Davidson Brothers to Begin Construction of New Brewery
Construction on Davidson Brothers’ new, 20,000 square foot brew house in Queensbury will begin immediately after Labor Day.
According to Rick Davidson, who with his brother John owns Davidson Brothers brewery and pub in Glens Falls, the purchase of the property is expected to be completed by the end of August.
Since 2001, Shipyard Brewery in Portland, Maine, has brewed and bottled most of the Davidson Brothers beers. The new brewery, which will be located immediately south of Great Escape on Route Nine, will enable Davidson Brothers to brew all its beer in Warren County.
“Shipyard Brewery has reached its capacity. We had to choose between finding a new brewery and biting the bullet and building a brewery ourselves. Since the British brew system that Shipyard and we ourselves use at the brewpub is different from the systems used by other breweries in the northeast, we chose to build our own in order to maintain the same level of quality,” said Rick Davidson.
The British brew system, known as the Peter Austin system, was introduced to the US by Shipyard co-founder and head brewer Alan Pugsley, and according to John Davidson, Pugsley will oversee the design, fabrication, installation and commissioning of the Queensbury brewery’s system.
“We chose this system with its traditional open‐top fermentation because with it we can handcraft truly world‐class beers. Because Shipyard brewed on that system, we chose them to be our contract partners in 2001, after we had exceeded our capacity at the brewpub. Our new Queensbury brewery will house the second‐largest Peter Austin system in the United States, the largest being Shipyard’s,” said John Davidson.
Pugsley recently sold his stake in Shipyard and is now working as a consultant for other breweries through his Pugsley Brewing Projects International.
“He’s helped many dozens of breweries,” said Rick Davidson.
According to Rick Davidson, the brew house will create six to twelve new full-time, well-paid jobs, and the $4.3 million project is viewed by the Davidsons, as well as local leaders, as one more economic stimulus for the region.
“Not only are the Davidson’s bringing out–of-state production into Warren County, they are adding another exciting dynamic to their business,” said Chuck Barton, the president of the Warren County Economic Development Corporation.
The new brewery will include tasting rooms and a retail store. It will also be something of a tourist attraction in itself, said Rick Davidson, noting that bus tour companies have been invited to add the site to their itineraries.
“People have always been interested in seeing and learning more about the brewing process, and this site will enable us to offer more tours,” said Davidson. “We can then encourage people to visit the pub downtown, benefiting both Queensbury and Glens Falls.”
Natives of Fort Edward, the Davidson brothers came up with the idea of opening a pub and craft brewery in downtown Glens Falls after visiting Baltimore’s Wharf Rat brewpub in 1993. At the time, there were less than 500 breweries in the U.S. Today there are more than 2,200 breweries operating in the country with more than 1,000 planned. According to the Brewers Association, craft beer volume rose 13% in 2011 and another 12% in the first half of 2012. Davidson Brothers beers are distributed
throughout seventeen counties of upstate New York as well as throughout New York City.