The HVADC Cultivator
Incubator Without Walls Client Spotlight - Catskill Brewery
In 2016, Catskill Brewery took part in Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation (HVADC) Incubator Without Walls (IWW) program, which provides business support to Hudson Valley food and farm businesses with a wide range of services to accelerate their growth and increase their chances of long-term success.
Catskill Brewery is located in Livingston Manor, western Sullivan County. It was started in 2014 by three friends with a passionate interest in beer and environmental stewardship, as well as desire to create a destination for people to come to the Hudson Valley and Catskill region.
The brewing facility reflects this passion for protecting nature and the environment, while creating an excellent product. As a LEED gold certified structure, it is one of the greenest breweries in the country. There is a green roof on part of the building, solar panels, geothermal for heating and cooling, and the facility is made from a combination of recycled and locally sourced materials.
Catskill Brewery is known for their hoppy beers, but their passion and specialty also includes saisons, sours, and aged beers. They have 30 oak barrels as well as some giant oak tanks that are 30 barrels each, these produce bacteria with more active cultures, and allow for more flavor than regular ales and lagers. They also make excellent ales and lagers, of which they are also very proud.
Catskill was recently awarded three medals at the Tap NY Competition, Gold for Eye of Newt, their Flanders-style red ale; Silver for their flagship pilsner, Ball Lightning; and Bronze for their Wild Ale / Brett Beer, Freak Tractor (Model 14). Two of their IPA’s, Devil’s Path and Floodwatch have been recognized as among the best ales in the state.
They have been growing at a yearly clip of 40% since opening. In 2017 they are targeting 3,200 barrels for production. The grant that HVADC helped to facilitate has increased efficiencies that will help them to reach these production goals.
Wholesale sales to restaurants and bars in the NYC area, as well as to different locations upstate, make up a significant portion of their business, while their tap room, local events and different bottle shops throughout the region make up the rest. Catskill Brewery self-distributes and takes two trucks a week down to NYC, where there beer can be found at Yankee Stadium as well as many other locations throughout the city. The tap room is open year round, with seasonally adjusted hours, and people are encouraged to visit. Livingston Manor is relatively remote due to its location in the middle of the Catskills, so during the week the taproom tends to host locals, while weekends bring with them visitors from NYC and surrounding counties.
Although there has been an explosion in the popularity of microbreweries in recent years, Catskill feel very comfortable in their position in the world of microbrews, as they have a solid foothold in the microbrew world, as well as a healthy network of customers and fans.
In 2016, HVADC worked with the Sullivan County Funding Corporation (SCFC) to apply for a USDA grant on Catskill Brewery’s behalf. The grant application was a success, which allowed for the purchase of equipment which led to increase efficiency, production and eventually, income.
Catskill has noted a quantifiable increase in sales since working with HVADC, as well as roughly a 30% increase in production, which results in more beer to sell and more revenue being generated. They have also taken on a corresponding amount of employees and been able to move people to more efficient positions within the company.
Since receiving the loan, they have expanded their production of Sours and Saisons. They had an idea about how they wanted to grow and expand their Sour/Saison program, but working together with HVADC made realizing the steps a possibility.
Greg Lofaro, VP of Operations at Catskill, found that working together with the team of people put together by HVADC and SCFC helped to get things moving and allowed Catskill the space to figure out how they wanted to grow, for which they are very grateful.
Supporting passionate and dedicated Hudson Valley businesses like Catskill Brewery and helping them reach their goals is what we do here at HVADC. Contact us and see how we can creatively work together to improve your business. HVADC strives to enhance the bottom line of farm businesses and strengthen the agricultural industry as a whole.