Growing A Beer Community At Gun Hill Brewery

August 06, 2017
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Pouring beer inside the Gun Hill Brewery tap room
Pouring beer inside the Gun Hill Brewery tap room

Kieran Farrell and Dave Lopez, co-owners of Gun Hill Brewing, didn’t think twice about building a brewery in the Bronx, where they both had childhood roots and hopes for a successful business. Their facility in the north Bronx was the first to brew beer in the borough since the 1960s, a reminder that craft beer isn’t so much a newfangled business model as a return to the fundamentals of beer—which beer drinkers across the United States are embracing at an exponential rate.

What Farrell and Lopez did not expect was the enormous hit their taproom has been with the locals in Gun Hill. As soon as their bar was installed, tables were set, and beer began flowing, every kind of person in the neighborhood began to poke their head in and see what was going on. Rather than the stereotypical beer snobs one might expect, many of the patrons coming through the door often had never tasted a microbrew or learned about the various kinds of beers that can be made once you have control of the process.

Farrell and Lopez, along with head brewer Chris Prout and their team of bartenders and assistant brewers, embraced the chance to spread their enthusiasm for beer to newcomers accustomed to drinking Corona and Guinness. In addition to adjusting their own menu to meet local tastes, they’ve worked to make their taproom an inclusive space for the community, hosting fundraisers, a hip-hop event featuring Bronx musicians, and a happy hour that proves that craft beer can belong to everybody. 

Inside the Gun Hill Tasting Room on Laconia Ave
Photo 1: Inside the Gun Hill Tasting Room on Laconia Ave
Photo 2: Guests clink their beers inside the Gun Hill tap room on Laconia Ave

This story is part of 1 Minute Meal, a documentary series that uses food to reveal the communities, legacies, dreams, realities, and unseen forces that shape life in New York City.

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