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Frog Alley Brewing in Schenectady invites public to hop in

Frog Alley Brewing in Schenectady invites public to hop in

Schenectady's newest brewery opens its temporary taproom for football fans Sunday
Frog Alley Brewing in Schenectady invites public to hop in
Carly Clark of Frog Alley Brewery waits on Laura Clough and Kevin Stevens in the temporary taproom Sunday afternoon.
Photographer: Marc Schultz/Gazette Photographer

The highly anticipated Frog Alley Brewing Co., the Electric City's newest brewery, opened the doors of its temporary taproom on Sunday afternoon, hoping to attract area professional football fans.

The brewery occupies the majority of the ground floor in the building that most recently housed the Mill Lane Apartments. The building, situated in the area that bore the name "Frog Alley" in the early 1900s, was originally built as a factory and later became Breslaw’s department store.

Seventy-four upscale apartments, mostly one-bedroom units, will occupy the levels above the brewery. Training areas for the culinary and craft beverage programs at nearby SUNY Schenectady County Community College will be constructed in the building's lower levels.

The new offices for the Jahnel Group, a software developer that has outgrown its space in the nearby Stockade neighborhood will be located on the building's top level.

Images: Photos from Frog Alley's sneak peak Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019

When fully operational, Frog Alley will have the capacity to brew 14,000 barrels a year. The brewery itself will be enclosed in glass, allowing clear views of the entire operation. Both canning and bottling machinery have been installed along with a state of the art, unique mash filtration system that is not only designed to speed the brewing process, but also make it more flexible and up to 98 percent efficient. 

For now, the brewery's temporary taproom is open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Sunday was the first time the taproom was open the extra day and people took advantage of it, chatting with friends and grabbing free pizza provided at the bar.

"We just wanted to see how it would go," developer JT Pollard of Re4orm Architecture said on Sunday as customers came into the taproom to take a seat at the bar, or one of the hightop tables set up in the room. Much of the brewery's advertising is done via social media, and customers are kept informed about events through posts on its Facebook page.

The brewery is a small part of a larger project to revitalize the area. Pollard purchased 17 properties with hopes that the Mill Artisan District would have a large impact on transforming the neighborhood. He wants the district to be big enough to become a destination.

Laura Clough, a Schenectady resident, was in the taproom watching the game on Sunday. Clough, who is enrolled in the craft beverage program at SUNY Schenectady County Community College, is familiar with the brewery and brewers.

She said she drops into the temporary taproom every once in awhile, not only to see what's going on there, but also check out the new beers.

She also keeps up with the brewery on Facebook. When she noticed it was streaming the football game, she decided to stop by.

"I don't have cable at home, so I came here," she said.

Images: Photos from Frog Alley's sneak peak Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019

The major redevelopment is a sign that older portions of Schenectady are becoming a priority for revitalization, and will go far towards bringing in people who both want to live in Schenectady, and shop and dine in Schenectady.

In particular, Clough says that brewing is a collaborative business in which the companies tend to focus on playing off of rather than competing with each other, and Frog Alley has excelled in that.

"It's nice to see this sector of Schenectady being focused on," she said.

 

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