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E-Malt.com News article: USA, NY: District 96 Beer Factory launched in New City
Brewery news

New City residents who enjoy trying craft beer won't have to travel far to sip straight from the source anymore. The Rockland County hamlet now has its very own brewery, The Journal News reported on August 2.

District 96 Beer Factory is a bright, airy and beautifully appointed small-batch brew pub, offering a wide range of original ales and a menu of comforting, casual fare.

"We wanted to open up a place where locals could come and enjoy beer that has been made locally," said owner John Potenza, who was inspired to build out the brewery after he saw significant customer interest at his restaurant, The Burger Loft, next door. "We've had a lot of people over there who are beer drinkers but not craft beer drinkers and it's great to see them try it for the first time and make the switch."

But making his vision a reality took blood, sweat and tears.

"The building was originally a house-turned-pool business," he said, of the gut renovation to the District 96 taproom. "We cut the full floorplan open, dropped the equipment down in the back, put in the garage doors and storefront windows to let the light in. Then my partner found this gigantic skylight and we liked it so much we put in two.

"So, we blew out the ceiling, put some brick on the wall," Potenza continued. "Everything was handmade, from the steelwork, to the lighting to fastening an I-beam above the bar for the taps."

Small plantings hang from the walls for a touch of green, while Edison bulbs stream down from the ceiling like a cascade of shooting stars. The result is a bright, industrial-chic space for toasting suds.

To run the beer production, Potenza recruited Chase Planson from New England Brewing Co to be District 96's head brewmaster.

"Pretty much, we're gonna focus mainly on quality, drinkability and big flavors but also a lot of variety," said Planson. "So we'll have a couple of our core beers, Americanish, our Kolsch, and Silent Majority, a pale ale, those are going to be the two staples.

"All of the other things we do will be rotational," he continued. "We'll have everything from a Belgian blonde to a Trippel IPA. Being at a smaller scale puts us at an advantage in that regard. So there will be a pretty good mix of lower alcohol beers and in-your-face hoppy beers."

Taking a cue from the brewery's name and voting district all of the beers have a slightly political theme: American-isch, Sexual Relations, Silent Majority, The Wit House, Dark Money, et al.

"We don't take sides," said Potenza. "We just thought it was something fun that our customers would enjoy."

Customers will also invariably enjoy the cheese plates, fries, tacos, burgers and other dishes available to order from The Burger Loft menu. Eventually, Potenza plans to serve more beer-specific plates, beer pairing menus, and down the road, host events with live bands out back.

"It's an illuminating space serving approachable beers," he said. "Watching people come and enjoy themselves that's the best feeling, just knowing that we're creating that atmosphere for them."

03 August, 2017

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