Empire Brewing Company is marking a huge milestone for its Farm Brewery in Cazenovia.
The craft brewer opened its 40,000 square foot facility on 22 acres in Cazenovia one year ago.
Empire Brand Manager Jon Phillips says, “Being able to open this location and get our product into packages and bottles and get it out to more of our beer lovers out there is so exciting.”
But Empire wasn’t satisfied with filling up bottles with its brews for the first time ever to distribute and grow regionally it was quickly ready to stretch internationally.
Empire Director of Brewing Operations Tim Butler tells NewsChannel 9, “17 years ago when I started brewing, if you were to ask me would I ever have beer that was being shipped to China, that would have been such a far reach for me I probably would have said no, that’s never going to happen and that happened within our first six months.”
Butler says they learned early a key to make the Farm Brewery really work was to understand its not just about products, ingredients and recipes but also talking with dozens and dozens of people outside the organization each week.
“That’s just our distributors, that doesn’t include our local customer and the retailers and bar owners and store owners so just controlling the growth and making sure that the experience and distribution goes without flaw is a challenge in and of itself.”
Their latest creation is the 16oz. can of Empire’s “Slo Mo’ IPA”, but that first one day run is gone already. The good news is they’re getting ready to make another one later this summer.
Phillips says they have more plans for Year 2, “We have some collaborations coming like things we did with Hofmann Hot Dogs there’s some other stuff we’re looking into.”
“This morning we have our weekly production meetings at 8am and David (Katleski-Empire founder) came in and sat down and said, ‘welcome to the first day of the rest of our lives guys’.”
Through Halloween the Farm Brewery in Cazenovia is open seven days a week.
Monday through Wednesday it opens at 4 p.m. with the restaurant closing at 9 p.m. and bar shutting down at 11 p.m.
Thursday through Sunday the closing hours remain the same but the Farm Brewery opens those days at 11:30 a.m.