Arts and Casks

Industrial Arts Brewing is inspired by its home in the Garnerville Arts and Industrial Complex

At the ripe, “old” age of 42, Jeff O’Neil stands out among the owners of the various breweries that have recently popped up throughout the Valley. While many new brewers are first-timers just getting into the business, O’Neil has been making and marketing beers since these newcomers were in grad school. Brewing professionally since the ’90s, he’s won awards for his concoctions at Peekskill Brewery and the suds at Ithaca Brewing Co., and now he is helming a project all his own.

This fall, O’Neil opened Industrial Arts Brewing in the historic Garnerville Arts and Industrial Complex in Rockland County, which is also ripe and old. Dating back to the late 1700s, the landmark factory complex now houses, as its name suggests, both artists and industry. This combination, and the building itself, inspired the brand O’Neil is working to build for his new line of brews.

O’Neil, who was born in Poughkeepsie, was raised in Binghamton. He got the beer bug in college, then moved to California and served as an itinerant brewer at several Bay Area brew pubs in the 1990s. “I was young, and I loved it, though I didn’t necessarily view it as a sustainable career choice,” he says. When his wife moved to Ithaca in 2002 to pursue her PhD, he continued his career crafting for New York brewers. The family grew to include four children, and his dreams for running his own shop gained steam.

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At the same time, the New York State beer scene also grew and “I finally got my act together,” he says. During his tenure as brewmaster at the Peekskill Brewery, he developed his business plan, gathered investors and spent a year looking for the perfect site: a factory near the river. He found it last summer across the river at the Garnerville Arts and Industrial Center. 

It’s his combination of practiced art and technological craft that will distinguish him, he believes. 

The art? “Our brewing process has different bells and whistles that almost no one else in the world has,” he says. “We create layers of hoppiness that are noticeably different.” And the industry? “People who see us will never forget the location. I had another brewer visit who said he had never been jealous of anyone else’s tap room before he saw this,” he notes. The main public area (he actually rents three spaces in the center) features pre-Civil War brick and wood bones and a towering smokestack, combined with state of the art, German-engineered, customized brewing equipment. 

Their flagship beer, Tools of the Trade, is an extra-pale ale, and his other primary beer, State of the Art, is an ever-evolving IPA. “We use a different recipe each batch, which is an expression of our approach to IPA brewing,” O’Neil says. “Our theory is, use great ingredients, and stay out of their way.”

Besides his taproom, the beers can be found in bars and restaurants like Birdsall House in Peekskill and the Bridgeview Tavern in Tarrytown, and are carried at DeCicco and Sons Markets. “I hope we become the go-to beer in the Hudson Valley,” O’Neil says. “I want to be thought of as a brewers’ brewery.”

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55 Railroad Avenue, Garnerville
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