On Saturday, February 22, the Bronx Beer Hall hosted the first ever Bronx Craft Beer Day as part of the city's Beer Week event. Drawing hundreds of people in this all day event, Bronxites took a break from the cold weather and swarmed this Arthur Avenue establishment to sample craft beers from three Bronx themed micro-breweries, Jonas Bronck's Beer Company, City Island Brewery, and the new Gun Hill Brewery.
Steve Nallan, owner of the Jonas Bronc's Beer Company, commented that after a "drought" of having no breweries located locally in the borough, companies such as his are creating a revival of the art. "What does that for me, having competition? The more the merrier! Before prohibition, there were 13 fully functioning breweries in the Bronx. They disappeared with the change in the legislation. So it is nice again to see 70 years later there's a comeback and there is room for all of us, and maybe even some more."
Nallan, who hails from the Woodlawn section of the Bronx, proudly served up his latest brand, the NY Chocolate Egg Cream Stout, whose key ingredient is "Fox's 'You Bet' Chocolate Syrup" made in Brooklyn for over 105 years, among other locally produced, organic components. When asked why he wanted to open up a brewery, and specifically name it after a Bronx historical figure, Nallan states that the Bronx is in his blood and has a lot to do with his upbringing. Both his parents are Bronx natives and he is a 6th generation Bronxite on his mother's side of the family, a family that has lived here since the early 1800's. "My love for history, my love for the Bronx, just tied it all in, and made a lot of sense to me."
While these new breweries are making an impact throughout the Bronx, it is businesses such as the Bronx Beer Hall that helps to introduce them to beer aficionados locally. The co-owners of the Bronx Beer Hall, a subsidiary of Mainland Media, are Anthony Ramirez II and Paul Ramirez, have put in a great deal of sweat equity to make the Beer Hall successful. "It is NYC Beer Week, and today we hosted an authentic Bronx Craft Beer Day. Not only is it Beer Week, not only are we featuring Bronx breweries, we also wanted to serve something new that people haven't tried before," states Anthony Ramirez II, who spewed out a list of the newest beers on tap.
What else goes on here? "What doesn't go on at the Bronx Beer Hall? It started out as a community space. Now it brings people together, current and former Bronxites, reintroducing them to what's going on in the Bronx, and also attracting people who would not normally come to the borough to come check us out. It is all Bronx pride, all the time!"
And that Bronx pride has been the recipe for success for these entrepreneurs!
To view pictures from the event, please visit the Bronx On The Go Official Facebook Page. Check out the newest events and promotions at the Bronx Beer Hall by going to http://thebronxbeerhall.com/.
Check out and support your local Bronx breweries: