November 9, 2011 —
Ramsey Adams sees the production of beer, especially high-end craft beer, as a growing industry. There are no breweries in the seven counties that make up the Catskill Mountains, so Adams thinks it might be a good idea to start one in Sullivan County.
Adams, who is known in the region as one of the founders of the environmental group Catskill Mountainkeeper, turned out to the government center in Monticello on November 3, to talk a bit about the project to county lawmakers.
He said the operation, called the Catskill Brewery, will be built in Livingston Manor just off exit 96 on Route 17, in a spot on the edge of the hamlet that formerly housed the Pursuit of Happiness Realty Company.
Elwin Wood, the legislator whose district includes Livingston Manor, said the lot has always been commercial, and in the ’70s was the location of one of the largest car dealerships in the area. Adams said the neighbors are “happy” about the project.
Adams said the operation would not be a brew-pub where people can come in and have a meal with their beer. But it will have a tasting room, where customers can sample the product.
Initially, the brewery will produce kegs of beer, which will be marketed throughout the region but, at some point, a bottling line will also be added, to allow the brewery to sell cases of cans or bottles of the lagers and ales that will be produced.
He said the brewery will use locally-sourced products when possible, such as local grains, hops and Sullivan County water.
The team working on the project is applying for state and federal grants with the assistance of the Sullivan County Department of Planning and Environmental Conservation.
According to literature from the department, the entire budget is $900,000 with $650,000 coming from private investors. $300,000 in grants is being sought.
Adams said the team working on the project has the funding to build it, but the grants will allow it to be bigger and thus provide more of an economic boost to the region.
The brewery is expected to create eight full time equivalent jobs over the first five years of operation, of which seven will be made available to low- and moderate-income individuals.
Adams said he hopes to break ground this fall and to begin producing beer in the spring.