Whoever said lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice has clearly never been to Poughkeepsie. From edge of the riverfront to the outskirts of the Arlington district, the city ripples with the electric currents of breweries and homegrown hops. For one city in the Hudson Valley, Poughkeepsie is fairly foaming over with brewpubs, with mainstays like Blue Collar Brewery and Mill House Brewing Company balancing out newcomers like King’s Court Brewing Company and Plan Bee Farm Brewery.
Yet as any beer enthusiast knows, there’s always room for more.
Coming this fall, Zeus Brewing Company gets ready to pour a new one for Dutchess County. Situated right next-door to Schatzi’s Pub & Bier Garden on Main Street, the space will be home to a hybrid brewery and rooftop bar. A massive setup, it takes up three of the six commercial spaces on the ground floor of the building, then jumps up to the rooftop, which boasts views of the Mid-Hudson Bridge, the Walkway Over the Hudson, and the Hudson River skyline.
“We love that part of Poughkeepsie and knew we had to do something in this space” says co-owner Bethany Phillips. In partnership with her father-in-law, Glenn Phillips, she came up with the concept for Zeus a year ago, although she dreamed of opening a Hudson Valley brewpub long before then, with the first whispers of inspiration coming to her during her years waitressing and hosting at a restaurant in Albany.
“Living in Poughkeepsie and the Hudson Valley and being around restaurants and the beer industry ignited the want to be part of something more,” she notes. When she came across the building, she knew her time to join the brew scene had officially arrived. She joined forces with Glenn, a military veteran and pilot who served in the Air Force for 26 years, and the two got to work to transform the edifice into the venue of their dreams.
So what about the name?
It’s a family thing, Bethany reveals.
“Back when I was pregnant, we didn’t want to reveal the name of our son too early but wanted to include our family and friends in talking about him with a name. We started calling him baby Zeus because we knew he was strong and going to accomplish great things someday,” she explains. Ultimately, she named her son Grayson and saved Zeus for her new “baby” in Poughkeepsie.
Left to right: Grayson, Bethany, Glenn, and Amit in front of the tanks at Zeus Brewing
Now close to completion, Zeus Brewing plans to open in late fall. When the big day comes, the brewery will be a modern watering hole in the heart of the city. The aesthetic is contemporary, with industrial minimalism balanced by chic detailing. With ample space inside, the pub is open and inviting, welcoming city employees for happy hour during the week and visiting families for dinner and a brew on the weekend. On the ground floor, up to 150 people can stop by for dinner or drinks, while an additional 125 can retreat upstairs for brews and river views in the warmer months. The downstairs is also where Zeus brews and produces its beers, thereby ensuring that the brewery is truly a one-stop shop.
As for what’s on tap, Zeus relies upon head brewer Amit Ram to concoct a range of drinks that cater to palate. Ram, a Poughkeepsie resident, got his start in Israel and Massachusetts before relocating to Newburgh Brewing Company and, more recently, to Peekskill Brewery, where he served as head brewer. Using his 10-plus years of experience, he plans to craft brews that rotate seasonally in order to spotlight local ingredients and pair with Zeus’s simple, bar bites menu.
With the décor set, the beer brewing, and the finishing touches underway, the only thing left to do is follow along with @zeusbrewingco on Instagram for news about the grand opening. Of course, if the owners’ enthusiasm for the brewpub is any indication, it’s only a matter of time before Zeus electrifies life in Queen City.
“We’re just super excited for this project,” Bethany declares. “We’ve poured our hearts and souls into it and we can’t wait to show the Hudson Valley how truly magnificent this spot is!”
Zeus Brewing Company
178 Main St, Poughkeepsie