SCHENECTADY — Veteran actor Kelsey Grammer, known for roles as varied as psychiatrist (Frasier Crane) and psychopath (Sideshow Bob), will visit Schenectady on Jan. 27 in a newer role: brewer of beer.
A tasting event is set at Frog Alley Brewing for his American Faith Ale, a Catskills-inspired beer that is brewed under contract at the brewery on lower State Street.
Frog Alley owner J.T. Pollard said Grammer will serve a few drafts and meet the beer fans on hand.
“He’s a gentleman, we met with him a bunch of times,” Pollard said. The relationship is about a year old. “We’re brewing his beer and we’re also creating some new recipes for him,” Pollard said, though adding he doesn’t know if Grammer will use them.
On the American Faith website, Grammer says he enjoyed visiting the Catskills as a child and adult and acquired land there decades ago. His ambition is to build a brewery on the site of an old dairy farm in Margaretville, in Delaware County.
In late 2018, Grammer stopped in at Schenectady’s Jay Street Pub, where an early iteration of Faith American Ale was on tap.
The tasting event at Frog Alley will run 5 to 8 p.m. Jan. 27. Grammer’s appearance there will be followed by stops at similar events in New Jersey over the course of a few weeks.
Frog Alley will host another special event for beer fans late this month: During the Frozen Frog Ice Bar celebration noon to 7 p.m. Jan. 25, the brewery will introduce cans of its limited-edition MO’RAD NEIPA, named after Jeff Morad, a disc jockey on WEQX, which is presenting the event. South Ferry Street will be closed as three bands play and an ice bar is set up.
Frog Alley also will be part of Drink Schenectady from 6 to 9 p.m. this coming Saturday at MiSci.
Pollard gave an update Thursday on the $30 million Mill Lane project on Lower State Street, of which Frog Alley was the first completed piece.
After more than two years of demolition and construction, the first phase of the project is nearly done. Apartments will be available for occupancy in February and final construction work completed in March.
Pollard is now ordering the equipment for a distillery that will be co-located with the brewery. With lag time for construction and setup, he expects it to be on-site by early spring and in production by this summer. Vodka will be among the products.
The 1830s structure at the corner of State and South Church streets, long known as The Blockhouse even though it never had a military role among its many uses, will be next.
In 2017, Pollard thought The Blockhouse would be the first piece completed in the project, which was then a $15 million venture. The scope and details of the work changed, the price tag doubled, and the Blockhouse was pushed back on the schedule.
The various pieces together will form the heart of the Mill Artisan District.