The say love makes the world go round. If you ask Johnny and Karyn Pavich of Main Street’s Dutch Ale House, it’s also the secret ingredient for a good craft-brew.
The two hope to have their first batch ready in a few months. Last week, Johnny made the trip to Chicago to attend an intensive two-week beer-making program at the Siebel Institute Brewing School. Meanwhile, a 350-square foot room off the Dutch’s large public room is being converted into a microbrewery with fermenting and brewing tanks.
If everything goes as planned, in a few months they’ll be making 100 gallons of beer each month.
“As we do with the ingredients we use in our kitchen, we will be sourcing as many of the ingredients for our beer locally,” Karyn said.
The idea is to team up with other area breweries like Keegan Ales, the Hyde Park Brewery and Cross Road Brewery in Athens for a Mid-Hudson Beer Trail, patterned after successful Wine Trail events.
One ingredient they can’t purchase from local farmers or merchants is love. (Circa-1964 Paul McCartney would agree.) “As long as you care about your product and the people you are creating it for, it will come out good,” said Karyn.
Johnny and Karyn purchased the historic Dutch Ale House about a year-and-a-half ago from her brother, Rich Michaels, who went to work for Max FX Brewing Company in Utica, maker of Saranac.
Karyn grew up in Saugerties and went to SUNY New Paltz. After that she worked in New York City, where she did marketing for restaurants.
Johnny, the son of Croatian immigrants, grew up in Queens. He worked previously as an electrician. The two met in the city began dating, and Johnny discovered Saugerties on weekend trips to visit Karyn’s family.
“I loved the people up here, and it is less chaotic then the city,” said Johnny.
They jumped at the opportunity to purchase the restaurant a year-and-a-half ago.
“I didn’t want to work for the man anymore,” said Johnny.
They didn’t make any radical changes; just a few subtle ones. They brought in chef John Dedek, a graduate of the CIA, who made some changes to the menu, and began hosting exhibitions of work by local artists. This month, it’s the work of Marvel Comics’ artist and local resident Joe Sinnott.
The Dutch first opened its doors the day after Prohibition ended, said Karyn. Current Town Supervisor Greg Helsmoortel is responsible for much of the décor. When he owned the place, he lined the walls with old Dutch wooden shoes and hung Dutch paintings on the walls.