Planned for Lark Street: Brew

brew albany shop logoThis will pique the curiosity of some people: A new "craft beverage" shop is planned for Lark Street, in the space currently occupied by Fuzz Records at 209 Lark (the intersection of Lark and State). The shop -- called Brew -- is aiming for an early summer open.

The people behind Brew are Fuzz Records owner Joshua Cotrona and business partner August Rosa. From a press release:

Highlights of the shop include a growler fill up station, a make your own six-pack section with a wide selection of bottled beer, a wall of specialty coffees and teas, cold brewed coffee concentrate growlers, and a cooler of ice cold beverages. Drip coffee, cold brewed coffee, and tea will also be available to go by the cup.
Additionally, Brew will sell beer making equipment, supplies, and ingredients for Capital Region home brewers. It's the shop's hope that Brew's product line will inspire customers to make their own concoctions. A detailed product lineup will be made available at as opening day approaches.
The shop plans on bringing quality events to the area including tap takeovers from American craft brewers, coffee cuppings, educational programs and more.

The plan is for Brew to also sell a small selection of records, and Cotrona will continue to sell music through the website for Fuzz.

So what prompted the pair to plan the shop? Rosa told us this morning via email: "The idea came up when we realized the need for a craft beer outlet in the Center Square neighborhood. We decided to expand the offerings to include coffee, teas, and other beverages down the road. Our shop will help residents in downtown Albany skip a trip out to the suburbs for these items."

The store's liquor license is currently pending, according to the SLA website.

This area has had a bubbling craft beverage scene over the last few years -- including producers such as Albany Distilling Co. and Nine Pine Cider Works, as well as an increased focus on high-quality coffee. So maybe this is another piece in that overall picture.

Update: Over at Albany Proper, Patrick talked with the shop's owners at length about their plans.


I am super excited about this opportunity and feel it is a good diversification of the retail options along Lark Street, appropriately targeting the growing number of young working professionals in the immediate area or who have decided to call the city of Albany home. Like downtown, those businesses that continue to market towards the “get drunk college crowd” are slowly dying off as they realize this business model can’t last forever. I’m enjoying the new establishments downtown (and along Lark) that provide more options to those looking to go out with colleagues and family in order to enjoy their company alongside good food and beer (rather than make it a social contest on how much I can guzzle down).

I am also psyched about being able to pick up brewing supplies on my bus commute home or a quick walk from my house on the weekend, as opposed to the grueling car (or multiple bus) rides out to Latham or North Greenbush, where I currently need to go for my supplies. Craft brewing, as with many other DIY movements, have really flourished and it’s excellent to have a resource to leverage in my own personal pursuits.

Albany has a million places to buy beer and one place to buy (new) records. Now we'll have a million+1 places to buy beer and... 0.5 places to buy (new) records. Yay?

I never really understood how Fuzz Records stayed in business since they seemed to have a very small collection of records. This seems like a much better use of the space. I'm excited that I will be able to get brewing supplies right around the corner from my apartment!

@Sad: while there aren't too many places to buy records, true, there are really few places in the City of Albany to buy a good selection of excellent micros, too. Olivers/Westmere (same ownership) need the competition, and all of Downtown Albany has no bottle shop to go to (if you consider Colvin Ave. "midtown", which I think is fair). Certainly nowhere walking distance to Pearl, Lark/Center Square, etc.

Replying to myself: I forgot about the co-op, which does have an excellent selection of micros for what is relatively little space (a half-aisle).

Yet another beer place.

Anyone who thinks that the coop has an excellent selection of "micros" (a term which hasn't been used in a while) clearly doesn't understand the current state of craft beer.

Do we really have a lot of beer shops in Albany? I know of roughly one, on Colvin (as well as its sister location, which is a bit outside the city). We have supermarkets, yes, but few beer shops.

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