The Culinary Historians of New York know a thing or two about a Knickerbocker.
Rich Buceta, a lifelong beer enthusiast and home brewer who had been making beer in his Upper East Side kitchen as a hobby, decided in 2008 to quit his job in advertising.
He felt that his real passion was for craft beer, which he had discovered and begun making while he was working in Canada in the 1990s.
Realizing that he needed professional beer experience before starting his own company, he got a job at Greenpoint Beer Works.
He started off cleaning kegs, and worked his way up to brewer within eight months.
After years of planning and honing his recipes, his dream has finally come to fruition: he started his own craft brewery, Singlecut Beersmiths (named after his other passion, guitars).
The first micro-brewery to operate in Astoria, Queens since before Prohibition, Singlecut Beersmiths opened its doors on December 8, 2012.
Rich Buceta was ill (the flu??) the night of the tasting and talk at The National Arts Club where he was scheduled to premier his beer brewing techniques; however his team was up to the challenge and the beer aficionados and hope-to-be-homegrown beer makers seemed more than satisfied.
The talk about how recipes are adjusted when they go from home brewing to a small-scale microbrewery; and the differences in the beers themselves, all to soon gave way to a more casual one-one-one discussion with generous samples of the Singlecut beers.
Sadly, there remains no locally-produced malt, according to the company.
Singlecut sources from Minnesota and some from Texas and Canada.
Their beer is dictated by the seasons. “It’s a new frontier,” says Brian the assistant brewer.
Their lagers are flavorful and successful. Heretofore, lagers have been “a dirty word” according to the Singlecut, “more often associated with the ilk of mass produced Bud Light “beers.”
Singlecut produces approximately three to four thousand barrels a year. They have been brewing beer for about two years.
The company acknowledges that beer has not been a featured drink accompaniment for fine dining.
When this Examiner queried the beer masters about the European shift to more experimentation in beer due to the European Union’s stranglehold on the wine world’s geographic regulation and its consequential opening up or shift to beer experimentation, Singlecut seemed eager to affirm.
From Europe to the East Side, there is a passion to create craft beer using local flavors, homegrown traditions and historical and personal brewing tastes.
Singlecut’s goal is to be ubiquitous as a New York craft brewer.
The company is located in Queens, New York. Why? Real estate cost is one answer. It is the homestead of Rich, the founder is another.
And the fact that it was the first area to brew post Prohibition. Their 19-33 Pilsner – and address acknowledges the Prohibition ended!
A lifelong music aficionado, (and daresay brand expert), Rich has not only named the company for his music love, -- Singlecut is a guitar body -- but music also infuses the beer pour handles, and the names of some of the brews, including John Michael Osborne, aka “Ozzy Osborne.”
Brewery tour are now available.
The tap room is open Thursday and Friday, 5-8 ish and Saturday, 1 to 8ish. (I love this – being a particularly “ishy” time scheduler myself!)
Growlrrr for take away: 32 oz Growlrr (empty $10 and 64 oz $18)
Singlecut produces year round brews and seasonal beers. They claim 100% local ingredients...
The Pilsner was excellent and the ales too. Loved the Milk Stout
The beer brewers offer:
Olympic White Lagrr
Half Stack IPA
Eric Mile Stout
Neil (IPA with Stout)
Singlecut Beersmiths are artisanal brew masters who care about sustainable, local ingredients and distinctive taste.