The only indication of the Captain Lawrence Brewery’s new location on Saw Mill River Road in Elmsford is the establishment’s van parked near the busy road. Look for the 444 sign, pull in, go all the way to the back and look for the grain silo. The tasting room is around the back.
Building on the buzz created at on Castleton Street in Pleasantville, the party continues in the spacious new brew house, which offers an expanded tasting room with 24 taps rather than six at the last location. Meat and cheese plates from artisanal farms in New York and New England, created by Murray’s Cheese Shop, are available for purchase, along with other snacks, including olives, jerky and nuts.
Other differences include a new tasting policy, which requires patrons to buy a small logo glass for $2. Samples are still free, but patrons must bring the glass back to partake. If they forget, they have to buy another glass. The new tasting area is quite loud, since there’s nothing to absorb the din. When brewery employees want to make an announcement (about a double-parked car or a brewery tour), they play a siren over the sound system to get everyone’s attention.
Last week, during the grand opening, the line to fill growlers (64-oz refillable moonshine jugs) snaked from the bar area to the door and around 150 people filled up the tasting room.
This weekend, White Plains Mayor Tom Roach stopped by with a growler. A home brewer, Roach visits breweries on his vacations and likes the new location.
“I like to support local businesses of all kinds,” he said.
Two regulars from the Pleasantville location, Kim O’Brien of Hawthorne and Michael Norelli of Chappaqua, made the trek to the new brewery.
“I know the family [of brewmaster Scott Vaccaro] well, and it’s a great story how he followed his dream and became very successful,” said Norelli. “This place is like paradise.”
O’Brien also likes the new digs: “It’s spacious, comfortable and it’s heated,” she said.
Captain Lawrence spent around in Pleasantville before outgrowing the location. The brewery doubled its capacity from 10,000 barrels to 20,000 barrels after the move and there’s room to add more fermentation tanks. A key to expanding sales is the new bottling line, which lets the brewery make six packs, though the machine has yet to come on line.
“We’ll look to expand again in a few years,” said Brewer Ryan Kipp during a tour of the brewery for visitors.
Two other regulars, John and Lauren Annunziata of White Plains, enjoy the new facility. Self-described beer snobs, they often host beer-tasting parties featuring Captain Lawrence growlers.
“This place is really nice,” said Lauren. “The other place felt like home and we’ll miss that, but it’s still a great place to hang out and there’s always nice people.”