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Beer Enthusiasts Join to Market Bronx-Named Suds

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The Bronx’s first brewery in over 50 years is ready to release its eponymously-labeled beer.

Four strangers came together with a joint dream selling their own brand of beer. That dream has landed right under the Third Avenue Bridge in the Bronx.

Riverdale resident Steve O’Sullivan came up with the idea of the Bronx Brewery while the Yankees played in the 2009 World Series. With his mind set on opening a brewery and manufacturing a beer in the borough, all that was missing were the right people to develop a game plan.

O’Sullivan joined forces with Virginia native Damian Brown, Bostonian Chris Gallant and Kirk Voltz. The four men then enjoyed a cold beer, and discussed their idea for the Bronx’s first brewery and beer since the Rheingold Brewery left the Bronx during the 1960s.

“We sat down and really just discussed our passion for beer and the idea of owning our own brewery,” said Brown, who was contacted by O’Sullivan while studying at the Master Brewers Program at the University of California, Davis. “Steve expressed his ideas for the Bronx and we all agreed it would be a great location. That’s where we took off.”

They felt Mott Haven was well suited for their needs. As of May, the Bronx Brewery headquarters is at 7 Bruckner Boulevard and the team is set to release the Bronx Pale Ale towards the end of the summer.

For now, the ale will be brewed in Pawcatuck, CT, but the team will be running a small barrel operation within the Bronx building. Chris Gallant said that when the company becomes successful enough, they intend to open a fully functional brewery in the borough.

In terms of beer manufacturing, the Bronx has been in the shadows of the Brooklyn Brewery, widely known in the city for their Brooklyn Lager. Bronx Pale Ale is made with Maris Otter Malted and Cascade Hops, an original recipe that the team hopes will become known as “New York City’s Ale.”

“It’s our goal to make our beer recognized everywhere, but it’s very important that it becomes popular in the Bronx and the city,” Gallant said. “We want to go around and deliver the beer ourselves and develop strong relationships with our business partners. It’s important to us that our customers know the people behind the brand.”

The biggest challenge the quartet faces is funding. Luckily, Gallant said, their family and friends were also excited about the idea and totally supported them.

“It’s wonderful for the whole borough,” said Nick Ligotino, owner of Nicky’s BBQ and Beer Garden set to open later this month on 3392 E. Tremont Avenue. “The Bronx’s now has a beer garden and its first brewery and beer in over 50 years? It’s very exciting.”

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