June 17, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
Alewife, the popular Long Island City-based brewpub, is closing down and moving its entire operation to Sunnyside.
The brewing company, known for its specialty IPAs and craft beers, will shut down its Long Island City bar and brew house next month and open in Sunnyside in the fall.
Alewife will brew all of its beer at a new 10,000 square foot facility at at 41-11 39th St. It will also open a tap room at that location and operate along similar lines to its Long Island City site on 51st Avenue.
The company had expected to operate in both Long Island City and Sunnyside but the spread of COVID-19 undermined its initial plans.
Patrick Donagher, who owns the company with Keir Hamilton, said that high rent coupled with reduced capacity over the coming months made the Long Island City location economically unviable.
The owners have decided to move their entire operation to the Sunnyside site instead.
The Long Island City bar/brewhouse will permanently shutter in July after a 10-year-run.
Donagher, an Irish immigrant, said they have been eager to open in Sunnyside for some time because of its business-friendly conditions.
He said their business is better suited to Sunnyside. For example, there is more space, rent is affordable and Sunnyside is a fantastic hub, he said.
Donagher also has a personal affiliation with Sunnyside. He lived in the neighborhood when he first immigrated to the U.S. almost 20 years ago.
“I love Sunnyside and really wanted to come back,” Donagher said.
“There are so many good people in Sunnyside and we have received an outpouring of support over the last couple of months,” he said.
The Sunnyside location is still under construction and was expected to open in April but COVID-19 restrictions hampered equipment deliveries.
The company will produce its reputable canned beers at a different location while it waits for the Sunnyside location to be completed.
Alewife, which distributes its brews throughout the New York region, will make a variety of ales, IPAs, craft beers, stouts, and lagers at the Sunnyside site.
Some of Alewife’s brand originals include “Thousand Stars,” “Chaos Gose,” and “Social Conditioning.”
They will also age some of their products with whiskey, bourbon, gin, and tequila, Donagher said.
Alewife will have 20 taps in operation to serve its bar customers at its Sunnyside location.
The company will serve up small snacks but will be bringing in food trucks to serve up hot food. Alewife expects to bring in its own permanent food truck within a year.