Attention Saratoga County beer-lovers: You no longer have to take a three-and-a-half-hour drive in your beer-mobile to enjoy the likes of SingleCut Beersmiths brew. (I know, I know; you could just as easily pop down to any number of local bars, liquor stores or supermarkets in the Capital Region and grab some cans, but what would the fun be in that?) As luck would have it, the Queens-based brewery will be holding a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for its brand-spanking-new North Side Stage taproom, in nearby Clifton Park, this Friday, September 20.
SingleCut has actually had a presence in Saratoga County since last year, when it purchased Schmaltz Brewing Company’s facility in Clifton Park—which has a 30,000 barrel capacity—and promptly began producing suds. (Its Queens facility was already churning out 11,000 barrels by itself.) “For about five years, we’d been operating at maximum capacity [in Queens], so we were definitely in need of some new real estate,” says Dan Bronson, general manager of SingleCut Beersmiths. “For us, it’s really important to get our beers out to everywhere we can, where folks want to buy them.” Bronson admits that sounds sort of obvious, but in an industry where some brewers brew small batches of beer on purpose, in order to engineer sought-after-ness in the market, that only leads to one thing, in his mind: customers waiting in long lines. “That’s not our style,” he says. “We want to make sure we have enough beer to share with everybody who wants it.” So to make that happen, the Queens brewer unveiled its North Shore beer store in Clifton Park in early December 2018, and in the past few weeks, soft-launched said taproom.
It’s also no coincidence that the brewer picked Saratoga County for that second facility. “One of the areas in the state where we had never really gotten to spend a lot of time professionally, but loved to spend time personally was beautiful Saratoga County,” says Bronson. The opening of the facility has been nothing but a boon for SingleCut since; now that its production numbers have been increased dramatically, SingleCut has been able to ship and sell its beer as far west as Chicago and southward as Virginia; and it’s been able to open up new international markets, including Sweden, the UK, Scandinavia and Japan, the latter being a longtime dream market for the brewery.
Despite the taproom being open for a few weeks, the official ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on Friday, September 20 at 3pm. What do local beer-lovers have to look forward to? Bronson says there will be “new and exclusive [beer] releases almost every week,” some of which you’ll only be able to drink at the taproom in Clifton Park. There will also be a number of speciality beers on tap, too. “As far as the overall experience, we’re big music nerds; that’s our whole MO; everything we do is inspired by music,” says Bronson. To that point, the new taproom will come armed with a massive vinyl record collection—about 1000 LPs to start, which will be expanded to 3000-4000 by the end of the year. The taproom, located at 6 Fairchild Square in Clifton Park, will, thenceforth, be open Tuesdays 3-8pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays 3-9pm, Fridays and Saturdays 11am to 10pm and Sundays 11am-8pm, moving to a 7-day-a-week schedule shortly after that.
SingleCut was founded in 2012 in New York City’s old Greek neighborhood of Astoria, Queens, by home-brewer and former marketing executive Rich Buceta, who sold his collection of vintage guitars to fund his brewery (the name “SingleCut” is derived from a type of guitar). Seven years later, and the operation is booming, with a number of beers currently in production, including Hop Sounds, which nods to Beach Boys’ classic Pet Sounds record in its name and can design; and the Eric More Cowbell! Chocolate Milk Stout, named after the pro drummer (and hilarious SNL sketch).
The new North Side Stage taproom is dog- and kid-friendly, has a popcorn machine running at all times (with a number of imported salts available to sprinkle on it) and will feature a rotating cast of food trucks for added sustenance. Also, look out for a new culinary concept in the coming weeks, where a local restaurant partner—at this point, unnamed—will be doing “to-table deliveries” for customers. SingleCut will have a special app that customers can use to order the food, and once an order is placed, the delivery person will basically burst through the front doors and walk directly up to your table with your grub. Easy peasy.