Finback Brewery launches first batch in Forest Hills
by Andrew Shilling
Feb 05, 2014 | 1008 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kevin Stafford, Steve Elkins and Basil Lee at Forest Hills Station House.
Kevin Stafford, Steve Elkins and Basil Lee at Forest Hills Station House.
slideshow
LIC resident Jason Grossman and his friends try the new Finback fleet at Forest Hills Station House.
LIC resident Jason Grossman and his friends try the new Finback fleet at Forest Hills Station House.
slideshow
Finback Brewery founders Basil Lee and Kevin Stafford unveiled the first batches of beer from their new brewery last week, making one of their four citywide stops in Forest Hills.

While the finishing touches are made at their new facility, located at 78-01 77th Avenue, the college buddies from Massachusetts set out to showcase their Pilot X IPA, the Double Sess, a Witbier with Szechuan peppercorns and ginger, and the Puffin, a session-smoked porter.

“This is our first Queens launch,” Stafford said on opening night. “Tonight is kind of cool because a lot of the locals who live around the brewery can actually come out and try the beer that we’ve been talking about for so long.

All of the beer brought out for their launch was freshly kegged just two weeks before making it to the Forest Hills Station House on 71st Avenue.

Steve Elkins, owner of the Forest Hills Station House, said he first found out about the the brewery though a friend. After tasting the beer, and approving of their homegrown style, the Queens business owner invited the two out for a soft opening in his restaurant.

“We like to support our local breweries,” Elkins said. “I think they’re great and we’re here to help them get the word out to our part of the borough.”

Elkins said he plans to one day host a borough-themed night, bringing out local Queens brewmasters to his restaurant.

“We are working on some things,” he said. “It’s still to be determined, but there is a possibility of an all-Queens night-type of event.”

LIC resident Jason Grossman joined his friends from Forest Hills and tried each of the new Finback beers last week. While he said he enjoyed Double Sess, the bitterness and light flavor of the Pilot X IPA was his favorite of the night.

“It’s not to strong, it's not too malty like many beers can be, but it’s a good IPA,” Grossman said. “It’s cool to support local and have some pretty good beer nearby, especially when it comes to IPAs. The West Coast is huge, so an emerging hoppy-ness scene on the East Coast is kind of nice to have.”

Lee said while the brewery is out launching their first batch, they are still continuing their hard work back at their home base as much as possible.

“We’re doing another batch of IPA and an Imperial Stout this week,” Lee said. “We’re going to keep changing it up, do a lot of different beers, keep growing and keep getting it out there.”

Lee added that they are still hopeful for a March opening of their main facility to allow guests in for tastings and numerous events.

“We can’t wait to welcome the neighborhood into the brewery,” he said. “I think we’re going to have a great space to just chill, taste some beers and really see how these beers are made.”

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