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Port Jervis Native Taps Into Craft Beer Movement

Port Jervis native Matt Curtin, left, and Eric Gearity, right, founders of Sing Sing Kill Brewery. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick
Signage inside Sing Sing Kill Brewery in Ossining. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick
The tanks are in and ready to brew at Sing Sing Kill Brewery. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick
No signage yet; the exterior of Sing Sing Kill Brewery in Ossining. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick
Sing Sing Kill Brewery in Ossining. Photo Credit: Jeanne Muchnick

Matt Curtin has been homebrewing for more than 20 years. Now, the Port Jervis native is about to take the plunge with his own place.

Curtin is a partner -- and head brewer - in the soon-to-be-opened Sing Sing Kill Brewery (SSKB) in Ossining.

The new business -- set to start pouring its beers sometime later this month -- is all about paying homage -- and celebrating—local history. Hence, the name -- and reference to the famous prison.

“Naming ourselves Sing Sing Kill Brewery is about embracing our local heritage," explained Eric Gearity, Head of Operations.

"Sing Sing Prison is part of our community. But it’s the beautiful and iconic Sing Sing Kill, the creek which flows through Ossining, that gives the brewery its name."

"A kill, after all, is water," added Curtin, now a Westchester resident. "And beer is mostly water."

it's why the two came up with the brewery's motto: "It's water, not murder," which they are selling on T-shirts. It's what Curtin was wearing when meeting this reporter.

Curtin didn't know many people when he first moved to Ossining 10 years ago but as it turned out, his wife, Lisa, knew the mayor -- Victoria Gearity. The two had gone through the Tarrytown school system together.

At a barbecue, with their husbands, conversation turned to what they like to drink, then to beers, and finally, to creating a brewery with the kinds of things they've always wanted--a family-friendly environment, a commitment to New York State products, and a welcoming place to hang and down a pint. They also wanted a large, airy taproom with space to fit a live band.

Transforming a vacant factory and warehouse building on Spring Street a couple of blocks south of the center of Ossining’s downtown was a way to help further revitalize the historic business district.

Equally important was a commitment to source ingredients locally from the Hudson Valley. This, explained Curtin, will help make for creative brews with seasonal ingredients. And it supports New York's farmers.

Having the accreditation of a being a New York State Farm Brewery means they're able to sell any item produced in the state. One of their first 2018 batches will, in fact, be a collaboration with Big Alice Brewing in Long Island City.

In all, the two expect to have eight beers on tap. They will also offer house-made sodas (to fit in with that you-can-bring-your-kids-here vibe), as well as bar snacks from local vendors.

Beer varieties will include IPAs, session ales, a honey hibiscus wit, and a chocolate milk stout. They will also fill growlers, and sell 32-ounce crowler cans in a refrigerated to-go section.

Follow their progress on Facebook here . They expect to initially be open limited hours (i.e. Friday/Saturday and Sunday) with the goal of becoming a five-day-a-week operation.

Go to www.singsingkillbrewery.com/ for more details.

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