Sloop Brewing Opens in East Fishkill's Old IBM Campus
The forecast for the lower Hudson Valley’s beer scene just got hazier.
In mid-September Sloop Brewing Co. officially opened its new 25,000-square-foot facility in the East Fishkill iPark campus, formerly an IBM semiconductor plant. The company launched in 2011 in Poughkeepsie and has been based in Elizaville for the past three years. In recent years, it has made a name for itself in the Hudson Valley and beyond thanks in large part to its unfiltered, juicy and hazy New England-style IPAs.
The new facility will give fans the chance to enjoy these beers alongside pizza, burgers, and other food in a sprawling space with a fun, throwback arcade vibe. It will also enable Sloop to produce more beer — a lot more.
“We finished all of last year producing a little over 4,000 barrels on the year out of Elizaville,” says Joe Turco, Sloop’s sales and marketing director. “Our projected cap off at the new spot will be 28,000 barrels on the year.”
Turco adds, “We named both places and gave each place its individual social media page. We’re calling Elizaville ‘The Barn’ and we’re calling the new location ‘The Factory.’”
All the company’s brewing will now take place at the East Fishkill brewery, but “The Barn” in Elizaville will remain open as a tasting room and barrel aging facility for the brewery’s sour program.
Word has gotten out quickly about the East Fishkill brewery. Just two weeks after it opened there were only a few open seats in the taproom, which has capacity for 250 people. The on-tap offerings included special releases like the No Pumpkin IPA and the Spritzer Bomb made in collaboration with Sixpoint Brewery in Brooklyn, as well as Juice Bomb, the brewery’s signature hazy New England-style IPA. Juice Bomb has a huge amount of hop aromas but low bitterness, and after a few sips of this easy-drinking, fruit-forward beer it is easy to see why this is such a strong seller.
The taproom is open and roomy, with TVs, free arcades games and a PA system that pumped out ‘50s and ‘60s doo-wop classics. There were frequent reminders of the location’s history as a manufacturing plant, including a machine converted to a water fountain, and a former locker left at the site that now houses ketchup and other condiments visitors can grab to top their food.
Speaking of food, Sloop offers burgers, pizza, hand-cut fries and other beer-friendly cuisine. The kitchen is run by executive chef Adam Slamon who is a veteran of the New York City restaurant world. Most recently Slamon worked in the kitchen at Uncle Boons.
The pizzas are prepared on a hybrid gas- and wood-fired oven custom made for Sloop by Forza Forni in nearby Brewster. One outside-the-box menu item, the peanut butter burger, has been a surprise hit says Turco.
“It is absolutely phenomenal,” he says. “It’s not overpowering, you hear peanut butter, you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s going to be really intense.’ Not at all it’s just a very subtle flavor.”
When ordered during our visit, Turco’s description holds true. The burger is topped with peanut butter and bacon, but instead of clashing with the burger and bacon, the peanut butter complements them adding richness to the meat flavors.
Turco says they plan on utilizing the brewery kitchen for special events in the coming months.
“We're very excited in the future to start doing beer dinners at the location with other breweries and other local chefs,” he says.
Sloop Brewing Co. was founded seven years ago in Poughkeepsie by Adam Watson and Justin Taylor. It was named in honor of the ships that once traversed the Hudson River, and initially the brewery’s beer was sold at various farmers’ markets.
Sloop Brewing’s new site was funded in part by two state grants totaling $565,000. It is one of several new business that have opened up within iPark, a $300 million project to redevelop the former IBM campus. The project was announced last fall by the development company National Resources. Sloop is joined by More Good, an artisan soda, syrup and bitters company with a storefront in Beacon, and Cozzini Brothers, a knife company.
The East Fishkill brewery and Elizaville taproom will have special can releases of limited run beers each week. Turco says each space will draw a different crowd and have a different vibe.
“They’re both going to be very unique,” Turco says. “The new location will service the lower Hudson Valley and then Connecticut and New York City and Westchester County. It’s a lot closer of a drive than Elizaville.”
He adds, “We’re super excited to be back in Dutchess County that’s where we started in 2011.”
Sloop @The Factory
Open Thu. 4-9 p.m.; Fri. 4-10 p.m.; Sat. noon-10 p.m.; Sun. 12-9 p.m.
755 East Drive, Suite 106