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HVADC Client: Return Brewing

Mar 15, 2024

Beers you want to drink again and again

With the arrival of Return Brewing on State Street in Hudson New York, the city is quickly becoming a destination for craft beer aficionados. Not all that far from HVADC’s headquarters, the brewery, taproom and beer garden opened in March. HVADC was able to assist Return’s leadership team of brewing industry veterans led by founder Mickey Lenane by providing capital. Funding which Lenane said was crucial in allowing them to open their doors.


Return Brewing reached out to HVADC in need of a working capital loan to complete their project’s build-out and add staff. The HVADC loan is working in conjunction with a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the city of Hudson which focuses on increasing employment, expanding economic opportunities and improving quality of life. HVADC provided the additional funding through the HVADC Agribusiness Loan Fund, which is supported by funds from the US Department of Commerce – Economic Development Agency (EDA).


Lenane, who grew up in Coxsackie New York, and two of the other founders Jack Liakas and JD Linderman spent years working together at Brooklyn’s acclaimed Sixpoint Brewery. During their time there, Lenane rose to Product Development Manager, Liakas was head of graphic design and Linderman was head brewer of small batches.


“It had always been a dream of mine to come back to the area to start a brewery,” Lenane said. In 2019 Six Points was bought by venture capitalists. Then COVID hit and I was furloughed. That gave me the motivation I needed to make it a reality.”


With Sixpoints widely regarded as one of the nation's top breweries, the trio’s tenures there provide some serious confidence in Return products. They also proved to be rock solid on the business end, as HVADC Business Services Coordinator Duane Stanton reported. Stanton worked closely with fourth business partner, Bob Wise to facilitate the loan application and closing.


“It was a pleasure working with the Return Brewing team,” said Stanton. “They are tightknit and extremely passionate about creating a quality product and creating a new space in the city for recreation.”


Lenane said once he took his compatriots to visit the area they all agreed to start the brewery right away, loving the area and the business potential. Return had a soft opening last summer, only able to host guests in an outdoor beer garden and offering a limited selection of beers without all the equipment they needed. As nice of an introduction to the community as it was, the founders were eager to complete their vision. Collaborating with HVADC made that possible.


“It’s been great working with HVADC,” Lenane said. “Aside from the funding they helped us problem solve so we could hit our deadlines. From the very beginning it was clear they cared about our success. There is no chance we would have been open in time without HVADC.”


Return is not concerned about adding another brewery to Hudson’s crowded market, which already boasts three others, including Upper Depot Brewing Co. right across the street. Lenane says they know that when it comes to small breweries density is actually good for business, as municipalities become destinations for beer aficionados looking to try everything Hudson has to offer.


“Small breweries like ourselves don’t compete in that way,” said Lenane. “We are all trying to drink more local. This model has proven itself.”


Lenane and his team have already proven themselves as well. The name Return Brewing is a reference to their philosophy. He says the brewery specializes in highly drinkable, refreshing, repeatable beers. “Beers you want to drink again and again.”


The brewery program has three product lines. Return is brewing “Tavern” style beers that are easy-drinking time-tested brews made with expertise and the best ingredients. For their “Garden” line, Return’s brew masters work with locally grown and foraged Hudson Valley ingredients to infuse their creations with creativity and regional Identity. Lastly Return’s “Archive” beers explore the qualities of barrel aging, mead making and other experimental techniques.


Return is already on tap in other bars as well throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond. HVADC is excited for the future of Return Brewing and the growth of their business and brand.


To learn more about the HVADC Agribusiness Loan Fund, visit


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