Sustainability is a concept that can take many forms. For a large manufacturing facility whose technological product’s time has come and gone, it can manifest as adaptive reuse, combining residential, business, commercial, educational, civic, cultural and/or recreational activities under one roof. For a tippler, it can mean spending your beer budget on fresh local brews to the greatest extent possible.
Both of these approaches come together this spring, as the Sloop Brewing Company – born in Poughkeepsie, but currently based at Vosburgh Orchards in Elizaville – expands its operations to the former IBM campus in East Fishkill. Sloop co-founders Justin Taylor and Adam Watson managed to secure a $565,000 Regional Economic Development Council grant from New York State to repurpose 26,000 square feet of the retired computer plant for use as a second brewery and tasting room. The brewing operation will be among the first tenants of the new $300 million i.Park City, the so-called “workspace of the future” planned by real estate development group National Resources, which bought the former IBM plant from GlobalFoundries last year.
“The new brewery will allow us to increase production and still focus on our beer with the same love and care as always,” said Taylor. “With our new 120-barrel tanks, we can make enough beer to be in bars and stores throughout the Northeast – but we’ll still have the 30-barrel tanks, to keep making small-batch beer, hone our craft and try new things, like we’ve always been proud to do.”
The new brewery is expected to be operational by May, with the new tasting room opening this summer, featuring local beer, foods from across New York State, event space and live music, with room for more than 300 people. The Elizaville location, housed in a historic restored barn, will continue serving such justly famous Sloop beers as Juice Bomb IPA, Sauer Peach, Half Baked Oatmeal Stout and Confliction Sour Ale, which won a Gold Medal at the World Beer Cup competition in 2016.
A new release, Double Dry Hopped Green Islands IPA, will get its official launch at the announcement celebration for the Sloop expansion, to be held at Schatzi’s Pub & Beer Garden in Poughkeepsie on Saturday, February 3 from noon to 8 p.m. The first 50 purchases of cans will receive a free tee-shirt commemorating the move.