Clemson Bros. Brewery is expanding to Pine Island. Owner Kenan Porter, a fourth-generation Warwick resident, plans to have the new location up and running by summer 2022.
The Pine Island brewery-restaurant will be the Clemson Bros.’ third, in addition to the original Middletown brewery and the New Paltz location, formerly The Gilded Otter.
Lola’s Blonde Ale
Clemson Bros. is known for fresh brews, top-notch burgers, and a cool atmosphere. In addition to their beer, the brewery’s boutique bar also serves local spirits and Doc’s hard cider.
“We have really good, juicy burgers. We don’t skimp on the ingredients,” said Porter. “All of our beer is very delicious...we’re making smaller batches that are just nonstop fresh.”
The Lola’s Blonde Ale, Clemson Pilsner and Trinity Test IPA are regularly on tap, in addition to five other seasonal, rotating beers. Porter is most excited about the popular, fruit-inspired brews on tap, including the Blueberry Gunx wheat ale and I Dream of Coconuts Cream Ale.
Full steam ahead
The Middletown mainstay, complete with exposed brick, industrial accents, and a beer garden with lawn games, bounced back quickly after it was forced to shut down at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.
“The minute that we knew about this, I closed the doors immediately,” said Porter.
He did what he could during the shutdown: the New Paltz location got a makeover, the Clemson Bros app was updated to make online ordering seamless, the to-go menu was relaunched and packaging was upgraded. “There’s a lot of positives that came out of that period,” he said. “We tried utilize it as best as we could.”
Staff members were laid off, given letters stating that they’d be called back when the business got its bearings -- and be reimbursed for the time missed on top of collecting unemployment. “We had to get our sea legs first,” said Porter.
Since reopening, 95% of his employees have returned.
“We have a really, really good team,” he added. Ever since the brewery was able to reopen, even at limited capacity, Clemson Bros. has been “slammed.”
Porter is excited to continue building the business. In addition to the new Pine Island brewery, the Middletown location is also growing, with plans to renovate its warehouse into a large wedding venue.
Clemson Bros. will be showcasing its freshly brewed beer at the Black Dirt Beer Bash, an outdoor event at Sugar Loaf Performing Arts Center on Sept. 18, featuring unlimited tastings from the best local breweries.
Learn more and get tickets at blackdirtbeerbash.com