Owner: Alireza Saifi, a meticulous quality-driven founder learning from his team of friends and trained brewers. “Everybody comes in here and tosses their egos aside,” says Saifi. “The product drives the passion, and the end goal is always the quality of the product.”
The space: A 6,500-square-foot building complete with tasting room open to public and private events, and a customized barrel system to handle the high-gravity brewing Saifi strives for. “I like the challenge and to set the bar high. I don’t want to just brew beer,” he says. There are also plans for weekly beer education classes, which will discuss appropriate food pairings and menus for each of their brews.
What’s on tap: About 13 beers in two categories, all made with maca root, a native Peruvian plant: High Gravity (higher alcohol, above 9 percent) and Low Gravity (lower alcohol, between 5 and 6.5 percent). Standouts include the Belgian Blonde, Imperial IPA Rye, Banana Nut Brown Ale and the Imperial Stout, made with maca, chocolate and mint.
Backstory: Saifi is not Peruvian. In fact, he grew up in the East Village. But a trip to the Andes four years ago piqued his interest in a very specific way. Saifi fell in love with the local maca plant, a root-like vegetable similar to a turnip, which has been used by Peruvians for generations in food and medicine to promote vitality, energy, fertility and sexual virility. Saifi sampled some of the local villagers’ home brews, which were made with maca. “It has a nutty flavor, very earthy and creamy. It masks the alcohol,” says Saifi, who attributes the taste of the plant to his ability to brew high-alcohol beer without the harshness you might expect.
Where you’ll find it: Whole Foods Market, DeCicco’s, Growler & Gill Craft Beer Shoppe in Nanuet, Port Chester Beer, Bronx Ale House and several Manhattan bars, including City Swiggers and Buddha Beer Bar.