About 250 of the happiest people in Westchester came to in Pleasantville for a final soirée before open in Elmsford on Tuesday at 4 p.m. The grand opening will be held next Saturday at 444 Saw Mill River Rd.
At the industrial building along Castleton Street, crowds packed the former brewing floor, listened to the Grateful Dead influenced Fluid Druids band and lined up to fill their growlers (reseal-able moonshine bottles) straight from the tap with Pale Ale, Liquid Gold and Family Meal beers.
The brewery also supplied a nice spread of food and handed out a seemingly endless supply of free samples.
This tradition will continue in the new building, which is twice as big as the current location, yet allows for the production of up to five times as many barrels than can be brewed at the current location, said Founder Scott Vaccaro.
Leaving is bittersweet, said Vaccaro, after a shake out in the craft beer market spurred interest and growth. As the only local brewery in Westchester County, the company aggressively sold its wares throughout the tri-state area, growing form 600 barrels in its first year to 8,900 in 2011. Collectors line up in the parking lot to stay overnight and snap up pricey limited releases.
“I love Pleasantville; I even live here,” said Vaccaro as he helped a customer roll a large aging barrel into his Subaru. He donated the barrel, which will be used for outdoor furniture. The rest of the brewery’s equipment has been sold to a new enterprise in California.
“I’m sad to see it go, but we’re excited to move,” he said.
At a board of trustees meeting earlier this month, Pleasantville Mayor Peter Scherer reflected, "Scott and everybody have been good friends of the Village of Pleasantville," and recalled on the brewery's contributions to the local economy and .
"We just congratulate Scott and thank him for the many, many good services he has provided on behalf of the village," said Scherer.
At the new location, Vaccaro plans to sell meat and cheese platters, serve for longer hours and rent the place out for private events.
“We can do a lot of fun things in the new place,” including providing an outdoor area and bottle six-packs, he added.
“This is a great local brewery,” said Kim O’Brien of Hawthorne, who frequents the tasting room and raves about the new space. “Too bad they have to leave Pleasantville, but Elmsford is close enough. The way the economy is going, it’s great to see someone who works hard at something do well.”
The key is the owners and employees are friendly, said Paul Recht, another regular who lives in Pleasantville.
Nursing an Espresso Stout and surveying the tasting room for the last time, he added, “the beer is dynamite; Scott really cares about the quality. This is like one big beer-loving family.”
Local Editor Sarah Studley contributed to this report.