Hudson Valley Brewery Readies for a Summer 2016 Opening in Beacon
When John-Anthony Gargiulo moved back to the Hudson Valley five years ago, he had a definite idea for what he wanted to do next.
Now his dream is only a few months away from reality, as he plans to open the Hudson Valley Brewery in what had been an old factory in the heart of Beacon.
"The weather (so far) has been a godsend," Gargiulo, 39, said in a phone interview. "We’ve been doing a complete rehab of a factory built in (the 1880s)."
According to Gargiulo, a Highland and Dutchess Community College graduate, the brewery is expected to start turning out craft beers in late March, with the restaurant area opening in mid-to-late summer.
When the 18,000-square-foot building is completed, it will have three floors, including a rooftop area with views of Mt. Beacon and Fishkill Creek. A press release says among the features are "a second level with high ceilings and original beams for private events, and a large warehouse space in the back for a 30-barrel brewhouse." It will be near two recently built condos and a new municipal parking lot.
Gargiulo had been working as a technician on television shows in Los Angeles when he decided he wanted to come back to the area. The popularity of craft beers in Los Angeles inspired him to try something similar in his home area.
You learn a lot when it’s a slow burn, which is a benefit to long-term success.
Since he had no experience, Gargiulo said he had to immerse himself in the craft beer industry. For three years, he worked at bars in Beacon, learning the business. Gargiulo also took on two professional brewmasters as partners and co-owners.
As he learned, Gargiulo looked for a location for his endeavor. What attracted him to the building at 7 East Main Street was that it was in the center of town and it had character, with the old part displaying brickwork and a warehouse addition built in the 1970s made of cinder blocks.
“There were multiple locations we looked at, but for better or worse, it couldn’t be worked out," Gargiulo said. "But it led me to this. I turned around and saw this building and knew this was it."
It took three years to finalize the purchase, which happened in August. Gargiulo was able to get $450,000 from an Empire State Development Grant in 2014 to get his project moving.
"That helped me get over the mountain," Gargiulo said. "After that, things moved right along."
Gargiulo said the products brewed will have "a lot of spontaneity and wild fermentation." The style will be sour beers and wild ales, using sour cultures to enhance the flavors, adding "they are different, but becoming popular," he said. He noted New York State is very supportive of the craft beverage industry. Gargiulo has not yet determined the kind of food served and style of the restaurant.
Among the surprises for Gargiulo has been the rise in the cost of hops, which he said has doubled in price, and some ingredients that required a two-year wait because of the amount of craft beers now being made. However, Gargiulo said he has been impressed by the amount of community support he gets, though residents tease him about not being from Beacon.
Even with the waiting time between the idea of his brewery and its actual opening, Gargiulo never doubted his vision. His previous career was what primed him to stay optimistic.
"I get my mindset from the movie industry, a sense that anything is possible," he said. "You learn a lot when it’s a slow burn, which is a benefit to long-term success."