A craft beer distributor has moved into the vacant apple packaging plant off South Putt Corners Road in New Paltz and has created upwards of 25 new full-time jobs for the area.
Paul Bussiere, the general manager for Craft Beer Guild, the distribution company that now has four warehouses in New York, said that it had been looking for a couple of years for a location “somewhere off of 87 between Newburgh and Kingston, because we have so many clients in the Hudson Valley and our Brooklyn warehouse was at capacity. Thankfully we stumbled upon this facility and this great community.”
He noted that there was little retrofitting to do on the 64,000-square-foot warehouse because it had been set up with refrigeration when it was an apple packaging plant. “We had to move racks in and make some minor changes, but it was pretty much a turnkey operation,” he said.
Craft Beer Guild is a middleman between the labels that it represents and its customers, which are typically restaurants, bars, supermarkets — “anyplace that is legally licensed to sell beer,” said Bussiere.
“New Paltz was a perfect fit for us, because the community is like-minded in that they enjoy craft beers. And we already have several clients here, like Bacchus, and most recently Theresa Fall’s Jar’d,” located at the Water Street Market.
Walking through the warehouse for a craft-beer-lover would be like a sugar fiend stepping a foot into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. “We represent approximately 100 domestic and international craft beer labels,” he said. There were cases and crates and kegs filled with a variety of domestic beers, including the new, local Peekskill Brewing Company, Left Hand out of Colorado, Smuttynose out of New Hampshire and Sierra Nevada, just to name a few.
Although their company is a middleman, both Bussiere and manager Matt Rogers are excited to be a part of the New Paltz community, and want to reach out to local businesses and organizations. “We want to hold an open house sometime in April, where we invite local bars, restaurants, supermarkets, beer distributors and the rest of the community in to see what we do,” he said. “I’ve had a warm welcome and many conversations with Mike Smith of the Chamber of Commerce, and we’ve been so well-received by this community — at least the ones that know we’re here!”
Rogers has actually relocated his family to the area, as he is so fond of New Paltz, and Bussiere is in the midst of doing the same. “New Paltz is a great community to raise a family, and they have an incredible school district,” he said.