In our continuing evaluation of the New York Beer Project, we question ourselves daily as to what we need to accomplish in order to achieve success for ourselves and our community. In doing so, we have traveled throughout the country to observe craft breweries in action, and to evaluate what makes them succeed and resonate so powerfully with so many people. With that in mind, we’ve placed our heart on this piece of paper. A clear vision of what it will take to make NYBP beat daily and, in turn, become a living, vital and healthy leader in Lockport, New York, and beyond. Let the journey begin……
What is the brewery formula? Truly, what is that unique combination that makes people “Need” to come to a brewery, and feel so alive and wonderful as they sit with their brethren beverage sippers? Is it the beer? Is it the camaraderie? Is it the experience, the food, the big jenga blocks, the sharing, the vibe? In our anal attempt to organize everything into compartments in our cluttered minds, we tend to try to oversimplify things in an attempt to find success formulas, such as hops x malt + the amount of pea gravel in your beer garden divided by pi = that day when hundreds of people arrive to enjoy your brews on a perfect spring afternoon. However in this glorious quest for the perfect brewery formula, we have finally realized there isn’t one. We just have to try to make sure everything we do is pretty damn excellent, and ensure everyone is working toward the same end of the rainbow in order to make NYBP the awesome experience for all those who visit.
NYBP is truly greater than the sum of its parts. If you deconstruct New York Beer Project, you’ll find some pretty amazing pieces in this larger than life puzzle. First, there’s the bricks and mortar that have truly taken on a life of their own. It’s like this place knows what it wants to be, where it wants to be, and what it wants to do. Everyday, ideas serendipitously emerge from nowhere, as if some higher power was pulling the strings. Who knows? Perhaps it is Ninkasi, the ancient goddess of brewing, or maybe it’s good old Walter Kohl, the larger than life legend of Lockport who use to own this very land which is now home to the New York Beer Project (and we are sure that he would be THRILLED to know it is now being converted into a brewery.)!
Second, we feel the location of any business is a key element of its success. With this in mind, here’s an interesting story: In our journey to find the perfect location for the New York Beer Project, we put offers on 3 plots of land. They all, for one reason or another were not successful. Then, the clouds parted and this plot that wasn’t even for sale, dropped right in our laps. It just happens to be at the epicenter where 2 counties, 2 major thoroughfares, and 3 towns converge, at a crossroads that greets 30,000 cars per day. With this land acquisition, New York Beer Project has become not only just an amazing brewery and gastropub, but also the welcome center at the official gateway into Niagara County!
One of the “take aways” from our brewery R & D trips was the sense of community spilling out of the doors of the various successful places we visited. In the small town of Downingtown, where the very large VICTORY BREWING calls home, we saw a steady stream of families bringing their baby strollers and growlers through a teeming rain, in order to grab a Saturday lunch and a growler fill. At Rhinegeist in Cincinnati, we watched young millennials having a playdate at the brewery. The adults shared Truth (their IPA) while their young kids shared the Girl Scout cookies that were being sold by a local troupe (which the adults paired with their Zen Session Pale Ale).
We will always remain true and loyal to our local community, which is so deserving of a unique spot to call their own. For years, even decades, this area has been patiently waiting for something new and original. Now, this community steeped in a heritage rich in beer history prior to prohibition, can reclaim its former glory in NYBP.
So cheers, all ye who seek a wonderful place where we can all gather to enjoy good food, good beer and good times. All are welcome. We hope eventually you’ll call NYBP “home.”