Finback Brewery opens its doors to the public
by Andrew Shilling
May 14, 2014 | 2530 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Beer York Founder Chris O’Leary and Jimmy’s No. 43 owner Jimmy Carbone with friends at the grand opening.
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Following several years of planning, experimenting and searching for the right location, Basil Lee and Kevin Stafford finally opened the doors at Finback Brewery in Glendale.

The duo served up dozens of their new brews at their facility, located at 78-01 77th Ave., including the Finback IPA, Puffin, and Double Sess(ion), which is made with Szechuan peppercorn and ginger.

“We think New York City loves great beer,” said Lee at the opening event. “We want to continue making great beer. It’s a great city to be a part of and we just think there is plenty of room for us.”

Jimmy Carbone, the owner of Jimmy’s No. 43, sells his barbecue ribs at a different brewery every weekend and said he was particularly impressed with the beer coming out of Finback.

“Jimmy’s No. 43 was the first place they sold in Manhattan back in February, and since then we’ve had almost all their beers on tap,” Carbone said. “About every two weeks we order a couple kegs.”

Carbone said he is most impressed with how successful the taste and buzz has been since the Queens brewery first began their soft launch earlier this year.

“Often when a new brewery starts they make mistakes,” he said. “What’s unique about these is they haven’t made a mistake yet and all their beers have been flawless.”

Chris O’Leary, founder of Brew York, said he has also been impressed with the taste and successful launch.

“It was really impressive to see them coming along,” O'Leary said. “They had this vision as home brewers to open a commercial brewery, and I really didn’t know what to expect. Sometimes home breweries do not translate to larger brews, but they have really nailed it down very well.”

Gerri Gonzalez, president of the Glendale Kiwanis, said he was especially impressed with the Finback IPA.

“I think it’s great, their flagship beer tastes excellent,” Gonzalez said. “It’s not too hoppy, but they also have a double hoppy beer which is excellent.”

Lee said following the launch he is now looking forward to expanding the facility and continuing their tradition in experimenting with new flavors and ingredients.

“The next step is to keep making beer,” Lee said. “We want to do a lot of variety, so we’re still figuring out how to balance self distribution and how to logistically do that.”

Once Lee and Stafford are able to complete the facility, they plan on working on their next batch.

“People want different things, people want variety and people are seeking out sours where two years ago it was too weird,” he said. “But really we just want to keep making interesting beer.”

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