Update 6/2: Owner Scott Vaccaro sent a newsletter out today that states, "It is time to make a move to a facility that can sustain our growth for years to come."
He continues, "The new facility will house a 5 vessel, 40 bbl automated brew house which will have 5 times the capacity of our current location and will allow us to begin packaging our beers in 12 ounce bottles, something we have been dreaming of doing from keg one. In addition, we will be adding a 7 bbl experimental brew house which will allow us to create new and exciting beers on a regular basis, adding to the lineup of beers available in our tasting room and beyond. Our new tasting room will be approximately 1500 sf, 4 times the size of our current location and will incorporate a new draft system for serving beer and filling growlers and should provide a much more comfortable tasting experience."
The said the brewery attempted to find a more accomodating space within Pleasantville, "but unfortunately none of them fit our long term needs."
"We are hopeful we will have the Brewery up and running by late this year, and should be making the transition complete by year’s end," said Vaccaro.
Pleasantville’s loss will be Greenburgh’s gain.
After five productive years on Castleton Street, , the will set sail for a new facility at 444 Saw Mill River Road, also known as Route 9A.
Though no signs indicate the big box’s future, employees of nearby businesses, including Safe Haven Self Storage and NBB Office Environments, know what’s coming.
Greenburgh town officials are ecstatic.
“We already have a large corporate presence with Dannon and Bayer, so this is a prestigious thing for us,” said Thomas Madden, commissioner of community development and conservation, who is also a home brewer. “We’re very excited about this.”
The move has taken months to work out. The new space, from three to four times the size of the current location, has soaring ceilings and is mostly empty. It is Madden’s understanding that the tanks have been ordered and the move will be completed by the Fall.
In an email to Patch, brewery Owner Scott Vaccaro wrote, “we are working on our future plans but do not have anything finalized yet.”
Vaccaro and his crew have done yeomen’s work getting their product into local bars and restaurants. His efforts on behalf of craft beer and his award-winning success have made him akin to a rock star among regional craft brewers.
“Everyone in the northeast knows about Scott and Captain Lawrence,” said Stephen Andrews, the new 20-something brewer at Thomas Hooker Brewing Company in Bloomfield, CT, which recently doubled its space and brewing capacity. “He’s done a lot to spread the word.”
Many local craft breweries, which use fresh ingredients and original recipes to brew in small batches, have experienced explosive growth in recent years. Once dismissed as a fad when it began taking off in the 1980’s, craft, or micro breweries are a still-growing segment of the U.S. beer market.
Though overall beer sales dropped one percent in 2010, India Pale Ales, Smoked Porters, Pale Ales, Kolsch-style German-style ales and other styles favored by Captain Lawrence grew 11 percent by volume and 12 percent in sales in 2010, according to the Brewers Association, which represents small brewers. There are more breweries in the country–1,750, up from under 100 in 1980–than at any time since 1900.
Vaccaro, 33, began brewing at age 18. His parents encouraged him to study something practical, like accounting, and balked at his plans to become a brewer–at first. Now they work for him on a part-time basis.
After earning a degree from the University of California at Davis in fermentation science and working at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, CA, Vaccaro returned east to scout locations, settling on space in a small industrial strip in Pleasantville. He named the brewery after the street on which he grew up in South Salem, Captain Lawrence Drive, and has created a special blend called Cuvee de Castleton in honor of the current location.
With the exception of particularly limited production runs, most of his beer is available in kegs and large bottles in New York City and the lower Hudson Valley – no six packs yet. And, from Thursday to Saturday, people stand in line to fill up 64 ounce jugs called growlers in the tap room as they and others hang out sipping four ounce samples.
For beer lovers, the Captain Lawrence Brewery has become the Mecca in Westchester. Until, of course, they move.