Canton brewery developers get okay to apply for $544,500 Restore NY grant funding
BY PAUL MITCHELL
North Country This Week
CANTON – The developers of a proposed brewery received the thumbs up for the village to submit an application for Restore NY grant funding for the $1.124 million project.
On Wednesday night, Gary Hammond, chief financial officer for St. Lawrence Suds LLC, delivered a presentation to the village board and about a dozen interested individuals in the proposed brew pub to be called Bent Beam Brewing.The brewery will be located in the former McCarthy’s Furniture Barn at 41 West Main St.
Hammond said they hope to close on the property in a few weeks.
Joseph Erlichman, a biology professor at St. Lawrence University, will bring his decades-old brewing experience to the table, offering a variety of beers ranging from New England style IPA, extra special bitters to stouts and porters, and seasonal brews.
“We will be billed as a gastro pub,” Hammond said. “I like the fact we are saving a building.”
Once the renovation work on the 100-year-old building is complete, plans call for a full two stories with the brewhouse in the front side and the back end for the restaurant space. He noted that brewhouse apparatus and equipment has been purchased.
Hammond outlined the cost of the project. Rehabilitation work will cost $665,000, brewing equipment $260,000, restaurant equipment $100,000 with working capital of $99,500.
The Restore NY grant, if awarded, will garner $544,500 along with anticipation of a $50,000 National Grid Renovation grant.
Hammond stated earlier that if the Restore NY grant is not realized, the restaurant portion of the project will be put on hold.
“Without the grant we can’t fund the entire project,” Hammond stated.
He said he hopes to begin pouring pints of beer in July 2023.
Hammond also noted that initially four employees will be hired and that sales tax collected over the first five years would be around $200,000 and payroll over the first five years nearly $1 million. The brewery would generate $77,360 in village school taxes combined.
The developers have already acquired a 5 barrel alpha brewhouse that can produce 155 gallons of beer per batch from the Hackensack Brewery in Hackensack, N.J.
The menu, if the restaurant is in play, will feature an upscale pub menu with the farm-to-table theme.
Hammond also cited a gap funding of $594,500 still needed to carry the costs of any grants received until the project is completed.
He said he is working with the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency to search for additional resources and gap funding opportunities.
The village board embraced the project and unanimously approved the resolution to seek Restore NY funding.
Hammond said the brewhouse facility will also feature an entertainment area for small gatherings.
Bent Beam Brewing hours, he said, would be Wednesday through Friday from 4 to 10 p.m., Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.