Big Alice Brewing is a nano-brewery and farm brewery, serving up flavor forward brews 5 days a week in our taproom in Long Island City, Queens, New York. We also distribute our craft beers in kegs to local restaurants and pubs.
Here’s our philosophy in a nutshell: good craft beer is meant to be enjoyed rather than consumed, savoring and appreciating what makes it special. Some are malty, some are hoppy. Some simple and smooth. Some very complex. Any beer can possess a unique combination of all of these qualities. It’s the possibility that each beer brings that we’re passionate about.
What is a Farm Brewery?
Big Alice Brewing is a New York State Farm Brewery. That means our beers are made from locally-grown farm products. Right now, at least 20 percent of our hops and malts must be grown in New York. Over the next 10 years, the requirement will grow to 90 percent. The farm brewery designation was modeled after the 1976 Farm Winery Act, which stimulated the growth of New York’s wine industry and helped local agriculture to flourish.
What’s the advantage of being a farm brewery? Locally-sourced hops and malts produce craft beers with the freshest artisanal flavors while also supporting our state’s farmers. Ingredients matter and we like to include whatever’s fresh, local, organic and available. As a farm brewery, we hope to encourage New Yorkers to buy local and keep coming back for more.
We’re usually too busy dreaming up Big Alice’s next flavor sensation to think much about entering competitions, but here are a couple of coveted awards we’ve won.
2015 Ruppert’s Cup at New York City Beer Week
Winner of a prestigious national competition sponsored by New York City Brewer’s Guild. The Ruppert’s Cup is a ”People’s Choice” voting competition and charity fundraiser for the “Best Brewery @ NYC Beer Week.”
2011 People’s Choice at Heartland Brewery Homebrew Competition
This is the award that got Big Alice on the map! We were voted the people’s favorite for our light Belgian ale with raisins, “Mr. Shnogwattem.”
The Big Alice Brewing Story
Big Alice Brewing was born because of a shared passion for homebrewing among co-workers at Arista Air Conditioning in Long Island City. As we shared ideas, recipes and the results of our creative experiments, we fueled our mutual enthusiasm for craft beer as well as our
brewing expertise. Then in August 2011, we decided to enter a homebrew contest sponsored by Heartland Brewery. Imagine our thrill when we walked away with the People’s Choice award! That’s when we began to realize that we needed to share our flavor forward creations with the beer-loving public.
Following that momentous victory, we began to conceive our new enterprise at the New York state beer festival “Tap NY” over, you guessed it, a few beers. After a great deal of planning, the brewery officially opened in 2013 with a capacity to brew 60 gallons per month. For the first year or so, we sold our craft brews exclusively in 750-milliliter bottles. In our first 141 batches, we never repeated a recipe. Then in 2014, we purchased a larger brewhouse that increased our yield to 155 gallons for each batch! That allowed us to make the switch from bottled to draft beer. Today, we produce 6 new craft beers every season, and we do still offer a few beers in bottles. You can stop by our 14-draft taproom Wednesdays through Sundays to sample a flight of our latest offerings.
From our humble beginnings as homebrewers, we always loved to experiment and push ourselves to make really good, creative beer. As professionals, we bring that same attitude to Big Alice Brewing. We have experimented with a new business model as well: we pioneered the concept of CSB, or Community Supported Brewery, by selling “beer shares” that allow customers to pay one price for two half-growlers of our creative brews every month.
We still love working at “nano” scale because it gives us the flexibility to continually experiment with ingredients, styles and brewing techniques. Come taste for yourself!
About Our Name
Who knew that the most difficult part of establishing our brewery would be coming up with the name? We wanted something both local and iconic. We brainstormed at a picnic table outside in the Long Island City sun with the power plant as a backdrop. At some point during our 4th or 5th meeting we looked behind us and took note of the towering red and white stacks of Big Allis. Ding! We had our “ah-ha” moment and Big Alice Brewing Company was born.
Big Allis is a giant electric power generator in Long Island City originally commissioned by ConEd and built by the Allis-Chalmers Corporation in 1965. At that time, it was the world’s first MILLION-KILOWATT unit…big enough to serve 3,000,000 people. It is located on 36th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard. Its main fuel is natural gas.
Big Alice Brewing is a very small nano-brewery in Long Island City originally commissioned by homebrewers in 2013. At that time, it was the city’s second smallest brewery…small enough to brew only 10 gallon batches. It is located on 43rd Road and Vernon Boulevard. Its main fuel was also natural gas.