The guys of Kings County Brewers Collective (KCBC) are looking to bring the art of brewing beer back to Bushwick for the first time in nearly three decades.
KCBC members Zack Kinney, Tony Bellis and Pete Lengyel plan to open a 5,000 sq. ft. brewery/taproom at 381 Troutman St. in late spring/early summer to share their love of beer with all of Bushwick.
Kinney, Bellis and Lengyel all come from diverse backgrounds and didn’t get into crafting beers until well into their adult years. As each began to experiment with home brewing, they fell in love with the brewing process and wanted to make a career of crafting beers.
“Once you start home brewing you get this bug and all you can think about is making beer while you’re sitting at your day job,” Lengyel said. “I decided I wanted to open a brewery so I signed up for the American Brewers Guild. We all went to the same school, but at different times.”
Each member brings a different set of skills to the table, which will help KCBC become more than just a local brewery. Kinney has a background in advertising, Bellis has a business background, while Lengyel has a science background.
“We realize this is a business,” Lengyel said. “It’s not just making beer. You have to sell the beer, you have to manage the business, you have the tasting room so there’s a face-to-face … and we all have our own areas that we are contributing.”
There are three main aspects to KCBC, which they hope to provide for their customers: quality, variety and community.
“The beer market is getting really crowded these days. There’s still not very many breweries in New York … but New Yorkers have a ton of options when it comes to craft beer,” Kinney said. “And the breweries that are going to last are going to be the ones that can make really good beer every time that they brew. Quality is critical.”
Having three brewers allows KCBC to produce a wide variety of different beers, with each member playing off of the others to combine ideas and create unique brews. They plan on having some of their experimental beers on tap and for sale once the brewery opens.
KCBC’s taproom in their brewery will allow the community a behind-the-scenes look at how they brew their beers.
“We definitely wanted a taproom space, we wanted the brewery to be a community space,” Bellis said. “We love the idea of showing people what we are doing. We want people to see what we’re doing. We’ve loved that as brewers before were opening a brewery.”
KCBC also plans on hosting beer education classes once the brewery is up and running, bringing the community into their brewing process and showing them what goes into to making beer.
“We’re hoping to do a series of beer education classes,” Kinney said. “We might not tell you everything we’re doing, but we want to help other people understand what we’re doing because there’s no downside for us.”