Abandon Brewing in Penn Yan, New York by Paul Leone, New York Craft Beer Promoter
There’s no doubt about it, the craft beer industry is strong in New York State. With over 280 breweries, and an economic impact of over $4 billion, New York has become a major craft beer player in the US.
New York State is also a very big and diverse state, which can certainly be seen (and tasted) in the brewing industry. In 2013, as an effort to grow the agricultural industry, the New York State Brewers Association created a farm brewing license which requires breweries to use a specified percentage of NYS grown ingredients in their beer, and in return, a large amount financial incentives and breaks would be given to those breweries who operated under that license. This opened the door to a whole new wave of brewers, one of which is Abandon Brewing located in the heart of the Finger Lakes region of New York State.
I had the opportunity to talk with Garry Sperrick, the owner of Abandon, to ask why he decided this was the best time to get into the industry, and why the name?
Why call your brewery Abandon?
GS: Our first school tax bill we received had a land classification and they called it abandon acres. So we used that to name the farm, then we carried that name over to the brewery since that was appropriate for the barn that we started with.
Why did you decide to change careers and start a brewery?
GS: We owned the farm and barn for about five years before we started the brewery. During that time the original plan was to do wine and cider, then see where that went. But along that same timeline, the farm brewery license was in process and seemed like that might be the right fit for the Finger Lakes location and 200 year old barn that was on the premises. Partnering with Jeff the head brewer, our passion for beer is reflected in the beer styles who produce at the brewery.
What are the benefits of being a brewery in NYS?
GS: NYS is very beer knowledgeable, has high expectations for the beer quality, and heavily supports beer produced within the state. This makes our daily mission pretty simple, make the best beer we can, then make adjustments to make our beer even better. NYS has supported the malt and hops industry through the likes of Cornell, provided lower cost power to our facility through the Recharge program, allowed access to low interest loans, and promotes on a daily basis the breadth and depth of NYS quality liquor products. All these factors play into allowing us the ability to make the adjustments necessary to improve the beer quality.
What are the benefits of being a Farm Brewery?
GS: We are fortunate to be able to serve our beer and cider in such a great location, which is overlooking Keuka Lake in the Finger Lakes, right in the midst of a great wine trail. The biggest benefit to us are that people enjoy our products while being able to see hops grown for beer and apples grown for cider on premise, which is the classic definition of a Farm Brewery. People also like the ability to try wines, spirits and other products from NYS providers, which the Farm Brewery allows us to do.
To learn more about Abandon Brewing and the Finger Lakes, please check out their website – http://www.abandonbrewing.com
Abandon Brewing Company
2994 Merrit Hill Rd
Penn Yan, New York
Phone: (585) 209-3276