Two childhood friends from Yonkers have opened the city’s first brewery. John Rubbo and Nick Califano are embracing their love of craft beers–and their local community–by opening Yonkers Brewing Company.
Their passion for beer and the brewing processes started in their youth when they would help their grandfathers make beer and wine. Now, they are eager to share their love of ale with the local community.
In an interview with the Yonkers Daily Voice, Rubbo described the mission for their business and their aspirations for the growth of craft beer culture and production in Yonkers.
“We decided that we wanted to bridge the gap between an everyday beer and a craft beer,” Rubbo said. “Our first move was to get a logo that exemplified our mission to serve Yonkers. We then decided to produce a lager over an ale, even though it’s a lengthier and more expensive process. We chose to make a lager because it’s what people are used to, and if we were going to do something, it was going to be done the right way.”
Yonkers Lager, their signature brew, is currently being brewed in Connecticut at the Thomas Hooker Brewing Company. As the pair eye their expansion into Yonkers, Califano is eager to establish a physical location and solidify their brand recognition.
“Yonkers is the place we grew up,” Califano said. “It’s the place we’re going to raise our own families and it’s the place that we want to serve for as long as we live. I really do feel like our beer will help make Yonkers a better place by bringing the community together.”
Rubbo and Califano’s craft brew is distributed regionally, with Yonkers Lager currently available at 18 Yonkers businesses. In coordination with the City, the brewery is currently researching downtown locations for a physical expansion.