it would be?”
    Working to build America’s small and independent breweries is a dream job for a lot of us, but is it everything you’d think? Chances are the love of the job still trumps the long hours and (sometimes) hot, sticky work conditions inside a brewery. But ask! You’ll probably get answers you’d never expect.

    1. “What efforts do you make to be environmentally friendly?”
    Georgia’s SweetWater Brewing Co. is donating $100,000 to its “Save Our Water” campaign this summer. New Belgium Brewing is deeply committed to its sustainability goals. Jester King is now farming 58 acres of land around the brewery. Small and independent breweries are well aware of the resources used to make good beer, and they’d love to tell any tour group how they’re working towards being good stewards of the land and our planet.

    By in Yonkers Beer 0

    Go for a run or have a beer!

    The qualifier for the NYC marathon, Yonkers is the second oldest marathon in the country behind the Boston Marathon – but supposedly the hardest and hilliest marathon in the books!
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    With mud run, new promotion, there’s optimism in Yonkers
    Nancy Haggerty , nhaggerty@lohud.com 6:37 p.m. EDT October 13, 2016

    Looking to maintain participation numbers this year and forecasting double- and triple-number increases soon, the new head of the Yonkers Marathon and its expanded races is promoting this year’s runs by providing a DJ, getting downtown restaurant participation with food and beverage discounts and offering registration discounts.

    Unlike previous years, Yonkers will run races over two days, rather than one.They will include a costumed superheroes 5K and 2K and a 5K mud run (over obstacles and through mud) on Oct. 22 and the traditional half-marathon and marathon Oct. 23.

    Race director Tom Cronin, head of Albany-based Success Public Relations, which won the bid to oversee the races for three years, has put on mud runs for the past couple of years.

    The mud run, which is a new event, as well as a revamped 5K superheroes and new 2K superheroes family walk/run, all based out of Trevor Park, are expected to add more fun to what have largely been events for only hardcore runners.

    Cronin sees the races as a promotion for a city on the cusp of becoming the next Brooklyn.

    “It can be the next up-and-coming area for millennials and the coming generation who can’t afford Manhattan,” he said, pointing to new and planned Hudson Riverfront apartments.

    This will be the Yonkers Marathon’s 91st running, making it the second-oldest marathon in the U.S. behind the Boston Marathon.

    The marathon will be a qualifier for Boston, which reserves most of its 30,000 annual spots for racers who’ve run qualifying times at other marathons. Boston turns away many runners each year.

    That hasn’t been a problem in Yonkers, in part, Cronin thinks, because the race hasn’t been promoted properly.

    The Yonkers Marathon has been known for its hills, a turnoff for many. But Cronin is calling the race “The Toughest Marathon in the East” to promote it as a challenge. And the additional races are designed for those looking more for an entertaining race.

    “It has had really serious trouble branding-wise,” he said. “It needed some oomph. The numbers have been stagnant or dropping. My bid was to make it a Yonkers weekend.”

    Last year, 221 people finished the marathon, 557 the half and 104 the 5K, which was in its first year.

    How many people will run this year is unknown.

    Cronin didn’t sign his contract with Yonkers until late June, after his company was awarded the bid following Yonkers’ decision earlier in the year to end its contract with New York City Runs.

    With race details not available early in the year, Cronin said, some runners registered for other races.

    And there are plenty of conflicts around the weekend.

    Many Taconic Road Runners members ran the Oct. 9 Hudson Mohawk Marathon and many others plan to run the Nov. 6 New York City Marathon, meaning they won’t be running Yonkers.

    Oct. 22 is also the date of the Rivertown Runners’ seventh annual Sleepy Hollow Halloween 10K, which is expected to draw more than 1,000 participants, according to Rivertown Runners president and co-founder Todd Ruppel.

    But Gregory Cohen, president of the Taconic Road Runners, termed Yonkers’ mud run an “exciting marketing opportunity,” expressing optimism it will draw many people.

    Cronin, who is also public relations director of the Empire Sports Council, said his goal is to at least match last year’s runner numbers.

    John Rubbo, executive officer of the Yonkers Brewing Company, the brewery and restaurant located on Main Street near the waterfront’s Van der Donck Park, where after-race parties will be held, is optimistic about race revisions attracting people.

    “I think the additional new runs are a great idea,” said Rubbo, who said last year’s races “did a tremendous amount for business down here.”

    “I was pleasantly surprised with the number of people who stayed downtown and had brunch or beer after running,” he said.

    This year, his brewery is providing the dollar post-race beers to runners 21 and older both days and offering food specials throughout Saturday and Sunday, as are several neighboring restaurants.

    It’s even opening two hours early, at 8 a.m., on marathon/half marathon Sunday, so fans can purchase breakfast and coffee.

    “I think this is great for the downtown,” Rubbo said of the weekend.

    Cronin believes it will be even better still in years to come.

    “This has to be branded and developed. It will take three years to do,” he said. “It will become not just a historical race but will be an event that will be the focal point of the city. As the event grows, residents – Hispanic, black, white – will want to participate.”

    Cronin predicted race numbers will double next year and triple the following year as a result of the promotion his company will provide.

    As an added incentive this year, all police, firefighters, EMT workers and college students will receive a 20 percent registration discount on all races when registering online at http://www.theyonkersmarathon.com/race-day.html

    Part of the proceeds will go to the family of fallen New York City Fire Department battalion chief Michael Fahy, a Yonkers resident killed on the job in September.

    By in Yonkers Beer 0

    I will raise a glass to that! Prost!

    If you like beer there is a good chance you are attending at least 2 Oktoberfests this season. Since we know you are coming to our Yonktoberfest, your second should be Shacktoberfest! Cross County’s newest addition, Shake Shack, has teamed up with Yonkers Brewing Co. to pair their tasty food with our Oktoberfest inspired brews. Good thing Gina Valentino from Westchester Magazine was there to cover it!
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    Say Prost! To Shacktoberfest
    Shake Shack’s Cross County location and Yonkers Brewing Company shake up the usual German fare

    BY GINA VALENTINO

    For just one week, Germany will be coming to Westchester—specifically via Shake Shack. The Danny Meyer fast-casual burger chain will host its 11th annual Shacktoberfest from today through Sunday, October 2. The restaurant’s Cross Country Shopping Center location has partnered with Yonkers Brewing Company to pair each Oktoberfest-inspired meal (and dessert) with locally crafted bier.

    The menu includes:

    Traditional Bavarian-style soft pretzels, best paired with Yonkers Brewing Company’s Kolsch, a crisp beer with subtle fruit flavor.

    The ShackMeister Brat, a butterflied and seared bratwurst stuffed with Usinger’s cheddar cheese and topped with ShackMeister Ale-marinated shallots. Unexpected jalapeños pack a punch. Yonkers Brewing recommends complementing it with their traditional German Oktoberfest beer, Marzen, which has a rich malt flavor and touch of noble hops.

    The Brat Burger, a hamburger topped with the above-mentioned ShackMeister brat and the secret ShackSauce, all served inside a potato hamburger bun. Best paired with Yonkers’ flagship brew, a smooth Vienna Lager.

    And while you’re devouring the burgers and brats, make sure you save room for dessert, because it’s hard to choose which Bavarian-inspired shake to order. You might need to try both. The Apfelstrudel is an apple strudel shake topped with whipped cream and cinnamon-sugar shortbread. The Black Forest is a chocolate and cherry shake with whipped cream, topped with chocolate sprinkles. And Yonkers Brewing recommends pairing any of them with their wheat beer, Rauchweizen.

    Also on offer is a take-home 25-oz. souvenir bier stein ($10), filled with either Brooklyn Brewery Oktoberfest beer or ShackMeister Ale. Prost!

    Shake Shack at the Cross County Shopping Center

    2090 Mall Walk, Yonkers

    914.289.1301; www.shakeshack.com

    By in Yonkers Beer 0

    It isn’t graffiti it is street art!

    You may have noticed that Yonkers is going through lots of changes. From real estate, to beautification to technology services the city is moving at full speed ahead. There is also the art. Lots of art. Walking through downtown you will see murals depicting Yonkers’ history, art by famous street artists or just a general burst of colorful wall paint. Ernie Garcia from LoHud gives us a peek inside Dutch artist Van den Berg’s mural on North Broadway.

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    Yonkers art takes a cue from Bushwick
    Ernie Garcia , elgarcia@lohud.com 7:33 a.m. EDT June 13, 2016

    Van den Berg’s mural features wildlife and flora native to the Saw Mill and Hudson rivers, a nod to the recent efforts to get Yonkers declared an urban wildlife refuge.

    A proliferation of graffiti-inspired public art in downtown Yonkers has the city taking a cue from Bushwick, Brooklyn.

    The Dutch artist Eelco van den Berg has started painting a mural on the side of 41 N. Broadway this week, the sixth mural to appear downtown in recent months. The mural sits above the new daylighted portion of the Saw Mill River at Mill Street that will be dedicated June 30.

    Van den Berg’s mural features wildlife and flora native to the Saw Mill and Hudson rivers, a nod to the recent efforts to get Yonkers declared an urban wildlife refuge. Van den Berg’s mural is also part of an effort to create an urban cachet.

    “He’s one of the hottest artists in the New York City area. He was just featured on the cover of Crain’s New York for a special edition on the five boroughs,” said Christopher St. Lawrence, assistant director of Yonkers’ waterfront development.

    EVENTS: Yonkers’ Arts Weekend
    FROM 2014: Yonkers breaks ground on Mill Street Courtyard

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    St. Lawrence said he first learned about some of the artists whom the city commissioned in Bushwick, Brooklyn, a neighborhood with a large industrial sector where retail, restaurants, loft apartments, nightclubs and art galleries are opening.

    St. Lawrence cited as an inspiration the Bushwick intersection of Troutman Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, where The Bushwick Collective has commissioned murals.

    “They didn’t originate this idea but they definitely are one spot in New York City that really is an art destination. So in a way, yes, we are trying to emulate that idea that downtown Yonkers already has nice restaurants and already has the great things to see with the natural beauty, so why don’t we have some street art too to make people get off the train,” he said.

    The city paid for van den Berg’s mural, as well as five other recently painted murals. All the works were commissioned for Yonkers Arts Weekend, but van den Berg’s work was delayed because the side of 41 N. Broadway was covered in ivy that had to be removed and the wall needed priming.

    A new, $8.3 million park sits next to 41 N. Broadway and will be accessible to pedestrians from N. Broadway as well as from a pedestrian gateway on Warburton Ave. The park, called Mill Street Courtyard, is modeled after a type of vehicular-pedestrian street found in the Netherlands and called a woonerf, according to Edgewater Design, the Millburn, New Jersey-based firm that designed it.

    On Tuesday, van den Berg, 42, had about finished spray-painting about a third of the mural and expected to be finished by the weekend. Van den Berg has divided his time between Bushwick and Rotterdam since 2014, and he has spray-painted since 1986.

    Van den Berg said he had few contacts when he came to the United States, but his murals in Bushwick have led to commissions. He described his style as heavily influenced by graffiti because he began as a graffiti artist.

    “I already drew a lot as a kid, and my mother was a hippie,” van den Berg said. “She introduced me to psychedelic rock art, so I think I’m very influenced by the old Grateful Dead, sort of alternative pop art, I would call it.”

    Van den Berg has also gotten a lot of comments from passersby in Getty Square.

    “They are very interested to see the park open,” he said. “I think it gives such a new dimension to the space and area. That’s why I like to work in public, to see the reactions.”

    By in Yonkers Beer 0

    Hudson Valley: The next big beer destination?

    Hudson Valley is known for many things and beer is becoming a top contender on that list. Westchester alone is producing a few thousand barrels of beer and does not show signs of stopping! Megan McCaffrey from LoHud takes you through the booming business.

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    Beer is big business in the Hudson Valley
    Megan McCaffrey , mmccaffrey@lohud.com 11:11 a.m. EDT August 31, 2016
    TJN 1008 lohud craft beer trailBuy Photo

    American craft beer is maker culture at its finest. The shining success story of young, thirsty entrepreneurs willing to pull on the rubber boots, and put good, old-fashioned hard work into a small and independently made product they can be proud of.

    It’s also an industry that’s booming locally, creating jobs, luring millennials into local housing and breathing new life into forlorn industrial spaces.

    The number of brewing companies throughout Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties has dramatically increased in the last few years. By the end of 2017, there are expected to be 18 local breweries — of varying sizes and styles — up from seven in 2014.

    There are 288 breweries statewide, estimates Paul Leone, executive director of the New York State Brewers Association, and that number will increase to the mid-400s by 2019, he predicts.

    And the industry doesn’t show signs of stopping.

    “If (the beer is) good, people will continue to drink it,” says Leone. “It doesn’t matter how many there are.”

    With the rise in the industry comes better beer, of course, but also the potential to revive neighborhoods and employ workers, from tasting-room employees to hop farmers to barrel-makers.

    “In retrospect it (the industry boom) was happening the whole time and now it’s arriving in a major way,” says Jeff O’Neil, the owner of Industrial Arts Brewing in West Haverstraw, who has been making beer professionally for more than 20 years, 15 of them in New York State — at Ithaca Beer Co. and Peekskill Brewery. “Now that we stuck it out, it’s a viable career and business.”

    Here in the Lower Hudson Valley, there are a variety of styles of craft breweries. Brewpubs, like Bull and Barrel in Brewster, Yonkers Brewing Co. and Peekskill Brewery, make beer in-house and serve it alongside gastropub fare. Microbreweries, like Broken Bow in Tuckahoe and the new Duncan’s Abbey in Tarrytown and Decadent Ales in Mamaroneck, are small— brewing fewer than 15,000 barrels every year— and distribute locally.

    By brewing around 25,000 barrels of beer each year, Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. qualifies as the area’s only regional brewery — officially, a brewery that brews between 15,000 and 6 million barrels annually. Captain Lawrence focuses on both quality and volume, and distributes across state lines. Industrial Arts Brewing, opening to the public in late August at the Garner Arts Center, will produce about 5,000 barrels, and is the area’s next big brewery to watch.

    By in Yonkers Beer 0

    SEVEN FRUIT SOUR THAT WILL MAKE YOU PUCKER UP AND KISS YONKERS BREWING CO.

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    New York Craft Brewery Teams With Local Beer Shop For First Ever Sour, Cocktail FROOT

    YONKERS, NY (August 2, 2016) – Yonkers Brewing Co. has partnered with Bronxville, New York based beer shop Beer Noggin (@BeerNoggin) to produce a 48-hour kettle soured ale. Appropriately named Cocktail FROOT, this refreshing and tart Saison was brewed with mango, tangerine, nectarine, guava, red plum, blueberry and a hint of kiwi.

    Head Brewer Sharif Taleb along with Doug Cedrone and Brendan Carroll of Beer Noggin thought of the idea for Cocktail FROOT while reminiscing about their childhood summers that were full of Fruit Roll Ups, fruit cups and Warheads.

    “Who doesn’t love a Jolly Rancher?” exclaims Cedrone. “We had a great time brewing this with Sharif and the brew team at Yonkers Brewing Co. We were able to take everything that was so tasty about being a kid and make it a beer.” This 4.8% ABV beer has a light body, prickly carbonation and a brilliant pale pink color.

    “We wanted to showcase the creative side of the brewery and produce a beer that sour and non-sour fans alike could enjoy,” Taleb said. “The tart but crisp flavors mixed with the tropical fruit allows for it to be approachable but stylistically different than what we usually release.”

    There will be a release party for Cocktail FROOT at Beer Noggin on August 3rd at 7pm. The event will also include limited pours of a bottle-conditioned version of the beer. Cocktail FROOT will also be available in the tasting room at Yonkers Brewing Co. and at a limited amount of bars and restaurants.

     

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    About Yonkers Brewing Co. Like any other great idea, Yonkers Brewing Co. was thought of with a beer in hand. The concept of brewing came to John Rubbo and Nick Califano after they tirelessly helped their grandfathers make homemade wine. As they exchanged stories about crushing grapes and discussed the intricacy of fermentation, they cracked open a cold beer. As the cap fell off, the lights went on. “Why not just make the sweet nectar we enjoy so much more?” they asked. The generations-old tradition of wine making sparked a fire, and with head brewer, Sharif Taleb, they brewed up a recipe that is now known as their flagship, Yonkers Vienna Lager. Yonkers is always striving for continued improvement, innovation and quality in all they do, including promoting their hometown culture. For more information, check out www.yonkersbrewing.com or be social at fb.com/yonkersbrewing and @YonkersBrewing on Twitter and Instagram.