Top 10 NYC Breweries: July 2018

Top 10 NYC Breweries: July 2018
  • These NYC breweries are anything but ordinary.

  • Home to 38 breweries, here are the ones you don’t want to miss.

It’s no secret that New York City has a plethora of places to eat. Foodable Labs has recently ranked the top 25 of the best restaurants. But what about breweries?

New York City is currently home to 38 breweries and growing. Before Prohibition caused the end of brewing in NYC, the city was once a prime brewing location in the 19th century. Fun fact: the first commercial brewery in North America was built on what is now Manhattan’s Stone Street.

So what are some great spots to check out?

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7 Strategies for Building a More Effective Beverage Program

7 Strategies for Building a More Effective Beverage Program

Every drop counts! Beverages arguably play a larger role in the industry today than they ever did before! 

You could try and make everyone happy by offering dozens of options at your restaurant, cafe, or bar, but we all know that’s likely not going to happen. An establishment needs to carefully consider their beverage menu, whether alcohol-focused or not, and offer one that is balanced, targeted, and one that fits their concept.

Many operators continue to face a challenge, however, when it comes to developing an effective beverage strategy. As with its food counter-part, consumers are more educated today about beer, cocktails, wine, coffees, sodas, and even a variety of waters. They understand retail prices and flavor profiles because they’ve become (or think they’ve become) a barista, mixologist, and/or wine & beer connoisseur at home. When they’re dining out or visiting a bar now, they crave something that’s ‘differentiated.’ 

How can restaurants, cafes, and bars take advantage of this segment and develop a memorable, consistent, and profitable beverage strategy that creates differentiation? Here are some tips to review when creating or re-engineering your next beverage menu. 

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Art Brews Business at J. Wakefield and Wynwood Brewing

Art Brews Business at J. Wakefield and Wynwood Brewing
  • David Rodriguez and Adrian Castro of Little Havana's Union Beer Store take us to the most iconic Wynwood breweries.

  • Wynwood Brewing and J. Wakefield Brewery show us how the vibe of Miami's Wynwood art permeates the craft beer neighboorhood.

On this episode of Beer Artisan, were exploring Miami’s famed art neighborhood, Wynwood, and the craft beer businesses that have popped up out of its art scene.

The Union Beer Store was started by husband and wife duo, David and Cici Rodriguez. The pair had been close to the beer scene for years and one year ago decided to strike out on their own and create Union, a beer store/bar with a fun, super laid-back vibe. With more than 300 different beers in their cooler, they offer locals and tourists a wide range of tastes to explore. Adrian, David’s right-hand man, helms the bar at Union, helping visitors choose the right brew. So it only made sense to have David and Adrian show us around the Wynwood neighborhood.

First up, J. Wakefield. John Wakefield got started brewing with a $50 Mr. Beer homebrew kit gifted to him by his wife. Slowly but surely, the hobby transformed into a lifestyle and brewing beers on his stove evolved into a jam-packed production facility producing a number of unique brews. John tells us how he combined his life as a beer geek with his life as a Star Wars geek to create his incredibly designed, Star Wars themed tap room which highlights the work of a number of local artists and adds to the incredible vibe you can only find in Wynwood.

Next, it’s on to Wynwood Brewing, Wynwood’s first brewery. Started by Luis G. Brignoni, Wynwood also incorporates local artists’ work into the design of the space. Luis invited local artist Lola Blue to design bottles for the brewery, further cementing the relationship between Wynwood art and its businesses. Wynwood has won a number of Great American Beer Festival medals and is aiming to churn out 12,000 barrels of beer this year thanks to help from the Craft Beer Alliance.


Brignoni made a deal with the CBA in which they would have a 24.5% stake in the company (the threshold for still being defined as "craft" by the Brewers Association) and in return, help grows the production and distribution of Wynwood Brewing brews. This has opened up their tanks, allowing Wynwood to be more creative with their in-house production.

If you’ve never been to Wynwood, you should give it a visit ASAP. Just listen to our Wynwood Guide, Robert William de los Rios from The RAW Project. But if you can’t, watch this episode of Foodable’s Beer Artisan for a journey through the art-driven neighborhood to learn more about its history and vibe.

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Get Your Homebrew on With Help From Funky Buddha

Get Your Homebrew on With Help From Funky Buddha

Funky Buddha has long been revered as one of America’s favorite breweries. Just this year they ranked No. 3 in consumer sentiment according to Foodable Labs! But, did you know Funky Buddha started as a homebrewer's dream?

Watch this special episode of Beer Artisan in honor of National Homebrew Day to learn how you could be brewing Funky Buddha level brews, too!

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Rochester's Craft Brew Scene Might be the Best in the Country


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On this episode of Beer Artisan, we visit the Rochester, New York brewing scene.

Rochester has been brewing beer since the early 1800’s. The first brewery in Rochester settled on the east bank of the Genesee River after a spring of pure water on Central Avenue was discovered. Although that brewery no longer exists, the oldest running brewery in the state, Genesee Brewery, still brews on that same river. 

The water found in the springs of Rochester is extremely clean. The brewers in the area are well aware of this fact and do not take it for granted.

Chris Spinelli, co-founder of Roc Brewing says, “There’s 20 percent of the world’s fresh water in our region. [W]hen you talk about the Great Lakes and all the Finger Lakes and all of that, I mean, we are very lucky to have the water resources we have here.”

Roc Brewing is one of the newer breweries to the Rochester area. Spinelli started the brewery with a couple of friends after getting into home-brewing 8 years ago. As Roc grew, Chris started the 585 brewers club, a group for Rochester brewers to come together and share their love for the trade.

In these meetings, brewers share tips and information about what's going on at their home breweries and news around the beer industry. Dean Jones of Genesee Brewery attends these meetings as well.

As the oldest brewery in New York, Genesee has a lot of knowledge to share. For example, Jones gives tips on creating the perfect brew with the perfect composition. “Depending on the type of beer I’m brewing, if it's a nice historical Munich Dunkel, I’ll download that water report from that area in Germany, in Munich, and actually replicate that water here in the hot liquor tank,” he says.

Watch the episode above to see how old and new brewers come together in Rochester in the name of craft beer.