A fledgling Catskills brewery whose original proposed location in Shokan fell through has found a new home in Phoenicia.
Back in 2015, Woodstock Brewing‘s first iteration, called Shokan Brewing, was slated to take over the Route 28 building that houses design store Scandinavian Grace. But the real estate deal didn’t pan out, leaving partners Scott Shimomura and Rick Shobin searching for another space to launch their business.
The two have now leased a large end unit in Phoenicia Plaza, the commercial strip further west on Route 28, Shimomura tells Catskill Eats. The target opening date is this summer. The new spot will have a 15-barrel (30 keg) capacity, and beer will be served on site and sold to go, he said.
In the time elapsed since the first location was scrapped, Shimomura and Shobin have been perfecting recipes, working with many local ingredients such as grain from Hudson Valley Malt. They have started growing their own hops, as well.
“The focus is on local/fresh but we’re not limiting ourselves to just that, because we want to try all kinds of things with the beer,” Shimomura said.
Beers they’ve been testing in recent months include a barrel-aged oatmeal stout, a hoppy IPA and a sour.
The move brings a welcome change to Phoenicia Plaza, which was closed part of last year after a fire. Flames broke out Feb. 25, 2016, in Smokin’ Boars BBQ, which had opened on the opposite end of the plaza less than three months earlier.
Smokin’ Boars BBQ moved, reopening just outside of Kingston in Lake Katrine in December. The restaurant, owned by Gloria Buley, now faces two civil lawsuits related to the origin of the fire, according to Ulster County court records. The insurance companies representing two of the neighboring tenants, Miss Kitty’s Hair Salon and Resort Ridge Pizza, are each suing Smokin’ Boars in separate actions, alleging that negligence on the part of the restaurant caused the blaze, resulting in damage to their businesses. Miss Kitty’s relocated to Boiceville, while Resort Ridge Pizza reopened after repairs.
Several other new businesses are slated to join the pizzeria and the microbrewery at the plaza later this year. Daniel Hellmayer, a downstate chef whose resume includes Talde in Jersey City, plans to open a new establishment in the former barbecue joint. Addressing the Shandaken Town Planning Board in October, Hellmayer proposed a dinner-only restaurant serving Asian cuisine, as well as a bar.
A day care center, Woodland Playhouse, plans to move into the former hair salon.