Brewer 'pours' heart and soul into Middleburgh beer company

Posted at: 05/14/2013 4:18 PM
Updated at: 05/14/2013 5:47 PM
By: Abigail Bleck

VILLAGE OF MIDDLEBURGH--Justin Behan has been brewing at his home for years.  But the new father and American History grad turned audio book editor turned builder and now brewer plans to turn booze into a business.

"Here I am making this beer at home giving and it to friends and I just see this smile light up on their face," explains Behan.

By fall, a dilapidated store front at 315 Main Street in the Village of Middleburgh will be transformed into headquarters for the Green Wolf Brewing Company.

"Craft beer is community, community is craft beer...I love how people come together over good beer."

Green Wolf isn't green in name only.  The goal is for all bottles to be returned, cleaned and then resused.  Spent grains are passed along to farmers for feed.   The hops and barley used in the brewing process are grown in New York State and, ultimately, the brewery will run on solar power only.

"The long term goal is to have a carbon neutral brewing company," says Behan.

What will also make what's now a little operation in Behan's closet different is the plan to make it a Community Supported Brewery--or CSB.  Customers pay in advance and are delivered or pick up shares of the bounty; in this case by the bottle full.   Usually farmers utilize the business model for fruits, vegetables and meat.

"People in the Capital District and Schoharie Valley who are familiar with that will say that makes a lot of sense--craft beer and farming, they go together."

Beer won't just be shipped out, however,  With a tasting room and upstairs lounge on tap, Green Wolf Brewing Company will bring people in to the Village of Middleburgh, too.

"You know, having a destination that is what we need.  We need money and people flowing into the community," believes Mayor Avitabile.

The brewing operation should move from Behan's house to Main Street in August with a planned opening in October.