Schoharie County

Middleburgh getting back to business

A new craft beer brewery will be opening this fall on Main Street in Middleburgh, while a new auto b

A new craft beer brewery will be opening this fall on Main Street in Middleburgh, while a new auto body shop is already up and running.

Both are expected to boost the village’s post-flood recovery.

Middleburgh Mayor Matthew Avitabile this week announced Green Wolf Brewery and Andy’s Auto and Alignment are receiving $10,000 no-interest loans to support their development, along with $300 cash grants to cover flood-related repairs.

Justin Behan and Chuck Manning are renovating 315 Main St. into the Green Wolf Brewery, a microbrewery that will include a tap room for guests to sample ales made with local ingredients.

Meanwhile, Andrew Reightmyer is already welcoming customers to Andy’s Auto and Alignment at 139 Main St.

Both Reightmyer and Behan expressed optimism Friday about prospects to help re-energize the historic village, which is striving for a post-disaster renaissance.

“We love the area, and we want to help build the place up,” said Behan, 36, who expects to run the brewery with his wife and Manning as an adviser.

Behan brings four years of brewing experience to the enterprise following extensive training as an apprentice at the Good Nature Brewing Co. in Hamilton.

The Green Wolf Brewery will produce about 60 gallons per batch as a two-barrel brewery, serving it fresh in the tap room and bottling the craft ales for distribution around the Capital Region, he said.

While he waits for brewing equipment to be shipped, probably by July, Behan is speaking with Schoharie County farmers in hopes of securing local ingredients. Doing so will enable Green Wolf Brewery to take advantage of new state benefits aimed at helping craft brewers.

Behan said he is exploring tax credits and other advantages of the state’s new Farm Brewery License, which allows farm brewers to hold tasting events and sell their products for off-premises consumption, among others.

“Even before, I wanted to source as many of our ingredients as possible from New York state and from Schoharie,” Behan said.

The building at 315 Main St. has already been gutted, and Behan said it needs a floor and ceiling and plumbing and electric work, all of which is expected to be finished for a grand opening in the fall.

Andrew Reightmyer skipped a ribbon-cutting altogether and opened the doors of Andy’s Auto and Alignment on May 1. The 29-year-old Cobleskill native and his girlfriend put their savings together to start the business.

Reightmyer said the village’s loan will likely help replace a lift in the two-bay garage that once served as Den’s Tire.

Reightmyer said Den’s Tire closed not long before Tropical Storm Irene inundated the village in August 2011. He worked there for seven years before it closed.

Customers remember him, he said.

“This is my first full week. I’ve actually been pretty busy,” Reightmyer said.

Avitabile said the new businesses are promising and add to the momentum of recovery.

“Essentially, if you don’t have a strong Main Street, the rest of the community withers. We need to look out for our business owners, and we have to look out for the people that have been most affected by the flood,” he said.

“It’s another step, and I’m hoping we’ll have more. There are large problems still to tackle, like a grocery and a pharmacy, but this is a nice series of steps leading towards a wider recovery.”

Categories: -News-, Schenectady County

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